National Climate Change Information System

About the National Framework for Climate Services


The National Framework for Climate Services (NFCS) strives to enable society to better manage the risks and opportunities arising from climate variability and change, especially for those who are most vulnerable to climate related hazards.


The NFCS will mainstream and enhance climate observations and monitoring information, forecasting and prediction and transform these into sector -specific products and applications that can be disseminated widely, and further develop users’ capacity to manage risks of climate variability and change at all levels. This will be done through developing and incorporating science based climate information into planning, policy and practice. To be effective, the NFCS-SA will be user driven, and will address the entire value chain for the production, processing and application of climate services through local, regional and global collaborative efforts. The NFCS-SA will serve as one of enabling tools for South Africa, in the transition towards building a climate resilient country.


The NFCS has five overarching goals, namely:

  • Reducing the vulnerability of society to climate related hazards through better provision of climate information;

  • Advancing the key national development goals through better provision of climate information;

  • Mainstreaming the use of climate information in decision-making;

  • Strengthening the engagement of providers and users of climate services; and

  • Maximising the utility of existing climate service infrastructure.

The NFCS was developed by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment in partnership with the South African Weather Service (SAWS). The SAWS is responsible for the technical leadership in the implementation of the NFCS.

The NFCS is anchored on the following Global Framework for Climate Service pillars:

Observations and Monitoring

The Observations and Monitoring pillar helps ensure that the climate observations necessary to meet the needs of end users are made, managed and disseminated, supported by relevant metadata.

User Interface Platform

User Interface Platform is the pillar of the Framework that provides a structured means for users, climate researchers and climate data and information providers to interact at all levels.

Climate Service Information System

It is the principal mechanism through which information about climate (past, present and future) is routinely collected, stored and processed to generate products and services that inform decision-making processes, often complex, across a wide range of climate-sensitive activities and enterprises.

Research, Modelling and Prediction

The Research, Modelling and Prediction pillar supports the development and improvement of tools and methods that will facilitate the transition of research to operational climate service provision and engender practical applications of climate information.

Capacity Building

The capacity development pillar will strive to enhance existing capabilities that are needed to enable manage climate risk effectively.