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Professor Laban Ayieko Ogallo, a pioneer in meteorological education and research, passed away on 19 November after a short illness. Born in Kenya on 20 January 1950, Prof Ogallo was devoted to the scientific community and contributed significantly to innovations in meteorology in Africa.
Dr Netatua (Neta) Pelesikoti, a respected environmental scientist, passed away suddenly on 11 November 2020 in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Described as a true Pacific Warrior and “Queen of Disaster Risk Reduction”, Dr Pelesikoti was visionary, inspirational and dedicated to building the resilience of all Pacific countries.
FOCUS-Africa, a new climate services initiative launched in September, hosted its first internal stakeholder workshop from 30 November to 1 December and an external workshop on 9 December.
David Grimes, former WMO President (2011-2019), will become a Member of the Order of Canada for his outstanding leadership in meteorology and for his pioneering development of a global strategy on climate change and disaster-risk preparedness.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced WMO and the international community, to rethink its working methods and to adapt many capacity development, education and training activities to address the needs of Members and ensure business continuity.
WMO announced its new webpage that acts as a one-stop-shop for Members to access practical WMO polar information relevant to shipping at the fourth Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum organized by the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME).
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and WMO signed a new agreement on 26 October to increase and improve automated reporting of meteorological data by commercial aircraft in support of weather and forecasting.
WMO Regional Association (RA) VI (Europe) held its 18 th Session virtually on 20 November with over 227 participants, representing 48 WMO Members and 7 international organizations. RA VI president Dr Michael Staudinger opened the session with a progress report on the achievements since the last session and expressed appreciation for the support provided by the Secretariat despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A landmark WMO Data Conference has set the scene for an overall modernization of the roles, rules and requirements for the international exchange of observations and other data pertaining to Earth systems. The virtual event, which took place from 16 to 19 November, brought together more than 1 200 participants from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), the private sector, space agencies, global data providers and users, academia and international and development partner organizations. WMO convened the conference to review the requirements and arrangements for data...
The first session of the WMO Infrastructure Commission (INFCOM), held from 9 to 13 November, adopted a number of key decisions and recommendations. Despite the challenge of the pandemic, which forced the Session to be held virtually, it was attended by 343 participants representing WMO Members and partner organizations.