World Climate Research Programme Open Science Conference 2023

A once-in-a-decade scientific research conference takes place in Kigali this month, bringing together leading experts from the climate, environment, and related communities to discuss the defining challenge of our time – climate change.
World Climate Research Programme Open Science Conference 2023

The Open Science Conference of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) will take place in Kigali, Rwanda, at the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC), and online, from 23 to 27 October 2023, hosted by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) on behalf of the Government of Rwanda and the University of Rwanda. The International Science Council (ISC) is a partner and co-sponsor of the event.

This once-in-a-decade conference will bring together the climate, environment, and related communities to discuss the latest developments in climate science and explore the transformative actions urgently needed to ensure a sustainable future. Taking place at a critical moment in Earth’s history, the outcome of all conference sessions will culminate with the “Kigali Declaration” – a conference statement that will be submitted to the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) taking place in the United Arab Emirates immediately after the Conference.

The Open Science Conference takes place at a critical moment in an extraordinary year for the climate. Earth has been gripped by extreme heat both on land and at sea, with temperature records not just broken but shattered. Antarctic sea ice extent is tracking at historically low levels. Other climate indicators are equally alarming.

The conference is organized according to three major themes:

Advances in Climate Research
Showcasing progress and future challenges in understanding Earth’s climate system, and advances in climate science capacity around the world. Sessions will cover, inter alia, climate processes; gaps identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; energy, water and carbon cycles; climate modelling, observations and model-data fusion.

Human Interactions with Climate
Analyzing key drivers and impacts of climate change (past, current and future), identifying risks to human and ecosystem health. Sessions will cover, inter alia, climate extremes and associated risks and impacts; water availability, food, ecosystems, health and cities in a changing climate.

Co-produced Climate Services and Solutions
Connecting scientific knowledge, planning, decision-making and policy processes. Sessions will cover, inter alia, near-term regional and climate change information for adaptation and mitigation; climate scenarios; climate intervention research.

The full Conference programme is available here.

Promoting early-career researchers’ voices on climate

In conjunction with the Conference, WCRP is also conducting a dedicated two-day Symposium for Early and Mid-Career Researchers (EMCR) on 22 and on 28 October 2023. A strong EMCR presence and involvement are expected during the main conference. The Symposium is hosted by the African Institute of Mathematical Science (AIMS) Rwanda and is collaboratively being planned with EMCR networks.

Grand Challenges

The Conference will celebrate the achievements of WCRP’s Grand Challenges. These are extremely successful WCRP activities that will close at the end of 2022.

Conference Format and Location

The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), on behalf of the Government of Rwanda, provided a strong proposal to host the WCRP OSC 2023 in Kigali, at the Kigali Convention Centre, and will support WCRP to delivery of the hybrid conference. 

This event at the heart of the African continent will allow strong engagement with research communities, stakeholders and practitioners in Rwanda and the region. This will be facilitated by joint efforts with local partners, such as the Rwanda Meteorology Agency and the University of Rwanda.

The WCRP OSC 2023 Scientific Organising Committee has already started to discuss the format of the conference to ensure that it will foster future climate science leadership, through workshops, public exhibits, forums, and other associated events. A fundraising drive is also in place, as well discussions on innovative ways to deliver effective remote participation options to ensure inclusion and engagement while minimizing our carbon footprint.

About WCRP
The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) coordinates research around some of the most pressing scientific questions in relation to the compounded nature of the climate system, to find answers together with all nations, looking at it from multitude of disciplines.

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