Local observations are important for local purposes, but they also contribute to the global public good. They enable weather forecasts, early warnings and climate analysis across the globe. Weather prediction for any location requires observations from the whole globe. Therefore, it is in all countries’ self-interest to ensure global coverage of observations for weather prediction and climate analysis.
Today, important observational data are missing in several parts of the world, particularly in developing countries. This lack of observational data significantly limits the quality of information used by governments and all stakeholders as the basis for important decisions such as those related to the reduction of the impact of weather and increased resilience to climate challenges.
There is no need to substantially increase finance for systematic observations, but there is a need to provide these resources in new ways through innovative finance that values the global public good that these observations provide, ensures coherence of hydromet development activities, provides long-term finance beyond time-bound projects, incentivizes country performance, and ensures sustainability of investments – beyond business as usual.
The Systematic Observations Financing Facility would provide equitable, predictable and sustainable finance and technical assistance to developing countries, prioritizing support to Africa, Small Island Developing States, and Least Developed Countries. The initial target of the facility is to achieve developing countries’ compliance with the Global Basic Observing Network (GBON) by 2025. Adopted in June 2019 by the World Meteorological Congress with Resolution 32, GBON establishes the obligation for countries to implement a minimal set of surface-based observations. The international exchange of the collected observational data will be mandatory in support of global Numerical Weather Prediction and climate analysis.