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Meet Our Experts: Peter Johnston

Peter is a researcher at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. He participates in Work Package 4 in CONFER, working on training and capacity building.

Tell me a bit about your role at the University of Cape Town

I work at the University of Cape Town in a climate unit named the Climate System Analysis Group, as a researcher and consultant. I focus on the dissemination, usefulness and uptake of climate information and specifically Seasonal climate forecasts. I recognise that the current, available seasonal products in East Africa are well established, but that interpretation, skill and uptake are still important issues that are in progress.

Why are you excited about the CONFER project and what do you think it could achieve?

Confer is uniquely poised to continue from where the WISER Transform project left off by building up the institutional and personal capacity of East African meteorologists, researchers, agricultural, health, water and other sector decision-makers, through the efficient and  wide-spread use of co-developed climate products. Through the efforts of ICPAC and the cooperation of sector leaders from all the countries, I believe we can really uplift communities and increase food security in the region.

What is your specific role in CONFER?

I am involved in the development and implementation of focused training courses to be held at UCT on an annual basis to provide in-depth and hands-on learning on the interpretation and uptake of Climate products.