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National Framework for Climate Services

2023 OCT 9

Mains   > Environment & Ecology   >   National envi initiatives   >   Climate treaties and protocols

In News

  • India is launching its first national-level framework for climate services, known as the National Framework for Climate Services (NFCS), led by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

About NFCS

  • The NFCS aims to provide climate information and services to various sectors, including agriculture, energy, disaster management, health, and water, to help them make informed decisions and mitigate climate risks.
  • The NFCS is based on the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), which focuses on generating high-quality climate data and information, with priority sectors including agriculture, energy, health, water, and disaster risk reduction.

The Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS)

  • The GFCS is a significant global initiative designed to enhance the generation and utilization of climate information and services on a worldwide scale.
  • It was first introduced during the Third World Climate Conference in 2009, which took place in Geneva.
  • The leadership of this initiative primarily lies with the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) within individual nations.
  • The GFCS operates as a collaborative partnership involving both governments and organizations.
  • Its primary aim is to foster cooperation between climate researchers and users of climate information and services.
  • The ultimate goal is to enable well-informed and actionable decision-making to address long-term challenges associated with climate change.
  • A key objective of the GFCS is to generate high-quality data from both national and international sources, encompassing essential weather parameters like temperature, rainfall, wind, soil moisture, and ocean conditions.
  • This initiative involves the creation of long-term historical averages for these parameters, as well as the development of maps, risk assessments, vulnerability analyses, and long-term projections and scenarios.

GFCS Components

The GFCS operates through five main components, each serving a specific role:

  • Observations and Monitoring: This component focuses on collecting data from diverse sources to continually monitor climate-related variables.
  • Research: Scientific research is conducted to deepen our understanding of climate patterns and phenomena.
  • Modelling and Prediction: Predictive models are employed to forecast future climate patterns based on current and historical data.
  • Climate Services Information System: Efficient systems are established to store and manage climate-related information.
  • User Interface Platform and Capacity Building: A platform is provided for users to access climate information, complemented by training and capacity-building programs.

GFCS Sectoral Focus

The GFCS concentrates its efforts on several critical sectors, including:

  • Agriculture and Food Security: Supplying climate information to support agricultural planning and food security initiatives.
  • Energy: Assisting the energy sector in adapting to challenges posed by climate change and optimizing resource management.
  • Health: Furnishing climate data to aid in health-related decision-making and preparedness for climate-related health risks.
  • Water: Efficiently managing water resources by providing information on precipitation patterns and water availability.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction: Supporting disaster preparedness and risk reduction through the provision of relevant climate data and predictive information.


Key Features of the National Framework for Climate Services (NFCS)

Integrated Operational Platform.

  • NFCS aims to create a seamless working platform that facilitates the smooth flow of climate-related information and services. This platform ensures that climate data, forecasts, and analyses are readily accessible to users, enabling them to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions.

Targeted Sectors

  • NFCS focuses on several key sectors critical to the Indian economy and society, including agriculture, energy, disaster management, health, and water resources. By concentrating on these sectors, NFCS aims to help these industries mitigate climate risks effectively. For example, in agriculture, climate services can assist farmers in making planting and irrigation decisions based on weather patterns and climate projections.


  • Unlike the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), NFCS is tailored to address India's specific weather patterns and the unique needs of its diverse stakeholders. This customization ensures that the climate information provided is relevant, accurate, and actionable for the Indian context. Understanding India's distinct climate challenges allows NFCS to offer targeted solutions to various regions within the country.

Nodal Agency

  • The IMD serves as the nodal agency responsible for formulating and implementing the NFCS in India. As a trusted and established meteorological organization, IMD leverages its expertise and infrastructure to gather, analyze, and disseminate climate-related information. This central coordination ensures a cohesive approach to climate services implementation across different sectors.

Expansion and Adaptability

  • NFCS is designed to be adaptable and responsive to evolving needs. It allows for the incorporation of additional sectors such as transport and tourism based on their relevance and the emerging challenges posed by climate change. This adaptability ensures that the framework remains relevant in the face of changing climate patterns and societal demands.

Importance of NFCS

Bridging Gaps

  • NFCS facilitates collaboration among various agencies requiring climate services. This cooperation is crucial as different sectors such as hydrology, power, renewable energy, transport, dams, and health agencies operate at different levels and need to work together to address climate challenges effectively.
  • By bridging functioning gaps, NFCS ensures that climate information is integrated into the decision-making processes of diverse sectors, leading to more comprehensive and informed strategies for climate adaptation and mitigation.

