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INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS ADDRESS SOCIETAL NEEDS FOR CLIMATE SERVICES
Geneva/Antalya, 16 February 2010 (WMO) – More than 150 scientists from over 80 countries are meeting this week in Antalya, as governments, communities, businesses and resource managers are increasingly challenged to develop and implement programs, policies and procedures that reduce their vulnerability to climate change and climate variability.
Climate change is widely recognized as a most pressing issue. From observations of the climate system, including an increase of about 0,7°C (more or less 0,18°C) in global average surface temperature over the last century, it is now widely understand that human activities increasingly contribute to global warming.
The growing awareness of the impacts of climate change and variability on different sectors should assist decision-makers in integrating climate in sustainable development strategies. It is therefore important to manage the social, environmental and economic impacts of climate change and variability in a structured manner to help affected countries manage climate related risks more efficiently and strengthen their ability to thrive in the future.
From 16 to 18 February 2010, international experts from the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), climate research institutes, universities and environmental monitoring organizations are participating in the Technical Conference on “Changing Climate and Demands for Climate Services for Sustainable Development” in Antalya, Turkey, organized jointly by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), its World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the Turkish State Meteorological Service.
Dr Pierre Bessemoulin, President of the Commission for Climatology, said that “It is imperative that the associated changing demands for climate information are adequately addressed, which needs an unprecedented level of cooperation among countries, science, operational agencies and sectoral decision makers. The results of the Technical Conference will be an important contribution to the Commission as it plans its future activities, during its fifteenth session in Antalya, from 19-24 February 2010”.
Mr Mannava K. Sivakumar, Director of the Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch at WMO, stressed that: “It is important that climate information, products and services be finetuned to support societal adaptation to climate variability and change. The Conference will identify currently available tools, techniques, infrastructure, systems and human capacity within WMO and its partners for serving the user requirements for a range of climate information products and services at all levels".
“During the last sixty years we have witnessed fruitful efforts of WMO on the international cooperation” said Mr Mehmet Caglar, Permanent Representative of Turkey with WMO “but now, more importantly, WMO tries to determine the demands of the climate services for sustainable development, because the mutual aim of almost all societies is sustainable development. The biggest hazard against this development is climate change. Therefore, organizing a conference on the demands of climate services for sustainable development is crucial and should be considered as a milestone”.
The agenda for the Conference includes a one-day joint meeting between the Commission for Climatology (CCl) of WMO and the Joint Scientific Committee (JSC) for the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) cosponsored by WMO, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UNESCO, and the International Council for Science (ICSU). which will focus on how the WCRP climate research community and other partners can work with the CCl to comprehensively address the rapidly emerging societal needs for climate services for adaptation and risk management. The outcomes of the recently held World Climate Conference (WCC-3), which decided to establish the Global Framework for Climate Services, are expected to constitute a key driver for the deliberations at the Technical Conference.
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