Manila Observatory is a non-profit research institution located within the Ateneo de Manila University Campus. Founded by the Jesuits in 1865, Manila Observatory is now a vibrant community of young researchers who  continuously pursue scientific work to address the needs of society.

We are excited to announce that, beginning in April 2024, the Manila Observatory in the Philippines is hosting the Support Unit of the WCRP Academy, the research training advisory and coordination arm of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).

The Manila Observatory is a non-profit research institution that conducts science to empower vulnerable communities to take up the urgent challenges of sustainable development and climate resilience. Engaging local practitioners and decision-makers in a participatory manner, the Manila Observatory co-produces useful and usable climate information for adaptation planning, particularly against climate extremes to which many countries across Southeast Asia are highly vulnerable. The Manila Observatory is also a key member of the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment - Southeast Asia (CORDEX-SEA). 

The WCRP Academy Support Unit is the first of its kind, and also the first such unit located in the Global South. Its creation is a direct response to the Kigali Declaration’s call to the WCRP leadership and its partners to “commit to identifying and implementing timely actions to give equal visibility, voice, and access to opportunity to early career scientists, marginalized scientists, and historically disadvantaged scientific communities, in the work, leadership and global influence of WCRP.” The Kigali Declaration calls for immediate climate action, amplification of the relevance and benefits of climate research to society, and increased accessible and equitable investments towards climate mitigation.

The WCRP Academy aims to equip current and future climate scientists with the knowledge, skills, and attributes required to tackle the world’s most pressing and challenging climate research questions. With the help of the Support Unit, the WCRP Academy will accomplish its mission by serving as a hub connecting climate training providers with users of training, including early career researchers as well as practitioners who require climate information in their decision-making contexts. Its website features an online catalogue of high-quality climate science training.

WCRP Academy Co-Chairs, Melissa Hart (University of New South Wales, Australia) and Chris Lennard (University of Cape Town, South Africa), recognize that having the Academy Support Unit at the Manilla Observatory is a huge asset for WCRP, noting that “colleagues from the Manila Observatory have been at the forefront of the Academy’s development since 2021. They conducted vital in-depth interviews with Global South colleagues to assess their training needs and interests which helped shape the long-term goals of the Academy and they have been responsible for developing the Academy's training catalogue, liaising with various WCRP activities, and supporting the work of the Academy. We are excited to strengthen this relationship with the Manila Observatory over the long-term, and especially Dr Jamero, Manager of our Support Unit.

As Melissa and Chris note, Dr. Ma. Laurice Jamero will serve as Manager of the newly created WCRP Academy Support Unit. Dr. Jamero has extensive work experience in engaging climate scientists to promote science communication and transdisciplinary research, while also building the capacity of local communities to understand and apply climate information. Executive Director of the Manila Observatory, Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, S.J., highlighted the synergies that exist between the work of the WCRP Academy and of the Manila Observatory. “Recognizing our shared mission to continually capacitate people and communities in climate change science and practice, we at Manila Observatory gladly take on this commitment to serve as the support unit of the WCRP Academy. With others, we look forward to strengthening the hub of the Academy and the many convergences and spinoffs that will arise from this hub,” he said. 

The establishment of the Support Unit closely follows the official launch of the WCRP Academy’s website at the 2023-Open Science Conference in Kigali, Rwanda. Since then the number of training providers contributing to the website’s training catalogue has been steadily growing. 

Interested training providers can find details of how to add their training courses to the catalogue on the Academy website