The Climate Report 2017/18 - Page 45



resilient and inclusive development in Africa. Such
services can provide early warning systems that
could, for example, provide the critical time needed
to prepare for droughts, floods and storms, thereby
saving lives and reducing economic impacts. Timely
and quality weather and climate information
contribute to enhanced seasonal forecasts which can
assist farmers, water and energy suppliers to
increase productivity, thus supporting economic
development. Furthermore, such information
contributes to better longer-term climate prediction,
which is essential for enhancing the resilience of
infrastructure, water systems and cities, thereby
ensuring sustainable economic development
strategies that harness the “resilience dividend” of a
new climate economy approach to attaining Africa’s
development strategies as framed in the African
Union’s Agenda 2063 and the UN 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development.
shifts in rainfall distribution and wind patterns;
and land-cover and land-use change in response
to climatic and non-climatic signals.
Uncertainty about impacts on agricultural water
supplies: Water is the defining link between the
climate and agriculture. Most of the world’s
countries classified as water stressed are in
Africa. A reduction in run-off of up to 40% has
been recorded in some major river basins in
Africa, with a consequent reduction in reservoir
storage. Although uncertain, it has been predicted
that projected changes in climate will
significantly affect surface water supplies over
25% or more of the continent by the end of this
century. Temperature rise, changes in runoff
volumes, and an increased frequency and severity
of extreme events with climate change are likely
to exert severe pressure on the supply of water
for agriculture. Future water resource availability
for agriculture could further be constrained by the
increasing urbanisation and industrialisation of
society.
In recognition of the challenges posed by these
knowledge gaps, the UK Department for
International Development, in collaboration with the
African Climate Policy Centre and the UK Met
Office, is implementing the Weather and Climate
Information Services for Africa (WISER)
programme to support the management of weather
risks and build resilience on the continent. The
WISER programme is being implemented under two
components, namely:
The pan-African component: This component
being implemented by the ACPC is aimed at
strengthening the enabling environment for the
generation, uptake and use of weather and
climate services to support sustainable
development, and promoting intellectual
leadership in climate science in Africa, built
through innovative evidence generation and
learning,
For further information
Dr. Fatima Denton
Director, Special Initiatives Division
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
(UNECA)
denton@un.org
East Africa component: Implemented by the UK
Met Office, this component is focused on scaling
up investments in, and use of climate information
and services in the region.
Dr. James Murombedzi
Officer in Charge
African Climate Policy Centre
Special Initiatives Division
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
murombedzi@un.org
Weather and climate information services are
essential to addressing key hindrances to climate-
43

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