The Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) was established by the international community at the World Climate Conference-3 in 2009 to enable better management of the risks of climate variability and change, and adaptation to climate change, through the development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice on the global, regional and national scale.

World Climate Conference-3

At the invitation of the Government of Switzerland, World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3) was held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 31 August to 4 September 2009. It was organised by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Council for Science (ICSU) and other intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.

The theme of the Conference was ‘Climate Prediction and Information for Decision Making’ and its vision was for “An international framework for climate services that links science-based climate predictions and information with the management of climate-related risks and opportunities in support of adaptation to climate variability and change in both developed and developing countries”.

WMO and its partners convened WCC-3 to provide nations with the opportunity to jointly consider an appropriate global framework for climate services over the coming decades that would help ensure that every country and every climate-sensitive sector of society is well equipped to access and apply the growing array of climate prediction and information services made possible by recent and emerging developments in international climate science and technology.

On the basis of the three days of discussion and deliberations during the Expert Segment, the participants supported the development and implementation of the proposed Global Framework for Climate Services.

High-level Taskforce (HLT)

Following the decision of the World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3) to establish the GFCS, a taskforce of high-level independent advisors (HLT) was appointed through an intergovernmental process to prepare a report that was to include recommendations on the proposed elements of the GFCS and the next steps for its implementation.

The report of the HLT was endorsed by the Sixteenth Session of the World Meteorological Congress (Geneva, 16 May to 3 June 2011, report), which entrusted the WMO with the responsibility of developing the Implementation Plan, draft Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedure for the Intergovernmental Board on Climate Services (IBCS) and its substructures.