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AI4EWS 2023

Artificial Intelligence for Climate Risk Mitigation

Navigating Opportunities and Challenges

October 22nd 2023 @ WCRP Open Science Conference (Kigali, Rwanda)

BLOG: Artificial intelligence and anticipatory action: a conversation


Climate-related risks threaten lives and livelihoods along the globe. Floods, Droughts, Heatwaves, Tropical Storms, and Wildfires are among the most devastating natural hazards. Forecasts and Early Warning of Hazards and their induced impacts gives means to mitigate damages. Weather forecasts for fast-onset hazards such as floods and seasonal forecasts for slow-onset hazards such as drought are used in anticipatory action to protect lives and livelihood before the disaster strikes.  Beyond that time-scale preparedness and targeted longer term social and material investments can help reduce vulnerability, and thus risk. For a prioritization of measures an anticipation of longer-term vulnerabilities is important. We conjecture that recent developments in AI can help for both time-scales.

Through this workshop organized by the RISK KAN, ELLIS Unit Jena, German Red Cross and Croix Rouge Malagasy, we intended to explore if, how, and where Artificial Intelligence promised to fundamentally push climate risk mitigation. For this purpose, we established a dialogue between humanitarian practitioners and machine learning researchers. We discussed recent advances in AI for early warning, remaining challenges in the field, and possible ways forward to make AI accessible for the humanitarian community.

Invited Speakers

Anastasiya Shyrokaya

Uppsala University

Md Nasir

Microsoft AI for Good

Naomi Ng'ang'a

Kenya Red Cross

Nishadh Kalladath

IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) / NORCAP

Peter Düben

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)

Peter Gilruth

World Agroforestry (ICRAF)

Racine Ly


Raihanul Haque Khan

Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES)

Salohy Zananirina

Croix Rouge Malagasy

More Coming Soon.


9:30 Arrival and Badge Pick Up
Setting the scene
10:00 Introduction to the workshop Ignite presentations:
  • Earth as complex system, early warning, systemic risk
  • Anticipatory action: What is it? What are information needs and gaps?
  • Introduction to the Malagasy case study
Impact-based forecasting for drought
11:30 Malagasy case study: Experiences with drought
Ignite presentations with speakers from Uppsala University, Akademiya2063 and Max Planck
Group discussions
13:00 Lunch
Understanding risks and impacts: exposure and vulnerability
14:00 Malagasy case study: Understanding risks
Ignite presentations with speakers from Microsoft, Kenya Red Cross and ICRAF
Group discussions
The next generation of flood and storm forecasting
15:45 Malagasy case study: Responding to floods and storms
Ignite presentations with speakers from ECMWF, ICPAC and RIMES
Group discussions
What is next? Consolidating the discussion!
17:00 Critical reflections and discussion of the way forward in an interactive format
18:00 End of the workshop
All times in Kigali Time (UTC+02:00)


Vitus Benson

Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry

Karen Dall

German Red Cross

Markus Reichstein

Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry