11 February 2019, ENTEBBE, Uganda: The 51st Greater Horn Of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 51) organized by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) in collaboration with the Uganda National Meteorological Agency (UNMA) and partners, on “Preparedness actions to climate related risks for safe and resilient communities” opened today in Entebbe under the leadership of Hon. Songa Lawrence, Chair of the Parliamentary Forum on Climate Change (PFCC) at the Parliament of Uganda.
The forum is bringing together climate experts, decision makers, non-governmental organizations, civil society stakeholders, users of climate information and representatives of climate sensitive sectors such as Agriculture, Livestock and Food Security, Energy and Hydropower, Water Resources, Health and Public Safety, Disaster Management, Tourism and Wildlife, Settlement, Marine and Economic Planning, and the Media.
The main objectives of this Climate Outlook Forum are to:
- Review lessons from the past seasonal forecast;
- Follow up on the implementation of mitigation measures proposed by the last forecast;
- Co-develop a consensus regional Climate Outlook for the March to May 2019 rainfall season;
- Co-develop impact advisories for key socio-economic sectors and disseminate mitigation strategies;
- Provide a regional interaction platform for decision makers, climate scientists, researchers and users of climate information.
In his opening remarks, Hon. Songa Lawrence encouraged climate scientists to identify the gaps and call on the policy makers to play their role in bridging those gaps. He stressed that policy makers should be convinced of the critical role of climate prediction and information dissemination to end users.
The Director of ICPAC, Dr. Guleid Artan, said that by “bringing together countries that have common climatological characteristics, the forum ensures consistency in the access to and interpretation of climate information”.
Dr. Festus Luboyera-Executive Director Uganda National Meteorological Authority, Dr. Justus Kabyemera-Representative of African Development Bank (AfDB), and Mr John Mungai-Representative WISER Programme also took the floor during the opening session.
ICPAC member countries are Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.