Journal article

Improving the use of climate information in decision-making

Climate change Information resources Decision making

There is growing acceptance that the climate is changing, and increasing recognition and realization of the socio-economic benefits arising from using climate information to better inform decisions and policies across a wide range of sectors1–3. Climate services are being developed worldwide for an expanding group of decision-makers and policymakers to enable society to better manage the risks and opportunities arising from changes in climate, especially for those who are most vulnerable to climaterelated hazards. The global community is actively addressing this through the United Nation’s Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS)4,5. An essential element of any climate service is for there to be effective engagement between the users and the providers of the service. However, there is growing recognition that this interface between the users and providers is the least-developed aspect of climate services5 , and therefore urgently needs improving. An international team of experts has been enlisted under the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Commission for Climatology to both provide recommendations for good practice and successful strategies for effective and improved engagement. The recommendations were made by gathering and assessing examples of good uptake and use of climate information through effective user– provider engagement. Each example was documented using a common structure, identifying who is involved in the engagement, how the engagement is conducted, what it aims to achieve, and any recommendations for good practice. The examples represent a variety of approaches adopted across key climatesensitive sectors, and across a range of timescales (the past and the future on timescales from monthly and seasonal through to multi-decadal) and spacial scales (global, regional, national and local, with wide geographic spread globally). A subset of examples was assessed in detail (Table 1; full descriptions in forthcoming WMO report Good Practices for Climate Services User Engagement) to lead to the recommendations presented below, with three broad categories of engagement (Fig. 1) identified and described in the following sections.

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