New climate information products and services have been made available to improve adaptation planning and better manage climate risks affecting the country’s economic sectors.

Meteorological officers from the Meteorological Service of Jamaica have been introduced to the products through a Climate Product and Climate Services Toolkit (CST) Workshop, which began November 26 and ends today at the University of the West Indies in St Andrew.

The workshop is being coordinated by the Investment Plan of the Caribbean Regional Track of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) in collaboration with the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH).

The CST workshop is aimed at assisting the development of more human capacity within the national meteorological office.

Currently, climate services are readily available for the agriculture sector. Now, with more meteorological officers exposed to the training, the meteorological office is expected to be better positioned to provide services to additional climate-sensitive sectors.

Products which were not previously available, such as heatwave and dry spell forecasts, in addition to software to support climate product development, have been included in the toolkit developed by the World Meteorological Organization.

According to the CIMH, the toolkit will enhance the efficiency of the meteorological office to provide more timely and detailed data for priority sectors such as agriculture, water, health, energy and disaster reduction. The intention is to standardise the availability of data and provision of tailored services to scale up proactive planning in response to climate impacts.

Key Component

A key component of the training explores the use of local climate data and utilisation of a tool – CLIMPACT TOOL – to generate climate outlooks for the country.

Following the conclusion of the training, the climate outlooks generated will contribute to a National Stakeholder Consul-tation for Climate Services Delivery to be held tomorrow and Friday. A key objective of the consultation is to familiarise sector representatives with the Caribbean’s approach to the design, development and delivery of sector-specific climate services.

The session will also seek to establish a National Sectoral Early Warning Information System Committee. The committee is expected to increase capacity for disaster risk management and reducing socio-economic impacts of disasters across sectors. Another expected outcome of the consultation is the development of a National Climate Products and Services Road Map for Jamaica to guide national policy and planning.