The effects of climate change and climate variability hit the poorest sections of the population in developing and emerging countries. The national weather services MeteoSwiss and SENAMHI Peru therefore set up the Climandes project to benefit farmers in the Andes. The shared goal was to improve the reliability of weather and climate forecasts and thus contribute to food security and poverty reduction. Climandes was funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization WMO.
The ambition of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development is to end hunger and poverty in all its forms by 2030. This goal, however, is hampered by climate change and climate variability. Poor populations in developing countries and countries with emerging economies often have very limited opportunities to adapt to and cope with extreme weather or climatic changes. In 2009, heads of state, ministers and scientists initiated the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) under the leadership of WMO in order to support the abilities of those affected to respond more proactively. MeteoSwiss is part of this specialized organization of the United Nations (UN) and supports with Climandes the concerns of GFCS.
Extreme events such as heavy rainfall, long-lasting droughts, frost or hail lead to crop failures in Peru over and over again. If farmers receive user-tailored weather and climate forecasts at the right time, they can take measures to protect their crops. The forecasts thus serve as an actual support in the process of decision-making. The Climandes project developed the farmers' skills and thereby empowered them to make informed decisions. The initiative started in August 2012 and was implemented in two phases:
Climandes 1: August 2012 to December 2015
Climandes 2: January 2016 to March 2019
Three pillars for success
Climandes managed to build a bridge between SENAMHI and the farmers. Weather forecasts and warnings are now being sent via the local radio or SMS in the respective local languages to smallholder farmers in the Andes. Hence, an important pillar of Climandes was the systematic identification of users' needs (the report “Designing user-driven climate services” provides an overview on the Climandes approach and key findings). Other important pillars for reliable forecasts were the introduction of systematic data management at SENAMHI and the improvement of meteorological and climatological training at the professional and university level in the Andean Region.
Partnership between Switzerland and Peru
Climandes is based on the exchange of knowledge between the mountainous countries Peru and Switzerland. The close cooperation between the two national meteorological services SENAMHI Peru and MeteoSwiss was supported by SDC's Global Programme Climate Change and Environment and coordinated by WMO under the umbrella of GFCS. In Peru, Climandes was supported by the Ministry of Environment and the WMO Regional Training Centre at the University of La Molina UNALM in Lima. In Switzerland, the project involves other partners with proven expertise: ETH Zurich, Jürg Sauter GmbH, Meteodat GmbH, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Bern and the University of Zurich.
What is the value of forecasts and early warnings?
The development and operation of weather and warning systems is generally financed from public funds. It is therefore important to quantify the benefits of such services so that the required public spending can be justified. Several studies carried out as part of the Climandes project show that the socio-economic benefits of specific forecasts and warnings for smallholder farmers in the region outweigh the costs of development and operation. By communicating these results to political decision makers in Peru, awareness was raised of the importance of climate services. This was helpful in securing sufficient, ongoing funding of the services after the project came to an end.
Following a compilation of news and documents
Climandes Newsletter: MeteoSwiss - English
SFIAR Award, MeteoSwiss, December 2017
MeteoSwiss Blog - German
Movie: Start Climandes 2
Side Event on COP20
Newspaper: NZZ Article
Federal Councilor Didier Burkhalter visits SENAMHI, April 2013
Launch of Climandes Project on the WMO's extraordinary Congres, Geneva, October 2012
Movie: Project Launch
Kickoff Climandes Project, Peru, August 2012
Interfaces to users and socio-economic benefits of environmental services
Popularización de la Meteorolgía - Spanish
Scientific Dialog / Scientific Articles
Daten Management Workshop for Climate Services , Lima, May/June 2018
European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly, Wien
European Meteorological Society (EMS), Annual Meeting, MeteoSwiss - English
Budapest, September 2018
Dublin, September 2017
Trieste, September 2016
Sofia, September 2015
Presentation: The project Climandes – Creating climate services for the Peruvian Andes
Presentation: Homogenization in areas of sparse data networks: a case study applying HOMER