UNITAR training will support the Global Framework for Climate Services
Thanks to a partnership between the World Meteorological Organization and UNITAR, the Global Framework for Climate Services will be supported by UNITAR’s training and awareness raising tools as of this year. The importance of training in enabling countries to benefit from integrated climate services has been recognized by many delegations at the World Meteorological Congress held in Geneva in May 2015.
In 2014 UNITAR and WMO signed a Memorandum of Understanding marking the expansion of the partnership between the two organizations in areas that can benefit from increased training and capacity building. These include the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) and climate change adaptation, an area in which UNITAR provides the secretariat services of the One-UN learning platform on climate change (UNCC:Learn).
A first concrete result for GFCS is an on-line tutorial explaining the rationale and benefits of climate services expected to go live in summer 2015. The e-Tutorial, designed by the Resilience and Risk Reduction team at UNITAR, will be available for free to all audiences willing to learn more about the Global Framework and the benefits of climate services in 5 easy modules combining videos, reference materials and interactive sessions. More information will be available soon on GFCS and UNITAR websites. The initial version will be released in English and UNITAR is seeking support to translate the tool in other languages.
The e-Tutorial was also presented by UNITAR at the side event on “Progress on GFCS implementation” in May 2015 during the World Meteorological Congress, where it received positive reactions from experts and delegates from WMO member countries.
Francesco Pisano, Director of UNITAR Research Department, who is in charge of the project, said that “the e-Tutorial is the result of the good collaboration with the GFCS Office and various experts and agencies. It is a light and effective training tool to raise awareness and build a community of interested users. It is part of a larger training suite including specialized training in each of the priority areas of the Framework”.
The World Climate Conference-3 held in Geneva in 2009 decided to establish a Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), a UN-led initiative spearheaded by WMO to guide the development and application of science-based climate information and services in support of decision-making. The GFCS has four initial priority areas: agriculture and food security, water, health, and disaster risk reduction, to which energy was added in 2015.
The vision of the GFCS is to enable society to better manage the risks and opportunities arising from climate variability and change, especially for those who are most vulnerable. This will be done through the development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice.
In keeping with this vision, the goal of UNITAR is to create a training suite capable of building the capacity necessary for users in each country to enjoy the benefits of climate services across all priority areas.