National Framework for Climate Services to mainstream climate science into decision-making and boost Rwanda’s green growth

Policy makers, practitioners and partners have committed to work together to integrate climate science into decision making in all sectors across Rwanda. The commitment came on the final day of a three-day workshop to develop a national framework for climate services.

The dialogue, titled “National Consultation Workshop on Setting up the National Framework for Climate Services”, was held in Nyamata, Bugesera District and was the first step to develop Rwanda’s national framework in line with implementation of the UN Global Framework for Climate Services. The gathering took place as part of the inaugural Rwanda Green Growth Week.

The consultation workshop brought together representatives from climate-sensitive sectors, program managers from government institutions, and other professionals who support efforts to reach vulnerable communities that are far from hubs of climate knowledge.

It was also attended by key international and regional partners (UN organisations, NGOs and inter-governmental organisations) interested in supporting climate and weather data production and use, and the creation of a harmonised framework to deliver useful climate services.

Opening the workshop, Minister of Environment, Vincent Biruta, said that the Framework for Climate Services intends to bridge the gap between weather and climate information developed by Meteo Rwanda with other advisory services produced by different institutions in various sectors – all with the aim of meeting the needs of the general public and other users.

The Minister added that the new framework will identify mechanisms and networks to improve and sustain the flow of climate information for different users in Rwanda.

“The National Framework for Climate Services will enable us to create and provide authoritative, credible and usable science-based climate information and advice that is of value to government institutions, socio-economic sectors mainly agriculture, disaster management, transport safety, health and others, and the broader community,” Minister Biruta said.

UNDP Country Director, Stephen Rodriquez, said climate services are a foundation for any country’s efforts to achieve inclusive growth, poverty reduction and build to resilience for vulnerable people.

“If Rwanda is to respond to the Paris Agreement and deliver on its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), actual and reliable climate information will be essential. Therefore, we need more investments in support of Meteo Rwanda and related institutions,” he said.

FAO Country Representative, Attaher Maiga, said that over the past decades, natural disasters have caused around US $1.3 trillion in damages and affected 2.7 billion people around the world. He added that with climate change, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, intense and costly and are affecting those most vulnerable – food insecure poor families that derive their livelihood from agriculture.

“Experiences indicate that the development and use of simple and timely climate information would improve the adaptive capacity of institutions and farmers to moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities or to cope with the consequences,” said Maiga.

Crop production growth in Africa is projected to decline by 3.2% as a result from climate change, with a decline in yield growth of 4.6%. This is estimated to be partially compensated by an increase in agricultural land of around 2.1%.

Dr Desire Kagabo, Chairman of Meteo Rwanda’s Board of Directors, said the agency is progressively building its capacity to produce weather and climate information that supports national development plans and contributes to the country’s economic growth.

“Good quality weather and information is produced and availed online through the Rwanda Climate Maprooms web portal, and disseminated through various channels such as radio, TV, face-to-face trainings, SMS, social media platforms and more,” Dr Kagabo said.

Meteo Rwanda is among the few national meteorological services in Africa that works 24hrs a day, seven days a week – every day of the year. The meteorological sector contributes to the safety of life, property and the environment given that more than 80% of natural disasters are weather related.

The Consultation Workshop on Setting up the Rwanda National Framework for Climate Services was organised by Meteo Rwanda and sponsored by USAID, WMO/GFCS, CIAT/CCAFS, IRI, the University of Reading and other partners.

To see and download pictures of the first day of the National Consultation Workshop to set up the NFCS click here

To see and download pictures of Hon. Minister of Environment opening the National Consultation Workshop click here