Strengthening Climate Forums Make Meteorological Information More Accessible to the Population
- The 57th edition of the Central American Climate Forum is held in Panama
Panama City, November 26, 2018. To review the current atmospheric and oceanic conditions, their implications in the rain patterns for the Central American region, as well as to generate the Regional Climate Perspective, are the proposed objectives of the 57th edition of the Central American Climate Forum, event that takes place from November 26th to 30th, in Panama City, Panama.
With the participation of representatives of the meteorological services of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, as well as officials from organizations such as the Organization of the Fishing Sector and the Central American Isthmus Aquaculture (OSPESCA, its Spanish acronym), CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Education Center) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama, this Climate Forum will result in a Climate Outlook, which is a forecast of climatic conditions in the region for a period of four months, beginning in December 2018 and ending in March 2019.
“This forum is extremely important because first, the Central American region in the middle of the year had serious precipitation deficits in some regions and at this time when ocean and atmospheric conditions are coupling to generate an El Niño phenomenon, it is necessary to know how rain conditions are predicted for the dry season," said Berta Olmedo, executive secretary of the Regional Committee on Water Resources (CRRH, its Spanish acronym) of the Central American Integration System (SICA, its Spanish acronym).
Olmedo stressed that this information is of great value for productive sectors that require more water, as is the case with the agricultural sector, since it makes it possible to know in each area what will be the forecasts of rain to plan and adapt crops according to such conditions.
On the other hand, within the framework of the Regional Climate Change Programme (PRCC, its Spanish acronym), executed and led by CATIE, and with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), 10 Climate Forums have been held throughout the years of implementation of the Programme, and different tools have been generated, which will remain at the service of the population.
Ana Deisy López, director of PRCC, shared that within the products developed and available on the Centro Clima platform (www.centroclima.org), there is the Climate 3 System based on the WRF climate prediction model, which is used to obtain weather forecasts for periods of one, two and three months.
The Central American Climate Database (BDCAC, its Spanish acronym) has also been improved, which provides information to meteorological services to create climate products and construct historical analyses. The third product is the creation of a Climate Forum site, which presents the results of the forum in an interactive way, including a map with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), in a user-friendly format that can be manipulated by the user, who will be able to see specific areas of interest.
Additionally, López added that the continuous collaboration given to the CRRH, through PRCC, is making possible the establishment of a cooperation agreement between CATIE and CRRH to strengthen mutual capacities in areas such as training or generation of projects in the area of water or climate.
The 57th edition of the Central American Climate Forum is organized by the CRRH-SICA, with the support of the Panamanian Electricity Transmission Company (ETESA), the Program of Information Systems for Food and Nutritional Security Resilience in the SICA region (PROGRESAN-SICA), the Regional International Organization for Agricultural Health (OIRSA) and USAID, through the PRCC executed by CATIE.
Ana Deisy López
Regional Program on Climate Change
Regional Water Resources Committee
Marianela Argüello L.
Forests, Biodiversity and Climate Change Program