WMO South American Regional Association calls for better weather and climate services
Bogota, Colombia, 29 September 2010 (WMO) – Meteorologists in South America have pledged to give priority to improving forecasting and warning capabilities, strengthening observations and telecommunications networks, establishing regional climate centres and implementing disaster risk management strategies.
The decisions were taken at a week-long meeting of the World Meteorological Organization’s South American Regional Association in Bogota, Colombia. Delegates from 13 South American countries agreed on the need for coordinated efforts to provide better meteorological and hydrological services in the region, as well as more accurate climate products to better understand climate variability and climate change and cope with its increasing impacts.
“The economic crisis has been a serious constraint but many critical issues like climate change persist and adaptation to its impacts remains key, so we can no longer wait for the crisis to conclude before reaffirming the need to support National Meteorological and Hydrological Services as investments in sustainable development and the protection of lives and property,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud told the meeting.
Mr Jarraud said that National Meteorological and Hydrological Services were increasingly concerned with “crucial socio-economic issues like health, food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable development, as well as the increasing toll of climate variability and change and natural disasters, representing a major obstacle to economic growth in vulnerable countries.”
The Regional Association identified several priorities for its future work. These include:
- Further improvement of the forecasting and warning capabilities of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in the Region.
- The permanent enhancement and upgrading of the observations and telecommunication networks in the region.
- The establishment of regional climate centers on a pilot basis, allowing them to evolve based on Member’s requirements and in compliance with WMO regulations, as part of the planned Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).
- The implementation of a Climate Watch System in Region III enabling NMHSs to issue climate advisories at national level.
- Encourage the sharing of resources among WMO Members and other organizations and institutions in order to build synergies and to support social and economic development in the Region.
- The strengthening of warning dissemination mechanisms, particularly highlighting the link to media, for the disaster risk management and emergency preparedness coordination.
For the period 2010-2014, the delegates in Bogota elected Ms Myrna Araneda Fuentes (Chile) and Mr Julian Baez Benitez (Paraguay), respectively as president and vice-president of the Regional Association.
WMO’s six regional associations are responsible for coordinating meteorological, hydrological and related activities within their respective regions. They meet every four years and elect the regional president and vice-president.
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