Valuing Weather and Climate: Economic Assessment of Meteorological and Hydrological Services, a new publication from WMO in conjunction with the World Bank Group and the US Agency for International Development, provides an in-depth look of how to assess the socio-economic benefits of meteorological and hydrological services.
It is directed at the hydrometeorological and socioeconomic research and service-provider communities, as well as officials from government and international development agencies.
“This publication aims to breach the barriers between meteorologists and economist to help demonstrate to society what our value is,” said Gerald Fleming Chair of the WMO Commission for Basic Systems Open Programme Area Group on Public Weather Services. “Our value is many things. It is definitely not just monetary value because it is also about socio-economic benefits,” he said during the launch of the publication at a side event during Congress on 28 May.
Mr Fleming said that the book was aimed at helping meteorological and hydrological services make the case for better funding to ministries of finance, donor agencies and stakeholders in private sector.
The review of all past and current social economic benefit analysis performed for the publication indicates that properly planned investments in hydrometeorological services provide significant benefits relative to their costs.
The World Bank Group, with a current hydrometeorological investment portfolio of around US$ 500 million, estimates that globally improved weather, climate, and water observation and forecasting could lead to up to US$ 30 billion per year in increases in global productivity and reduce asset losses related to disasters by up to US$ 2 billion per year, according to Daniel Kull of the World Bank.
Yet, he said, the observation networks are less than half of what they were in the 1970s.
“This is a high priority investment area. There is a huge need for financing and a huge need for justifying the need for financing,” he said.
The book was produced and edited by a team led by Dr Glen Anderson, USAID Climate Change Resilient Development Programme, Daniel Kull, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, World Bank Group, and Haleh Kootval, Public Weather Services Programme, WMO. The publication is available here.