Enhancing Accuracy

  • NFCS aims to improve the accuracy of climate predictions by strengthening observational networks. This involves expanding the number of weather observation stations and enhancing radar and satellite-based climatology. By filling gaps in weather data, especially in challenging terrains and seas, NFCS ensures a more complete and precise understanding of the climate patterns in different regions.
  • Enhancing data inflow, including data from land and seas, is essential for creating reliable climate models. NFCS focuses on improving the collection, analysis, and utilization of climate data to enhance the accuracy of weather and climate predictions.

Tailored Solutions

  • NFCS provides tailored climate data and information products that cater to specific sectors such as agriculture, health, high-risk areas, and infrastructure mapping. Tailoring the information ensures that it is relevant and applicable to the unique needs of each sector, enabling better decision-making.
  • NFCS incorporates socio-economic variables into its climate services, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of climate change on communities and economies. This integration enables the development of targeted strategies to address social and economic challenges arising from climate variability.

Adaptation and Preparation

  • NFCS supports efforts to prepare for new climate conditions by providing reliable climate predictions and trends. This information assists sectors such as water supplies, health, agriculture, and energy generation in planning for potential changes in climate patterns.
  • By understanding the impacts of climate change on various sectors, NFCS helps in the formulation of adaptation strategies. These strategies can include developing climate-resilient infrastructure, implementing water conservation measures, and adopting sustainable agricultural practices. NFCS plays a crucial role in guiding these adaptation efforts to minimize the negative impacts of climate change.

Implementation of NFCS

  • Several countries like Switzerland, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom have already launched their NFCS initiatives.
  • India has recently initiated the NFCS with a workshop held in Pune, involving key stakeholders. The country is in the process of finalizing the NFCS statement after obtaining consensus from partnering stakeholders.
  • Given the increasing frequency of climate-related extreme events, early implementation and acceleration of NFCS are crucial. A mission-driven approach, guided by India's highest decision-making office, is essential for its successful implementation.

Challenges in NFCS Implementation

  • Data Gaps and Quality: Inaccurate or insufficient climate data hampers the effectiveness of NFCS. Addressing data gaps and ensuring data quality is essential for reliable climate services.
  • Technological Infrastructure: Outdated technology and inadequate infrastructure can hinder data collection, analysis, and dissemination. Investing in modern technology is crucial for enhancing the efficiency of NFCS.
  • Capacity Building: Building the capacity of professionals and stakeholders to interpret and use climate data effectively is a challenge. Training programs and workshops are necessary for skill development.
  • Funding and Resources: Adequate funding is essential for the successful implementation of NFCS. Limited financial resources and competing priorities can pose challenges in resource allocation.
  • Policy Integration: Integrating climate services into policies and decision-making processes across sectors is complex. Coordinating efforts among various governmental departments is necessary for seamless integration.
  • Community Engagement: Ensuring that climate information reaches local communities, especially in rural areas, and is understandable and actionable is a challenge. Effective communication strategies are needed.

Way Forward

  • Strengthen Data Collection: Invest in expanding weather observation stations, satellite technology, and advanced climate modelling. Collaborate with research institutions for data validation and quality assurance.
  • Enhance Technological Infrastructure: Upgrade technological systems for data analysis and dissemination. Implement cloud-based solutions and modern data analytics tools for the efficient processing of large datasets.
  • Capacity Building: Conduct regular training programs and workshops for meteorologists, policymakers, and sector-specific professionals. Enhance their skills in utilizing climate data for decision-making.
  • Increase Public Awareness: Launch public awareness campaigns to educate communities about climate change and the availability of climate services. Empower citizens to understand and use climate information for their benefit.
  • Policy Advocacy: Work closely with policymakers to integrate climate services into national and regional policies. Advocate for the inclusion of climate considerations in development plans and strategies.
  • International Collaboration: Collaborate with other countries and international organizations for knowledge exchange and best practices sharing. Participate in global climate initiatives to leverage expertise and resources.
  • Innovation and Research: Encourage research and innovation in climate modeling, prediction techniques, and data analysis. Support research institutions and startups working on climate-related technologies.
  • Community Participation: Involve local communities in the process. Gather indigenous knowledge and integrate it with scientific data. Engage community leaders and local institutions in climate adaptation efforts.
  • Regular Evaluation: Establish mechanisms for regular evaluation and feedback. Monitor the effectiveness of implemented strategies and make necessary adjustments based on outcomes and challenges faced.


The NFCS in India is a vital step toward enhancing the country's climate resilience, fostering informed decision-making, and addressing the challenges posed by climate change in various sectors. Its alignment with the global framework and collaboration with key stakeholders highlight its significance in the context of climate services and information dissemination.

Practice Question

Q. How can the National Framework for Climate Services be effectively implemented to address climate challenges and promote resilience in communities, considering the various obstacles such as data gaps, technological limitations, and policy integration complexities?