African gets own met service

2015-02-14 20:08
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Praia - African countries agreed on Saturday to strengthen their meteorological services to reduce the impact of extreme weather events at a meeting of ministers in Cape Verde.

In a declaration adopted at the end of the five-day African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET), delegates recognised that "investments in weather and climate services help save lives and property, minimise economic losses and preserve the environment".

Part of the discussion focused on recent natural disasters on the continent, such as deadly floods in January in Malawi and Mozambique.

The participants adopted a budget of around $1.1m for the organisation, created in 2010 in Nairobi, mainly originating from member states' contributions.

"This year and the coming years are critical years for the planet in general, and specifically for Africa," said Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which launched AMCOMET alongside the African Union.

"Africa is very vulnerable to extreme weather events, Africa is highly vulnerable to climate variability," he said at the closing news conference.

Olushola Olayide, who was representing Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, the African Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, said adaptation to climate change was "a priority for Africa. It is Africa that most needs to adapt."

Progress made at the meeting and others planned on the mainland will allow Africa "to speak with one voice in the upcoming negotiations in 2015" on climate, particularly in Paris at the end of the year, she said.

Read more on:    cape verde  |  weather  |  climate change

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