The World Meteorological Organization will set up a new programme dedicated to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Territories in a bid to increase their resilience to extreme weather events and other adverse impacts of climate change.
The World Meteorological Congress approved a resolution establishing the new programme to consolidate existing WMO actions to support enhanced weather and climate services in SIDS and Member Island Territories.
Since 1970, more than 650 hydrometeorological disasters have impacted SIDS / Island Territories, affecting more than 35 million people and causing approximately US$ 34 billion in damage. In the latest example, Cyclone Pam caused massive devastation in Vanuatu and other Pacific islands. Accurate early warnings and disaster preparedness limited the human casualties, but the socio-economic cost was huge.
While many SIDS / Island Territories are already strengthening their weather and climate services in their respective countries, they remain isolated geographically and are highly exposed to natural hazards.
During last September’s the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa, WMO launched a partnership for strengthening weather and climate services in SIDS, with assistance from funding from Environment Canada. WMO plans to contribute to the implementation of the “Samoa Pathway” through through the SIDS partnership .
The following results are expected from the partnership through to 2019:
- Improved delivery of weather and climate information services;
- Enhanced human and technical capacities at national and regional climate centers;
- Increased range of products and services delivery to stakeholders;
- South-South / North-South Cooperation fostered;
- Expansion of the infrastructure required for weather and climate research and services.