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Congress also endorsed a package of measures to strengthen early warnings against hazards like floods and tropical cyclones, and to ensure that these become part and parcel of humanitarian operations. It decided to spur work on a Global Multi-hazard Alert System that would pool information from national and regional systems that already exist, or are being planned.
The World Meteorological Congress, held on 3–14 June, approved a package of sweeping reforms to deliver a smart, agile and responsive WMO, fit for the 21st Century. The reform overhauls...
The objective of the WMO reform is to increase the Organization’s effectiveness and efficiency, and to better engage Members and experts.
Petteri Taalas of Finland, first appointed in 2015, was re-appointed WMO Secretary-General for a further four year-term. Congress elected Gerhard Adrian of Germany as the new WMO President for a four-year term in office with effect from the end of Congress on 14 June.
WMO, the World Bank and its Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) have committed to intensify joint action in order to improve country capacities that build resilience to extreme weather events, climate and disaster impacts. The Action Plan for scaling up collaboration was signed during a meeting on 1 April between World Bank interim President Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank Vice-President Laura Tuck and WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
While in Washington, D.C., the Secretary-General had high-level meetings with senior U.S. Government officials to discuss the WMO constituent body reform and new WMO Strategic Plan. He met with the new interim administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Dr Neil Jacobs and U.S. Permanent Representative to the WMO, Director of the National Weather service (NWS), Dr Louis Uccellini. They discussed the integrated Earth system approach that drives the WMO reform progress in public private partnership engagement and the WMO budget.
Heat risks remain a silent disaster. The First Global Forum on Heat and Health, held in Hong Kong, China, from 17 to 20 December 2018, addressed that challenge and launched the Global Heat Health Information Network (the Network). Over the four-day event, 120 interdisciplinary practitioners and researchers from 33 countries provided fresh, real-world perspectives on heat health risk management across diverse fields, such as medical science, urban planning, meteorology, and economics.
The Coastal Inundation Forecasting Demonstration Project (CIFDP) has been developing and implementing a Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (MHEWS) for coastal flooding, from both rivers and the ocean, for the last ten years. Since its establishment in 2009, three demonstration projects have been completed – Bangladesh (2017), Caribbean (2018), Indonesia (2019) – and a fourth, Fiji, is on-track for completion by the end of 2019.
Since the establishment of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) in the 1990s, a small number of NMHSs have assumed responsibility for producing and broadcasting Maritime Safety Information (MSI) on behalf of WMO Members. As of today, the world’s ocean is fully covered under 21 Meteorological Areas (METAREAs), coordinated by 19 countries that invest human, material and financial resources to issue MSI bulletins in 24/7 shifts to the entire maritime community at no charge. This IMO (International Maritime Organization)/ WMO Worldwide Met-Ocean Information and Warning Service (...