News from the Horizon 2020 project CLARA: Climate forecast enabled knowledge services
The Horizon 2020 project CLARA (Climate forecast enabled knowledge services) was created to develop climate services able to translate climate information into climate knowledge, thus helping local decision-makers to take informed and science-based decisions on climate adaptation issues. Building on recent advances in climate modelling in the context of the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Services, the CLARA project, which started on 1st June 2017, illustrates the genuine benefits and economic value of short and long-term climate forecasts, and aims at further developing operational climate services for more efficient management of natural resources and better resilience to climate change.
To achieve its aim of developing leading edge climate services, the CLARA project team set up a Multi-User Forum (MUF) that facilitates the dialogue with the many and different intended users of the climate services developed. The MUF journey started in March 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden, with a first Workshop that focused on the meaning and value of seasonal and sub-seasonal forecasts for users. The second MUF Workshop took place in November 2018 in Cordoba, Spain, and focused on co-development: how users and providers can work together to maximise the impact of climate services.
The third and last MUF Workshop of the CLARA project took place on 3-4 October 2019 in Venice, Italy, hosted by the project coordinator, the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change (CMCC). The meeting included 60 participants from different organizations such as public administrations, civil protection agencies and commercial enterprises. This third MUF Workshop, which aimed to identify and address the barriers to and enablers of the implementation of the climate services developed within the project, focused on the final and most exciting phase of climate services development: business plans and marketing strategies. Current strategies were revised and barriers to implementation were identified and analysed in their social and economics dimensions through a series of innovative and interacting settings.
The MUF has proven to be an efficient - and essential - tool to foster the co-generation of the CLARA climate services beyond the context of the local case studies engaged in the project. Not only the MUF diversity of stakeholders, but also their individual scopes, have led to key discussions and final decisions regarding the following steps in the co-generation process during the project. In particular, the definition of an inter-phase language between data providers of forecasts and end-users within the services, their range of applicability, the framework to produce valuable and business-like products, and market issues, have largely benefitted from the conclusions of each MUF. Without a doubt, the MUF itself is one of the most relevant products from CLARA, which will continue its dynamics beyond the project duration.
As the project coordinator, Jaroslav Mysiak, said, “Climate services will play a crucial role in the new European Green Deal [released in November 2019] to set the priorities of the European Commission towards climate action: they will help decision-makers to deliver on promises and pledges for climate adaptation and to push forward the transformational shift needed. Climate services are the enablers of a better climate adaptation in Europe”.
Ottavia Carlon, Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change (CMCC) and
Maria Polo (University of Cordoba)
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CAPTION FOR FIGURE: [ Participants at the CLARA project’s third Multi-User Forum (MUF) Workshop - “Business and market strategies for climate services" - held in Venice Italy, on 3-4 October 2019. © CLARA Project, 2019. ]