Ethiopia Invests in Climate InformationMar 4, 2014
Ethiopia has launched a new joint climate information initiative to strengthen early warning systems as well as support climate resilient development planning and adaptation to climate change efforts in the country.
The initiative was launched by the National Meteorological Agency (NMA) together with the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector (DRMFSS) of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy.
The event took place at a two-day launching workshop in Adama which involved, apart from the high level opening, stakeholders deliberation session to discuss implementation and partnership arrangement. Particiants also took part in a field visit to one of Ethiopia metrological observation centres.
The new project strongly taps into Ethiopia’s need for generating high quality climate information. It will focus on strengthening the capacity of national and regional offices of NMA, the MoA and the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy to monitor climate change, generate reliable hydro-meteorological information, and combine this information with other environmental and socio-economic information. The gathered data and knowledge will be used to develop information products to improve Ethiopia’s evidence-based decision-making for early warning, preparedness, and adaptation responses as well as regular development planning.
“This project is timely and exemplary in bringing together three different actors – the water, agriculture and food security, and meteorology sectors,” remarked also His Excellency State Minister Mitiku Kassa from the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector at the Ministry of Agriculture.
Minister Alemayehu Tegenu from the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy pointed out that the Government of Ethiopia believes that the development path it has chosen will enable Ethiopia to fulfil its global commitment and achieve sustainable development. “Our strategy depends on the full exploitation of our renewable energy resources, rehabilitation of our environment, leapfrogging technology and intensifying the agricultural and land-use efficiency.” he explained, adding that” … adequate, reliable, up-to-date and high quality climate information is an indispensable variable in this equation of building resilience,” and expressed his firm commitment to implement the new climate information project.
Through the launched project, the Government of Ethiopia with the support of the UNDP seeks to build a stronger climate-smart nation that will adapt to climate change and prepare for anticipated weather extremes, and long-term changes
Boosting green growth and resilience is a clear priority for Ethiopia and the country has set its eyes on achieving middle-income status by 2025 in a carbon neutral way by transforming development planning, investments and outcomes.
Farmers, disaster-risk managers and other decisions-makers need advance warnings of extreme weather conditions. To provide such warnings, climate service providers need to improve seasonal forecasts by, for example, gaining a better understanding of how phenomenon such as the El Niño, land-cover and land-use change, and other global climate patterns will impact weather and climate conditions in Ethiopia.
The Director General of the National Meteorological Agency, Fetene Teshome, noted that, “Climate information is a valuable resource in making decisions at all levels. When mainstreamed and utilized properly, it leverages our development efforts in a multitude of ways.”
Poverty reduction strategies and efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change cannot succeed without being rooted in the demands, capabilities, and actions of local communities. Capacity development, dialogue and networking are likewise essential to make significant progress and the newly launched project will foster networking and cooperation between the scientists and end-users of climate information to ensure that scientific information is clearly understood and properly applied in decision-making. It will also help to ensure climate information and services are co-developed between producers and users of such information thus ensuring that the resulting information is action-oriented and can be used in an effective and timely manner.
“Combating climate change is a paramount challenge but I believe this new project can complement and enhance the work being done and is a step towards the right direction for building resilience towards climate change in Ethiopia,” said UNDP Ethiopia’s Deputy Country Director Bettina Woll at the launch.
Highlight of UNDP Support in Ethiopia
· UNDP has undertaken multi-level and multi-sectoral support to help advance the disaster risk, early warning and environment agenda in the country.
· It has been supporting the Government in creating the building blocks for the national DRM architecture. This includes support to designing the DRM-Strategic Programme and Investment Framework (SPIF) as well as to the establishment of the national Emergency Coordination Centre, which centralises weather and climate information systems to enhance the dissemination of Early Warning information.
· UNDP has also supported the launch of the African Centre for Disaster Risk Management to foster knowledge transfer and research on DRM and the new project will supplement this work.