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The United Nations system is responding to society's pressing needs for practical information to anticipate the increasing impacts of climate on people's life. The Sixteenth World Meteorological Congress (Geneva, May‐June 2011) set in motion the process for the development of the Global Framework for Climate Service (GFCS), a joint United Nations system initiative led by the World Meteorological Organization.

Through the Framework, a set of international arrangements will coordinate global activities and build on existing efforts in order to provide climate services that are focused on meeting the requirements of all those who need them and provide the greatest benefits possible from knowledge about climate.

The Framework aims to:

  • Help countries and communities adapt to climate change;
  • Target vulnerable people who have no access to climate services and need them most to manage climate risk and maximize climate opportunities, with particular attention to people in Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States, Land Locked Developing Countries and other vulnerable developing countries;
  • Provide understandable, accessible and usable climate information to support decision‐making at all levels, and build capacity to provide and use this information;
  • Translate scientific advances into tools for action on the ground by downscaling global knowledge to fit local needs.

Initial priorities for the implementation of the Framework will focus on facilitating access to improved climate services in four key areas: agriculture and food security, water, health and disaster risk reduction. Over the long‐term all climate‐sensitive sectors will be covered, providing a basis for all countries and individuals to benefit from the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services.