This week African SWIFT holds its Stakeholder Workshop in Abuja, Nigeria. The central theme of the workshop is, “how to support users’ understanding of weather forecast and services in Nigeria”. The 2-day workshop (26-27 March) is hosted by SWIFT partners, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, National Weather and Climate Research Centre (NiMet), and organised in collaboration with the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA). The workshop provides an excellent opportunity for both forecast users from numerous economic sectors across Nigeria, and SWIFT operational forecasters and researchers to meet and discuss weather information services and to strengthen partnerships.
The workshop will identify which weather events have the greatest impact on decision-making within each sector; assess how forecast information and its delivery might be improved; and identify communication pathways and early warning systems currently in operation between users and forecasters, and agree how best practice can be identified and shared. Stakeholders from key sectors including Disaster Risk Reduction, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Construction and Health are taking part in the discussions. Important questions being addressed by stakeholders include, how well is current forecasting information understood and trusted within their sector; is the level of forecast uncertainty associated with a particular forecasting tool clear to users; and where and how improvements can be made. The workshop is paying particular attention to impact-based weather forecasting and warnings, with the aim to identify areas where an increased forecasting capacity, and the availability of additional/better forecasting tools could assist decision-making processes within the different sectors. The workshop will also identify which methodologies and tools are proving effective in integrating climate information services across time scales and sectors, to ensure the most timely, accurate and comprehensive forecasting information is made available to all.
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