29-09-2016, Kampala: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Climate Prediction & Applications Centre (ICPAC) this morning kick started the 44th Greater Horn of African Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF) during an opening ceremony presided over by the Minister of Environment of Uganda, Hon. Dr. Mary Goretti Kitutu, in Kampala.
The opening ceremony was also attended by the Director of ICPAC, Dr. Guleid Artan, the Executive Director of Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), Mr. Festus Luboyera, the Country Director of UNDP-Uganda, Mrs. Almaz Begru, and a Geneva based representative from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Mr. Rupa Komar Koli.
Some 200 hundred participants including officials in charge of meteorology institutions and civil society stakeholders from ICPAC member states, climate scientists and researchers from the region and outside the region, and development partners.
The objective of this two-day Forum, which is held on a regular basis once every three months, is to outline the climate forecast for the Greater Horn of Arica region for the last quarter of 2016 in light of the potential effects of the El Nina climate phenomenon. A final climate forecast will be made public during a closing session tomorrow.
In her opening remarks, Hon. Dr. Kitutu highlighted the need for a “robust climate early warning advisories in support of disaster risk reduction and resilience of communities” because of the climate change effects that are “expected to increase in frequency, magnitude, and severity”. Beyond the GHACOF 44, the Minister added that “IGAD with financial support from the European Union has finalized the formulation of the IGAD Regional Climate Change Strategy that on implementation, will complement the efforts of the member countries in addressing the challenges posed by the climate change in the region”.
Dr. Artan told the audience that the IGAD Regional Climate Change Strategy was “awaiting approval by the IGAD Council of Ministers”. He reminded participants that the Regional Climate Outlook Forums started in 1998. “It should be noted that, besides providing climate services in support of environmental management and disaster risk management, ICPAC has also been dedicated to enhance the applications of climate services in key climate sensitive sectors such as Water, Agriculture and Health. In next two days will share new climate services products that scientist at ICPAC has been working on for some time”, he said in substance.
Mrs. Almaz Begru from UNDP and Mr. Rupa Komar Koli from WMO also addressed the audience during the opening in order to commit their organization for a fruitful and lasting cooperation with ICPAC.
ICPAC Member States are Djibouti, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda.