AFRICA’s environment and climate ministers are meeting in Harare today for a weeklong second African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (Amcomet) task force and bureau meeting to discuss the increasing effects of global warming on agriculture and the environment.
The indaba, which came at a time Zimbabwe was battling to resettle over 3 000 families displaced by the flooding Tokwe Mukorsi Dam – will also refine the draft Implementation Plan of the Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology (Weather and Climate Services) for the period spanning 2014 – 2018.
It will be attended by ministers from across the continent to intensify efforts to integrate weather and climate services in national and sub-regional development frameworks to save lives and improve the livelihoods of communities.
Environment, Water and Climate minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who is also the Amcomet Bureau chairman, yesterday said the meeting also sought to maximise the contribution of meteorological services to sustain development.
“This landmark strategy is designed to maximise the contribution of meteorological services to sustainable development by gearing the necessary resources and recognition from governments,” Kasukuwere said.
He added that they will also seek to ratchet up efforts to mitigate against severe climate change challenges not only in Zimbabwe, but globally.
Climate change occasioned by severe weather and extreme climate events was exacerbating multiple stresses such as food insecurity and spread of diseases across Africa.
In 2012 alone, an estimated 37,3 million people from across the African continent were negatively affected by hydro-meteorological hazards; a 43,3% increase in annual average over the last decade.
African Union commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture Rhoda Peace Tumusiime said: “Every African country should be involved in the transformative development of the continent. Supporting weather and climate services is critical in strengthening Africa’s resilience in the context of Africa Agenda 2063 on the Africa We Want”.
Amcomet was established during the first meeting of ministers responsible for meteorology in Africa in April 2010. As an important outcome of the Nairobi Declaration, Amcomet was defined as a high-level mechanism for the development of meteorology and its applications in Africa.