Pretoria: The Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, says the world needs improved meteorological data and science that will result in better early warning systems for weather-related occurrences.
Speaking at a four-day workshop on the national implementation of the World Meteorological Organisation’s Global Framework for Climate Change Services (GFCS), Mabudafhasi lauded the potential role of the GFCS.
She said the framework “provides a useful basis for coordination of climate services to support South Africa’s disaster risk reduction and emergency response work”.
The deputy minister also pledged her support for a process that will further explore the implications of the GFCS for South Africa.
“It is my sincere hope that through this workshop, the first steps towards a continuous assessment and improvement of climate-related services will be crafted involving all institutions present here, that are relevant to the supply of climate services to our country,” said Mabudafhasi.
During the workshop — which started on Monday — more than 150 climate scientists, sectorial experts and decision-makers in climate change-related fields will analyse the implications of the GFCS for South Africa.
The workshop seeks to explore the maturity of activities within the GFCS’ five components, namely the user interface; the climate services information system; observations and monitoring; research, modelling and applications; and capacity development.
The GFCS was established under a Declaration of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in 2009 in recognition of the fact that society will need information tools to adapt as the climate will continue to be variable and to change notwithstanding steps taken to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
The declaration establishing the GFCS was adopted by high-level policymakers from more than 150 countries, including Heads of State/Government and more than 80 ministers and other senior government officials.
The GFCS and its establishment was an important step towards strengthening the application of climate science in local, regional, national and international decision-making.
The workshop is convened by the South African Weather Services in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs and the WMO.