Systematic Observations Financing Facility

Systematic Observations Financing Facility

Weather and Climate Information for the Global Public Good

The Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) will support countries to generate and exchange basic observational data critical for improved weather forecasts and climate services. It will provide technical and financial assistance in new ways – applying internationally agreed metrics - the requirements of the Global Basic Observing Network (GBON) - to guide investments, using data exchange as a measure of success, and creating local benefits while delivering on a global public good. The SOFF will contribute to strengthen climate adaptation and resilience across the globe, benefitting in particular the most vulnerable.

The creation of the SOFF is spearheaded by the World Meteorological Organization in collaboration with a wide range of international organizations, including the members of the Alliance for Hydromet Development. The Alliance unites efforts of major development and climate finance partners to close the capacity gap on high-quality weather forecasts, early warning systems and climate information. (See European Statement of support).

The Challenge

Improving our ability to forecast extreme weather events and predict the changing climate is critical to manage risks effectively, understand adaptation needs and plan accordingly with systematic and anticipatory action. Climate change and extreme weather events are now threatening lives and hampering global efforts to reduce poverty. Accurate weather forecasts and climate prediction is critical for all sectors and in particular for those that rely heavily on weather and climate, such as agriculture, transport, renewable energy and insurance. 

The Opportunity

In 2019, the World Meteorological Congress and its 193 member countries and territories agreed to establish the Global Basic Observing Network (GBON). As a landmark agreement, GBON offers a new approach in which the basic surfacebased weather observing network is designed, defined and monitored at the global level.

The Solution

The Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) will support countries to generate and exchange basic surface-based observational data critical for improved weather forecasts and climate services. SOFF will contribute to strengthen resilient development and climate adaptation locally, regionally and across the globe, particularly benefiting the most vulnerable.

The Implementation

It is envisioned that SOFF will start operating with an initial five-year implementation period, during which it will prioritize support to SIDS and LDCs. An independent external evaluation is envisaged in the fourth year of the initial implementation period. The evaluation will include an assessment of the results-based funding approach to ensure that it is working as intended. 

The Target

SOFF at the intersection of national and global, resilient development and climate benefits.

The Partnership

SOFF will be a partnership between the beneficiary countries, bilateral and multilateral SOFF funding partners, envisioned private sector contributors, and the SOFF operational partners.

Download the SOFF brochure from the WMO Library in both ENGLISH and FRENCH.

Download the SOFF Executive Summary from the WMO Library in ENGLISH.

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Secretary-General's video remarks at launch of the First Hydromet Gap Report

8 July 2021 - I am pleased to welcome the first Hydromet Gap report. I thank the 13 member organizations of the Alliance for Hydromet Development for highlighting the urgent need to close the capacity gap on high-quality weather forecasts, early warning systems and climate information. This is essential for building resilience in the face of climate change. Frightening heatwaves and other climate events emphasize our growing crisis. The past decade was the hottest on record. 

It’s critical that we invest in better global weather and climate observations

9 February 2021 - You may have noticed that weather forecasts on your cellphone are reasonably accurate for the next three to five days, but very iffy eight to 10 days out. This may not matter much to you, except when you are planning a camping or sailing trip, or an outdoor event, like a wedding. But it matters a lot to a farmer who has to decide on optimal timing for planting, harvesting, and irrigation, or an electric utility manager who needs to plan for the expected supply of solar or wind energy to the grid.