September 08, 2009
Third World Climate Conference Ends with Call from Experts for a Strengthened Global Framework
by Robert Kropp
Participants in the Expert Segment of the Conference conclude that current climate services
capabilities are insufficient, and major new and strengthened research efforts are necessary.
On September 4, the World Climate
Conference completed its third session, which focused on integrating climate prediction and
information science with adaptive strategies for industry sectors that contribute to sustainable
socio-economic development. The first two WCC conferences, held in 1979 and 1990, sought to provide
scientific bases for the development of comprehensive climate services.
In a Conference Statement
issued at the close of the Conference, the 200 speakers and 1,500 participants in the Expert
Segment described the purpose of their meetings as engaging in "a wide cross-section of climate
scientists, expert providers of climate information and the users of climate information and
services in a wide-ranging discussion on the essential elements of a new Global Framework for
In the Conference Statement, the participants described the conclusions
at which they arrived. Capabilities currently in place to provide effective climate services fall
far short of present and future needs, particularly in developing countries, and there is an urgent
need for closer partnerships between providers and users of climate services. And while great
scientific progress has been made over the last 30 years, the necessity for major new and
strengthened research efforts remains.
The participants concluded with recommendations to
strengthen the essential elements of a global framework for climate services. These elements
include such organizations as the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and
the World Climate Research Programme
The participants also recommended that climate services information systems
use existing climate service arrangements, including sector-oriented information, to deliver
products that support adaptation activities. Information for providers and users of climate
services should be integrated via interface systems, and capacity building should be strengthened
through education, training, outreach, and communication.
The participants concluded with
a statement of support for the development of the proposed Global Framework for Climate Services, the goal of which is "the development and provision of
relevant science-based climate information and prediction for climate risk management and
adaptation to climate variability and change, throughout the world."
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