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2021 must be the year for climate action – “the make it or break it year,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres at the launch of WMO’s report on the State of the Global Climate 2020 which highlighted accelerating climate change indicators and worsening impacts.
This year’s World Meteorological Day on 23 March was devoted to the theme “the ocean, our climate and weather” and was selected to highlight the start of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 to 2030).
The 18th session of the WMO Regional Association for North America, Central America and the Caribbean (RAIV) in February focused on how to improve service delivery, disaster risk reduction and climate resilience in the context of the WMO Reform and the unprecedented situation with the COVID 19 pandemic.
The 18th Session of the Regional Association I (RAI-18, Africa), held virtually on 18-19 March, focused predominantly on the WMO Reform and established a High-level Task Team to lead the Regional Concept for Regional Associations (RAs). In addition, the session established Committees on Services, Infrastructure and Research and on Capacity Development to align with the new WMO Governance Structure.
The 5th African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET-5) Session, which took place virtually on 17 March, elected a new Bureau and adopted the revised Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology (AMCOMET) Strategy (Weather and Climate Services).
The four-year HIGHWAY project in East Africa has come to an end, having demonstrated how improved weather, water and climate services save lives and livelihoods and support socio-economic development of vulnerable communities.
On 2 February, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) held an event in Abuja for the launch of the 2021 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) to provide information on expected climate patterns in relation to the various sectors of the country. The live-streamed event was attended by state governors, several ministers and parliamentarians as well as other top government dignitaries, academics, traditional rulers, farmers and students.
Agriculture plays an important role in the national economy of Madagascar as well as in the household revenues and food security of a large part of its population. Thus, to improve the accuracy of its agrometeorological products, Madagascar’s Direction Générale de la Météorologie (National Meteorological Service, DGM) launched a five-year collaboration in 2017 with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ) and the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) for the Adaptation of Agricultural Value Chains to Climate Change (PrAda) project.
India’s National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), in its Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), has designed and tested a submerged tsunami buoy system as an alternative to conventional DART surface tsunami buoy system currently used globally. The International Tsunameter Partnership (ITP), a Task Team under the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel, has been coordinating the technological development of submerged tsunameters and has developed best practice method for its use and coordinated the sharing of water level data with NOAA National Data Buoy Center.
The WMO Global Campus virtual event on Responding to Challenges Beyond the New Normal, held online from 20 to 22 January, gathered over 175 participants to develop action plans to address COVID-19 related challenges in education and training.