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Climate change: 1st regional training course for Red Cross teams in the Indian Ocean

[12 September 2016]

News

From August 29th until September 2nd 2016, PIROI and Reunion’s weather service, Météo France, co-organised the first regional training course on climate change for the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies of the south-west Indian Ocean (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, France, Seychelles and Tanzania). Some twenty participants from these seven countries attended the course, which aimed to develop the adaptation strategy of their respective National Societies faced with the impacts of climate change.

The training was organised by PIROI in partnership with Météo-France Océan Indien and the Red Cross & Red Crescent Climate Change Centre (based in the Netherlands).

To cope with natural hazards whose frequency and intensity are exacerbated by the effects of climate change, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is engaged in an adaptation strategy aimed at reducing local populations’ vulnerability. To do this they have developed training for field workers focusing on three key concepts: prevention, capacity building and resilience.

This climate change training course had already been organised in Asia and Africa, but never before in the south-west Indian Ocean. PIROI sought to adapt it to the local context, in a region particularly vulnerable to the risk of climate-related natural disasters such as cyclones, tropical storms, flooding, and drought. Indeed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) believes the south-west Indian Ocean - which consists of many Island States - to be one of the regions most affected by climate change.

As a result of the course the National Societies have acquired the skills to understand climate change issues, integrate them into their programmes, and develop population awareness activities. The training will also allow Red Cross and Red Crescent actors to start discussions with their respective governments, ensuring the topic of climate change is incorporated into national policies.

Throughout the week the training was co-hosted by Red Cross and Red Crescent Climate Centre experts, Météo-France Océan Indien climatology specialists, and the PIROI team.

A course feedback meeting took place on Friday September 2nd, and was attended by local authorities in Reunion, partners of PIROI, and the IFRC Director for Africa.

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