CICERO - Center for International Climate Research
Energy Food and forests Climate finance Local Solutions China The Arctic ​International Climate Policy

SIS Future Africa - Co-production of climate services in South Africa and Tanzania

The core idea of this project is the production of climate information through the co-production of climate services. However, the type of and need for climate information depend very much on the location, sector and livelihood of people.

 To provide a climate service, not only do we need to further improve our understanding of climate change and its potential impacts, but we also need to make sure that such knowledge is placed in context and linked with existing social and environmental change conditions as well as with development and poverty aspects. The overarching goal of this project is to assess the type of information that is needed and relevant at three scales (local, community, and national). To ensure use and relevance, it is crucial to involve different scientific disciplines as well as local users in this process. The emphasis is on a process in which research and users together identify which type of information is needed, and at what critical point in time, in order to facilitate transformation towards sustainable and resilient pathways.

The project’s initial focus was on Africa, and the project supported the co-design of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). Since then, the project has been linked to other initiatives at CICERO to develop methodologies and frameworks that can be applied to multiple regions in the world, including Norway, as well as to learn from ongoing work in other projects, such as the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP). The main focus remains on key issues such as disaster risk, health, food security and how climate information can be used to help sustainable adaptation.

A climate service is defined as “climate information prepared and delivered to meet a user’s needs”. Thus, both the preparation and the delivery of information are crucial in this respect. As the global climate is changing and sustainable adaptation linked to development and poverty reduction is needed at all levels and scales, there is often a discrepancy between the information that models and scientists from various disciplines can provide and what users need to know. There are large gaps in the availability of sufficient, relevant and understandable climate information, and how to streamline this through various institutions to ensure sustainable adaptation. A central issue is the relevance, credibility and legitimacy of knowledge for a variety of stakeholders and users. It is crucial therefore to include stakeholders and local users in the process of developing and providing climate information, to ensure that it leads toward sustainability while protecting the poor and vulnerable.

Financial support from the Research Council of Norway