ArabCOF-8 and workshop on meteorological services supporting agriculture - ESCWA
6-7 December 2021
Expert Group Meeting

ArabCOF-8 and workshop on meteorological services supporting agriculture

  • Online

The eighth session of the Arab Climate Outlook Forum (ArabCOF) and the fifth session of the Gulf Cooperation Council Climate Outlook Forum is being held virtually from 6 to 7 December 2021. Within this framework, ESCWA, with its partners the World Meteorological Organization and the League of Arab States (LAS), is organizing a workshop on enhancing the capacity of meteorological services to meet the needs of the agriculture sector. In advance of this meeting, ESCWA has produced a paper identifying local climate data gaps and guidelines on the use of climate data for improving agricultural productivity for selected agricultural communities.

Representatives from Arab meteorological offices and partners are presenting current and anticipated conditions in their region, as well as providing updates on climate monitoring and assessments. Participants are discussing the verification of previous ArabCOF climate outlooks and preparation of upcoming seasonal forecasts for the entire Arab region.

ArabCOF was established in 2017, following a decision by the Executive Office of the Council of Ministers responsible for Meteorology and Climate, under LAS. It has been generating outputs on seasonal forecasts twice a year and undertaking regional climate change assessments. ArabCOF experts discuss climate information needs and meteorological services for different sectors.

Outcome document

Conducting a dialogue between national meteorological and hydrological services and agricultural stakeholders. Key messages that resulted from the dialogue:

  • Need to bridge the gap between modern technologies and the farmer and adopt suitable ways to convey the needed climate-related information to farmers and transform scientific information/data into useful tools for them.
  • Need to verify the accuracy of the sources of climate information as sometimes this information is conflicting and reaches the farmers at a late stage.
  • Importance of integrating sub-seasonal climatic forecasts into agricultural decision-making as climate variability and extremes have significant influence on agricultural production and the global models do not always provide an answer on how to utilize the seasonal forecasts.
  • Need to increase number of weather stations and increase accuracy of forecasting and explore associated funding avenues.
  • Need to establish an early warning Center for Arab countries to fulfil the needs of the agricultural sector through providing anticipatory climate information for improving agricultural productivity.

This session presented the draft results of seasonal forecast for the winter months (December-January-February) for the Arab region in the two sub-regions North Africa and GCC. Representatives from various Arab meteorological offices and partners presented current and anticipated conditions in their region, as well as on climate monitoring and assessment of the current state of climate.

This session introduced to participants from both the meteorological services and agriculture sector a draft report on the development of guidelines on the use of climate information for agriculture stakeholders and users in the Arab region on the applicability of climate data of different temporal scales in the agriculture sector. It provided an overview of the importance of climate services for the agricultural sector, and how this data can be used in playing a key role in reducing the negative impacts associated with climatic conditions.

This session opened a discussion between meteorology and agriculture experts in the Arab region which aimed at enhancing the cooperation between meteorological services and agricultural sector in order to understand their needs and provide improved meteorological services in support of decision making for agriculture sector. It concluded with a set of key messages and recommendations.

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