The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) has reported on the conclusion of Acclimate, a four-year project dedicated to climate change adaptation. The culmination of the project’s work, a regional strategy for climate change adaption, was adopted by the IOC’s 28th Council of Ministers on 17 January 2013, in the Seychelles.
According to IOC, the project, which concluded on 31 December 2012, has sustainably strengthened cooperation among the countries of the Indian ocean, enabling them to better anticipate and cope with the negative effects of climate change. The regional strategy aims to help the region become more resilient, further structure its actions in this field, and acquire the necessary tools and resources to meet climate change challenges.
IOC launched the Acclimate project in late 2008, with financial support (1.7 million euros) from the Fonds français pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM), the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Regional Council of La Réunion island. Among the achievements of the Acclimate project, IOC highlights: improvement of the knowledge of the regional climate and its impacts; the strengthening of the capacity of the meteorological services of the IOC’s member States (Comoros, Madagascar, Reunion (France), Mauritius and Seychelles); the launch of various awareness raising and training initiatives, such as a website, photo competitions and exhibitions, conferences and round-table events, training courses, and the co-financing of mobility grants to enable students from the region to follow a Master’s Degree in Remote Sensing and Natural Hazards.
The regional adaptation strategy was technically validated in July 2012 and adopted in January 2013. It is designed to guide the actions of IOC cooperation in this field until 2020 and focuses on the following four sectors: food security, water, health and the environment. Other sectors will be treated in a second phase, including: natural disasters, infrastructure, transport, energy, and tourism. The strategy recommends putting in place the concepts of a regional observatory for climate and climate services. In order to implement the strategy and to ensure continuity of the Acclimate project activities, the 28th Council of Ministers of the IOC requested its Secretary General, Jean Claude de l’Estrac, to seek the necessary financial resources from international partners.
The IOC has also been mandated to conclude the signature of a partnership agreement with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA, a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the EU). [Acclimate Project Website] [IOC Website]