The ability to predict, warn and prepare for climate-related events such as floods and droughts is essential to protect and increase the resilience of communities. One of the main challenges today is to ensure that reliable climate information is processed and communicated in a way that enables individuals and communities to react before disaster strikes. For this purpose, climate information has to be accurate, timely, accessible and understandable for all recipients - from the farmer to the policymaker.
Effective climate services and response to climate-related threats are the result of processes that not only require technical expertise and scientific research but also financial capacity. This poses a great challenge to many countries, regions, and communities in the Global South. NORCAP climate and disaster prevention experts provide important support and the possibility to make a sustainable change.
NORCAP helps international and national actors mitigate the effects of the climate crisis and our experts provide the necessary technical knowledge. This way, we sustainably improve resilience against the impact of the changing climate - currently with a focus on the African continent. Funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) allows us to stay engaged and improve national governments’ ability to predict, warn and prepare for climate-related events.
At present, NORCAP has around 30 climate experts working in the field. They have significant experience with climate change adaptation, meteorology, and hydrology, as well as reducing and managing disaster risk. In the field, our experts collaborate supportively with international partners, among them various UN agencies and national institutions. Also, NORCAP stands for its work with partners at the local, regional and national level. We are engaged in making more accurate climate services better accessible for the public: Our experts work with authorities and communities to sustainably improve long-term and seasonal forecasting, flood and drought prediction, national climate planning, climate finance and communication of climate data, with the goal of decreasing people’s vulnerability to climate-related disasters and stabilising agriculture and local food supply.
At the regional level, NORCAP works with Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in East Africa and their climate centre (ICPAC), to ensure better models, forecasts and predictions of extreme weather events. Another regional partner is the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD) in Niger, where NORCAP experts are engaged in developing long-term forecasts.
We believe it is essential to enhance our partners' capacity to develop and implement sustainable solutions and actions. As a result, the partners are better able to respond to the impacts of climate change in their own work as well as for the communities they serve.
In Niger, we work with local communities to understand which climate services are needed to produce good crops and prevent food shortages from floods and droughts. We promote solutions to bring climate information to those who needed it. Our experts contribute to training local radio stations on how to communicate lifesaving weather information and provide early warning groups in local villages with telephones so that they can receive important weather and climate forecasts and share it with local farmers.
Currently, NORCAP is engaged in installing a feedback mechanism between the Niger Meteorological office (Niger Met) and public users of climate services to improve the quality and flow of weather information. Our experts also trained local community representatives in using rainwater-measuring devices. This enabled them to track rainfall and report to Niger Met, which can incorporate the data in its measurements to inform in advance if a drought or flood was coming.
In Senegal, we supported the development of a global and national framework for climate services. Our experts contributed to the design, implementation and evaluation of climate services in the country, which resulted in better coordination between local, regional and national actors. They also worked on developing system-wide preparedness through training in the field. Furthermore, NORCAP experts have developed a digital weather research- and forecasting model which went into service together with climate data analysing tools for the national provider of weather and climate information, ANACIM. Their members also have received training from NORCAP experts. This allows not only more accurate weather forecasting but also climate modelling which enables researchers to make long term climate predictions.
In Sudan, one of the most recent countries NORCAP has sent experts to, we support the Sudan National Meteorological Authority (SMA) in making their weather services more accurate and improving early warning systems. Our experts are developing a global and national framework for climate services and training local staff on data management and on applying geographical information systems for climate services.
East Africa Hazards Watch
In collaboration with IGAD and ICPAC, NORCAP experts have developed the East Africa Hazards Watch. This tool tracks extreme events such as droughts, cyclones, pests (desert locusts), heavy rainfalls, floods or crop failures and displays it clearly and easily accessible on a website. This makes the East Africa Hazard watch an efficient early warning system to protect the population against such hazards.
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