The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Regional Association for Asia (RAII) has held a virtual session with a focus on how to improve service delivery, disaster risk reduction, and climate resilience.
Dr Abdullah Al Mandous, Director of the National Center for Meteorology and Seismology of the United Arab Emirates, was reconfirmed as president of RA II, by consensus. Prof. Dr. Tran Hong Thai, Permanent Representative of S.R. of Viet Nam reconfirmed as Vice President. Dr Sung Kim (Republic of Korea) was reconfirmed as Regional Hydrological Advisor
WMO has six Regional Associations. RAII groups 35 Member states and territories and is the biggest and the most diverse of WMO regions. The Region has a wide geographical surface area, diverse climatic regions, severe weather conditions and natural disasters that are repeatedly witnessed. Many parts of the Region have a high density population and live in fragile infrastructures. Asia continues to be the world’s most disaster prone region.
Implementation of WMO reform in the region and technical aspects related to enhanced services, regional climate centres, observations and data exchange, hydrology and water resources, capacity development and research were among the items on the agenda.
There were excellent discussions on critical matters including the working structures of Regional Association, the Global Basic Observing Network, the Systematic Observations Financing Facility and relations with the private sector, regional and inter-regional cooperation and better engagement with development partners
The new working structures bring close alignment with those of the WMO Technical Commissions and there will be a stronger push for cross fertilization of through participation of regional experts in both processes.
In response to the request on comprehensive review of the WMO regional concept, the RA II established two Task Teams populated with Permanent Representatives:
(i) Task Team on the Regional Concept led by Dr Sahar Tajbakhsh Mosalman, PR of the Islamic Republic of Iran;
(ii) Task Team on Regional Partnership and Sub-regional Cooperation chaired by Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, PR of India;
The Task Team on the Regional Concept will focus on guiding the overall RA II reform approaches and has already submitted recommendations on the new regional working structure, to increase its engagement with the global activities in WMO especially the work of the technical commissions and Research Board.
The following working mechanisms were agreed and Chairs and Vice Chairs identified:
· WG Infrastructure
· WG Services
· Coordination Panel on Hydrology and Water Resources
· Regional Focal Points on Research