"Fostering Climate Prediction and Applications"
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Background

The Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) is prone to extreme climate events such as droughts and floods. These extreme events have severe negative impacts on key socio-economic sectors of all the countries in the sub-region.
In 1989, twenty four countries in Eastern and Southern Africa established a Drought Monitoring Centre with its headquarters in Nairobi (the DMCN) and a sub centre in Harare (Drought Monitoring Centre Harare – DMCH now ) in response to the devastating weather related disasters. In October 2003, the Heads of State and Governments of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held their 10th Summit in Kampala, Uganda, where DMCN was adopted as a specialized IGAD institution. The name of the institution was at the same time changed to IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) in order to better reflect all its mandates, mission and objectives within the IGAD system. A Protocol integrating the institution fully into IGAD was however signed on 13 April 2007. The centre is responsible for eight member countries namely: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda as well as Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Vision

To become a viable regional centre of excellence in climate prediction and applications for climate risk management, environmental management, and sustainable development.

Mission

Provision of timely climate early warning information and supporting specific sector applications to enable the region cope with various risks associated with extreme climate variability and change for poverty alleviation, environment management and sustainable development of the member countries.

Objectives

The objectives of the Centre are:

  1. To provide timely climate early warning information and support specific sector applications for the mitigation of the impacts of climate variability and change for poverty alleviation, management of environment and sustainable development;
  2. To improve the technical capacity of producers and users of climatic information, in order to enhance the use of climate monitoring and forecasting products in climate risk management and environment management;
  3. To develop an improved, proactive, timely, broad-based system of information/product dissemination and feedback, at both sub-regional and national scales through national partners;
  4. To expand climate knowledge base and applications within the sub-region in order to facilitate informed decision making on climate risk related issues; and
  5. To maintain quality controlled databases and information systems required for risk/vulnerability assessment, mapping and general support to the national/ regional climate risk reduction strategies.

Functions

The functions of the Centre include:

  1. Acquisition of climate and remotely sensed data;
  2. Develop and archive national and regional climate databanks including calibration of remote sensing records;
  3. Process data and develop basic climatological statistics required for baseline risk scenarios and other applications;
  4. Monitor, predict and provide early warning information of the space-time evolutions of weather and climate extremes over the sub-region;
  5. Hazards and climate risk mapping of the extreme climate events thresholds;
  6. Networking with WMO, the National Meteorological and Hydrological institutions as well as regional and international centers for data and information exchange;
  7. Capacity building in the generation and applications of climate information and products;
  8. Applications of climate tools for specific climate sensitive sector risk reduction, environment management , and sustainable development, including integration of indigenous knowledge;
  9. Monitor, assess, detect and attribute climate change and associated impacts, vulnerability, adaptation and mitigation options;
  10. Develop relevant tools required to address the regional climate challenges through research and applications in all climate sensitive socio-economic sectors including addressing linkages with other natural and man-made disasters; and
  11. Networking and exchange of information regarding disasters in the sub-region

Products

The Centre produces the following:

  1. Ten day, Monthly and Seasonal climate/weather bulletins
  2. Climate Watch/El Niño updates
  3. Annual climate summaries

Major Achievements

  1. Enhanced regional capacity enhancement for both climate scientists and users , including the use of regional climate outlook forums (COFs), and associated workshops.
  2. Timely production and dissemination of climate early warning information.
  3. Improvement of knowledge of processes and new empirical models for seasonal forecasts.
  4. Enhanced networking and collaboration between ICPAC, NMHSs and advanced regional diagnostics Centres.
  5. Establishment of a continuously updated data bank for development of baseline statistics and hazards maps.
  6. Successful networking with users of climate information, climate scientists, as well as gender and media groups in dissemination of weather information and products.
  7. Several recognitions and awards at regional and global levels, including contribution to UNFCCC, UNCCD, ISDR, IPCC among others. The centre contributed to IPCC 2007 assessment that won the 2007 Nobel Prize.
  8. Enhanced collaborations with sector specific users through pilot application projects for development of new application tools Agriculture and Food Security, Livestock, Health, Water Resources, Conflict Early Warning, Hydropower risk management, Environment Management, etc
  9. Improved equipment including computing and Geographical Information System (GIS); and human resource capacity in regional climate modeling; prediction and applications.
  10. Improved research collaboration including PhDs, and Msc students attachments that have led to new tools and applications.