From 14-16 November 2018, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) held its inaugural hydromet forum for Central Africa. The ECCAS Hydromet Forum, co-hosted by the Government of Gabon and the World Bank Group, offered a platform for exchanging views on how hydromet services can contribute to climate-resilient development and adaptation planning.
The event was organized as part of the implementation of the Africa Hydromet Program and of the ACP-EU Regional Economic Communities Program (Result Area 2 Program), which aims to enhance and improve the coordination, planning, policy and capacity for disaster risk reduction and resilience across Africa.
The Hydromet Forum demonstrated the benefits of hydromet service delivery across a range of sectors including agriculture, water, natural resource management, environment, transport, civil aviation, energy and disaster risk management. Hydromet services are essential for scaling up resilience to climate and disaster risks, so Central Africa's hard-won gains and development aspirations for growth can be preserved and improved, and so that lives and livelihoods can be protected.
Following extensive discussions at the Hydromet Forum, the representatives of ECCAS Member States institutions, members of the Parliamentarian's network (REPARC) and other stakeholders in building disaster and climate resilience present at the Forum agreed on common conclusions. In the final communiqué, the delegates, among others:
- called on partners to scale up the support for the modernization of hydromet, early warning systems, and disaster risk management services;
- called for further support from national governments to ensure that national meteorological, hydrological and early warning systems and services have the enabling and financial environment to adequately perform their mandates;
- acknowledged the Network of Parliamentarians for the promotion of disaster resilience and climate change adaptation of Central Africa (REPARC);
- stressed the importance to expedite the operationalization of the Regional Climate Center for Central Africa, established in Douala servicing the ECCAS region;
- urged ECCAS and its member states to scale up support for applied research and professional education on weather, water, climate and early warning services;
- stressed the importance of promoting gender mainstreaming and the inclusion of youth, vulnerable groups and community –based organizations in the design and implementation of integrated approaches for weather, water, climate and early warning services in support of sustainable development.
The agenda of the ECCAS Hydromet Forum is available here.