International climate services conference to be hosted in Africa for the first time ever

The Fifth International Conference on Climate Services (ICCS5) will be held for the first time in Africa, and will host the world’s leading organisations and individuals involved with the rapidly growing arena of climate services.

Hosted on behalf of the international Climate Services Partnership by the Climate System Analysis Group – a research centre at the University of Cape Town – and funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research and Climate Service Centre, the conference will take place from 28 February to 2 March at Lagoon Beach Hotel, Cape Town.

Climate services are about the development and provision of climate information relevant to decision makers and policy at all scales of government, business, and industry, as well as for the general public.

As noted by Prof Bruce Hewitson, Chair of the local organising committee: “The availability of climate information that is robust and relevant is the single most important issue we must address in order to guide our individual and collective response to climate change”.

Climate change and climate variability strongly impacts society, thus providing relevant climate information to inform decisions about adaptation and for developing policy is central to creating climate resilience in society – especially in Africa where there is such vulnerability to climate impacts. At the global scale, climate services are still a maturing activity, and so the ICCS is a critical event to support discussion for guiding the growth and implementation of climate services.

The conference will be opened by the national Department of Environmental Affairs, followed by an overview of the state of climate services in Africa. The sessions scheduled for the three days will be led by international keynote speakers as well as presenters from different African and international organisations, and will include working groups to explore different challenges to implementing effective climate services.

In addition to the core conference activities, there will be a series of side events hosted by different organisations to dig into key topics. Attending the conference will be representatives of organisations such as the World Bank, overseas governments, research institutions and universities, and NGOs and commercial organisations working on climate services. This will include some of the top scientists working in the field of climate information for society, including those from Africa where climate services is at the coal face of development, and where participants from Africa are in some ways leading the world’s development.

The conference provides an excellent opportunity for participants to contribute to shaping the agenda for the coming years, and will produce a report on the current state of climate information for society, identify the critical challenges to be addressed, and develop priorities for where and how future efforts should be focused.

Find out more on the conference's website

Issued by: UCT Communication and Marketing Department