The World Meteorological Organization and the China Meteorological Administration have set up a trust fund to underpin regional cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative.
The trust fund will facilitate implementation of an agreement signed in 2017 to promote meteorological support for the initiative. This includes work in disaster risk reduction, climate services, integrated observation, research and capacity development by reinforcing regional meteorological exchanges and collaboration, to upgrade regional disaster monitoring, forecasting and early warning capabilities and resilience to combat climate change.
The trust fund agreement was signed by CMA Administrator Liu Yaming and WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas during the WMO Executive Council session.
The Initiative of jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road was proposed by China. It is open for cooperation. It covers, but is not limited to, the area of the ancient Silk Road. It is open to all countries, and international and regional organizations for engagement, so that the results of the concerted efforts will benefit wider areas.
Along Belt and Road regions, rainstorms, flooding, typhoons, heat waves and drought, low temperature and cold waves are frequent. All countries are faced with shared challenges such as meteorological disaster prevention and reduction, and response to climate change.
As part of the meteorological cooperation, China on 5 June launched the Fengyun-2H meteorological satellite. As the westernmost on-duty satellite in geostationary meteorological satellites layout of China, FY-2H can provide custom-made services for countries along Belt and Road regions, and data support for weather prediction and disaster prevention and mitigation.
In response to a request from WMO and the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO), the set point position of FY -2H was moved westward by 7.5°, to 79°East, according to CMA Administrator Liu Yaming.
It will be positioned over the Indian Ocean and can provide targeted observations every five minutes of one third of the Earth’s territories from Oceania to Central Africa. It can provide favourable observation perspectives and custom-made high frequency sub-regional observation for countries and regions like West Asia, Central Asia, Africa, and Europe, Ms Liu told the signing ceremony of the trust fund.
“There are big needs and we have high expectations of you,” said Mr Taalas.
Mr Taalas said that the establishment of the Trust Fund for meteorological support for the Belt and Road initiative was the latest example of China sharing its expertise with other countries. He cited CMA’s education and training programmes for developing countries.
WMO can also benefit from China’s experience with urban services and air quality, multi-hazard early warning systems and impact based forecasts, as well as engagement with the private sector, Mr Taalas said.