African Climate Risks Conference (ACRC) 2019: REPORT



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The African Climate Risks Conference (ACRC) 2019 concluded on Wednesday, 9 October, with a busy programme including plenary sessions, panel discussions, workshops, and seminars. In the morning, two plenary sessions focused on the state of climate information services for development support in Africa and on mobilizing investment in climate services.



On the state of climate information services, Filipe Lúcio, Director, Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), in a keynote speech, stressed the need to strengthen capacity regarding the provision of climate services, highlighting the urgency of action for Africa and the need to improve monitoring and evaluation. Stephen Mooney, Department for International Development (DfID), UK, underscored the need for African ownership of climate services, emphasizing co-production and “last-mile delivery” to reach those who really need the information.



Regarding mobilizing investment for climate services, Paul Watkiss, Department for International Development (DfID) Climate Mainstreaming Facility, emphasized in his keynote presentation, the economic value of weather and climate services, which extends beyond financial value. Dumisani Chirambo, Seeds of Opportunity, Malawi, stressed the potential to use social innovation and community science in providing climate services. Daniel Tsegai, UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), presented on combating drought, risk insurance, and sustainable land management. Throughout the day delegates participated in:

  • A session addressing climate services initiatives in Africa;
  • Two seminars on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Reports on the oceans and cryosphere in a changing climate, and on climate change and land, respectively;
  • Two panel discussions on implications and governance of carbon dioxide removal for adaptation and the SDGs, and on collaborative engagement of public, private, and academic sectors for the next generation of weather and climate intelligence; and
  • Two workshops on tackling urban challenges by co-creating knowledge on food-water-energy nexus, and on research concepts for a joint Africa-European call on innovative climate services for the African regions.



In the closing plenary, Ernest Afiesimama, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), highlighted initiatives to break down barriers and faciliate integrated climate risk analysis in Africa. Chris Jack, University of Cape Town, South Africa, outlined key challenges and highlighted progress on: high-resolution modeling; conceptual understanding of model performance to inform model development; linking risk management resilience and climate information; and capacity development using climate information. Rosalind West, DfID, highlighted successes in advancing the fundamental science, and bringing that science into use, stressing that “climate science isn’t just for climate scientists, it is for everyone.”


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