Programme for Implementing the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) at Regional and National Scales.


An agreement was signed on 26 March 2013 between Environment Canada (now Environment and Climate Change Canada – ECCC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), regarding financial assistance to the 4 year programme “Implementing the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) at Regional and National Scales”

The Goal of the Programme is:

To enhance resilience in social, economic and environmental systems to climate variability and climate change through the development of effective and sustainable Regional and National Climate Services under the GFCS in selected regions and countries.

All project countries should be able to produce, deliver and apply nationally relevant climate information.

The Key Results of the Programme are:

  • KR 1         Capacities and mechanisms for climate services production and delivery are in place in Small Island Developing States (Caribbean and South Western Pacific Ocean Region)

  • KR 2         A framework for climate services for the Arctic Polar Region is established

  • KR 3        Capacities and mechanisms for climate services production and delivery are in place in South Asia/3rd Pole Region (Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau region)

  • KR 4         Free access to a consolidated, cutting-edge knowledge base on Integrated Drought Management

  • KR 5         Sustained capacity development for developing country scientists.

The key deliverables of this programme of work once successfully completed include:

  • Establishment of 3 new WMO Regional Climate Centres (RCCs) and institutionalization of Regional and National Climate Outlook Forums (RCOFs/NCOFs) in the South West Pacific, the Caribbean and the Arctic Polar Regions.

  • Regionally tailored and high quality Climate Information Products routinely delivered from the RCCs into National organizations, and in particular National Meteorological Services, for further development, localization and delivery of effective Climate Services to Government and Economic Sectors, especially for the priority sectors identified under the GFCS1 and the general community.

  • An improved Early Warning System for severe weather for the South West Pacific and the Caribbean.

  • The establishment of a Canadian Fellowship Programme.

In this sense WMO and the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) have signed a Letter of Agreement to strengthen the ownership of these activities in the region and directly support Key Result 1 (KR1).

Beneficiary Countries in the Caribbean: Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Maarten, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago

Key Outcomes

The key result from these activities is to have ‘capacities and mechanisms for climate services production and delivery’ in place in the region. For this to happen, a strong interaction between the regional entities and the national players needs to be established and strengthened. CIMH, as the Regional Climate Center in demonstration phase, can play this role. The following key outcomes are expected by the end of the project implementation:

  • Regular consultations among climate services providers and other stakeholders

  • Functioning RCC supports national climate services’ providers

  • Sustained RCOFs act as a mechanism to support national climate services

  • Improved Capacity at the national level to produce and disseminate standard Climate Information and Services

CIMH will support selected NMHSs in the preparation, holding and the follow-up of their National Climate Outlook Forums (NCOFs). Follow-up will include further one-on-one work with specific interested user (groups) identified during the NCOF and the respective Meteorological Service. Clear implementation plans that make use of the capacities and knowledge of the region as well as of those provided by WMO as a whole – as a sort of climate services toolkit – will be developed and implemented with the support of the regional entity. CIMH’s involvement in the NCOF and national level activities will also help them learn about the national needs and better address them at the regional level by making relevant products, trainings and services available to the region. Relevant topics can then also be addressed during the RCOF sessions that are held twice per year.

Description of Outcomes and Activities under KR1

Outcome 1. Regular consultations among climate services providers and other stakeholders in these regions 

Activity 1.1.    Report on the status of climate capacity of the Caribbean Small Islands Developing States

Activity 1.2.    Identify opportunities for leveraging functional cascading mechanisms towards improved climate data/information flows between regional and national levels

Based on previous work, a light version of the climate database system will be developed for NMHS to synchronise with the CIMH database, thus making data-sharing easier and providing Caribbean NMHS with a database management system for which CIMH will provide technical support. A training workshop for the installation and use of this database system will receive support.

Outcome 2. Functioning RCC support national climate services’ providers

Activity 2.1. Training Workshop on Enhancing Climate Indices for Sector-specific Applications and use of ClimPACT package for generating Sector Specific Climate Indices for the Caribbean.

The main objective of the Workshop held in February 2016, was to enhance the use of sector specific climate information in various sectors (e.g. agriculture, water, health, DRR) for Climate Risk Management and adaptation, through interdisciplinary analysis and interpretation of sector-specific climate indices. This formed part of the support for the Caribbean EWISACTS (Early Warning information Systems Across Climate Timescales), which was launched in 2015, commencing with the formation of a regional consortium. The EWISACTS’s main focus is on delivering tailored climate information to sectors.

Outcome 3. Sustained RCOFs act as a mechanism to support national climate services

Activity 3.1.    Enhance RCOF quality in the Caribbean (CariCOF)

CariCOF was revived in 2012 and has been perceived as very successful since then. In order to enhance its sustainability beyond the lifetime of the project and to record its successes in an objective way, it is suggested to provide an analysis of its operation and to document them through video and photo coverage.

Activity 3.2.    Hold 2 physical Regional Climate Outlook Fora per year

Support for CariCOF also comes from other programs. The investment of Environment and Climate Change Canada can continue support for both Wet and Dry Season CariCOFs, supporting participants from countries that are not being sponsored by the other programmes. Trainers in various aspects of climate forecasting are also required.

Outcome 4.  Improved Capacity at the national level to produce and disseminate standard Climate Information and Services

Activity 4.1.    Support the NCOF process in the Caribbean (Belize, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana)

National Climate Outlook Forums are proposed to serve as one User Interface Platform at the national level, one of the pillars of the GFCS. The countries were volunteered at the ‘Regional Workshop on Climate Services at the National Level for Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean’ held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 29 -31 May 2013 and further confirmed at the Regional Association IV Task Team on the Global Framework for Climate Services Meeting in San José, Costa Rica, 5 – 6 February 2015. It is also recommended that the first NCOF be preceded by, or combined with, a national stakeholder meeting. The presence of CIMH staff is necessary to support the NMHSs in technical aspects as well as to help draw some common lessons learned that can then be elevated to the regional level for the region’s benefit.

1 Primary GFCS target sectors: agriculture, disaster risk reduction, health, energy and water