Rwanda establishes a national framework for climate services

Rwanda Minister of Environment, Hon. Dr. Vincent Biruta and Rwanda Climate Services Project Coordinator, Dr. Desire Kagabo at the workshop exhibition area. Photo: T. Muchaba (CCAFS)

How to effectively develop and apply climate services in support of agriculture and food security.

"Climate services bridges the gap between weather and climate information to meet the users’ requirements," said Hon. Dr. Vincent Biruta, Minister of Environment during the official opening of the National Consultative Workshop for Setting Up a National Framework for Climate Services (NFCS) in Rwanda.

The NFCS, which is part of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) implementation plan and requirement, is a national coordinating mechanism for facilitating the development and delivery of climate services, to better manage climate risks at all levels, through development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction services into planning, policy and practice. The workshop, which was the first step towards NFCS, brought together experts and stakeholders from various agencies and institutions, with a goal to improve and sustain the flow, co-production and delivery of user-salient climate information. The Rwanda NFCS will be led by the Rwanda Meteorology Agency (Meteo Rwanda), a government agency under the Rwanda Ministry of Environment (MINIREMA), which already has established link and coordination among stakeholders of the existing initiatives on climate services provision in Rwanda, and will develop new governance structure to fully meet the end users’ requirement.

It is very difficult to address issues of climate change without understanding climate services, says the country director of @UNDPRwanda

— RCSAgriculture (@RwandaCSA) December 6, 2017

Rwandan farmers have pointed out before that accessibility to relevant information on climate change will help them manage climate risks for better agricultural production. NFCS plans to set out a roadmap for an effective development and application of climate services in support of agriculture and food security and other key climate-sensitive sectors in Rwanda. It proposes recommendations for an elaborative National Action Plan, prioritizing climate risk management actions that can be taken by decision-makers, different sectors' stakeholders in response to plausible climate predictions.

The @FAORwanda country representative has encouraged the participants of the National Framework for Climate Services in Rwanda workshop to advocate the up-scaling of reliable ICT solutions in the agriculture sector to ensure #CSA and food security

— RCSAgriculture (@RwandaCSA) December 6, 2017

With NFCS, Meteo Rwanda shall position itself to fully contribute to the planning and decision-making processes for the government of Rwanda with a view to attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Rwanda National strategy for Transformation (NST), and the Rwanda Green Growth and Climate Resilience strategy.

NFCS Implementation Plan

The implementation will be anchored on the following pillars

  • User Interface Platform: a structured means for users, climate researchers, and climate information providers to interact at all levels;
  • Climate Services Information System: the mechanism through which information about climate (past, present, and future) will be routinely collected, stored and processed to generate products and services that inform often complex decision-making across a wide range of climate-sensitive activities and enterprises;
  • Observations and Monitoring: to ensure that climate observations and other data necessary to meet the needs of end users are collected, managed and disseminated and are supported by relevant metadata;
  • Research, Modelling, and Prediction: to foster research towards continually improving the scientific quality climate information, providing an evidence base for the impacts of climate change and variability and for the cost-effectiveness of using climate information;
  • Capacity Development

Rwanda is on the right track and is looking in the right direction, says @UNDPRwanda director #climateservices #climatechange #agriculture #foodsecurity @IRI @meteorwanda @FAOrwanda

— CGIAR Climate EA (@cgiarclimate_EA) December 6, 2017

Building climate services capacity in Rwanda

Joint efforts and strategies are being used to ensure that climate services information is downscaled and relevant to smallholder farmers in Rwanda. Meteo Rwanda has been working with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) through the Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to increase its capacity to provide climate information services as well as develop tools tailored to farmers’ needs.

#NFCS will increase the awareness, uptake and use of climate services in Rwanda, says the chairman board of directors Meteo Rwanda Desire K.

— RCSAgriculture (@RwandaCSA) December 6, 2017

The project builds on the Enhancing National Climate Services (ENACTS) approach, by focusing on the creation of reliable climate information suitable for national and local decision-making. Under this initiative, Meteo Rwanda has merged satellite data with its observations to fill gaps in both space and time and can now provide a range of high-resolution climate information products tailored to agricultural user needs through web-based ‘maprooms’. The maprooms provide an efficient way to access location-specific data and graphs

Watch the photos from the workshop:

Establishment of the Rwanda National Framework for Climate Services (NFCS)


The workshop was held between 5 and 6 December 2017 in Nyamata, Busegera District in Rwanda, and brought together partners and experts from agriculture and food security, disaster management, transport safety (air, land and water), health, water resources management, environment, tourism and wildlife management, academic research, project management, leisure sport and public events) sectors. The overall budget and funds mobilization for the implementation of the NFCS will be established after the development of the National Action Plan, which will specify projects to be undertaken. The workshop was organized by Meteo Rwanda and sponsored by USAID, WMO/GFCS, CIAT/CCAFS, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, University of Reading, and other partners.

Read more:

The Consultation Workshop on Setting up the Rwanda National Framework for Climate Services was organized by Meteo Rwanda and sponsored by USAID, WMO/GFCS, CIAT/CCAFS, IRI, the University of Reading and other partners.

The Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture project is funded by USAID.

Tabitha Muchaba works for CCAFS East Africa hosted by International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

Yvonne Uwase works for the CCAFS Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture project –based at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Kigali, Rwanda.

Gloriose Nsengiyumva works for the CCAFS Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture project –based at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Kigali, Rwanda.