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As a specialized agency of the United Nations and on behalf of its 191 Members, WMO is committed to achieving the goals and targets laid out in global development frameworks, above all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. On SDG number 5 "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls," WMO is mainstreaming gender issues in its governance, working structures, programmes and service delivery by attracting more women into scientific fields and improving their access to technology, information, science education and technical training. This commitment strengthens the position of women as scientists, technologists and users of weather, water and climate services and fosters increased participation of women in weather and climate policy and decision-making.

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The Sustainable Development Goals will shape the international development agenda and transform the course of the 21st century through action to end poverty, inequality and violence, particularly against women. Achieving gender parity and women’s leadership are indisputable prerequisites for addressing these global challenges. The standalone Goal 5 on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment...

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The Global Programme Water (GPW) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and its partners strives to meet the global challenges associated with the management of water resources through its many projects and activities. At the beginning of the 21st century, these efforts aim to improve global water security within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In particular, they support the implementation of the Sustainable...

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The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is a decision-support activity that produces timely, evidence-based information on food insecurity. It supports humanitarian-response programming while helping to reveal the root causes of food insecurity around the world.

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A great deal of data on sustainable development was gathered in the lead up to the adoption in 2015 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (S.A.M.O.A.) Pathway and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. One observed trend deserves particular attention:  casualty risk for hydrometeorological hazards – the number of...

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The project for Community-based Approaches to Flood Management in Thailand and Lao People’s Democratic Republic developed self-help capabilities in flood-prone communities in the two countries. The Associated Programme on Flood Management, a joint WMO/Global Water Partnership initiative, worked alongside the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre and a range of country partners for the three years of the project – from June 2013 to March 2016. With funding from USAID through WMO,...

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Hydrometeorological extremes account for more than 90% of all disasters caused by natural hazards recorded between 1994-2013.2 Floods, storms, droughts and extreme temperatures alone affected more than 3 billion people, claimed about 600 000 lives and caused about US$ 2 trillion in direct economic damages during the same period. According to Global Facility for Disaster Reduction (GFDR) of the World Bank, economic assessment of meteorological and hydrological services indicates that as many as 23 000 lives could be saved and up to US$ 65 billion in economic benefits could be realized if National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) were strengthened to produce better forecast, information and warning services.

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Photographer: Luke Romick Photographer: Ramanambahoaka Tolotra Andriamparany Mickael
Access to clean water sources brings new life to a community in the village of Mcuba, Swaziland.

During a heatwave, water is a great source of joy

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WMO has continuously focused on promoting and facilitating the development of capabilities within National Hydrological Services in order to assist them in providing the best possible products and services for securing sound and sustainable water resources worldwide. This has been the Organization aim since it began working on issues in operational hydrology and water resources in 1961. Despite the numerous technological and computational advancements in hydrology, the focus has remained on the fundamental needs for robust water resources management and decision-making; that is, data and forecasting.

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Bangladesh is located downstream of three large river basins: the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna river basins. The total catchment area of these basins is 1.72 million km², with almost 93% of the catchment area situated outside the territories of Bangladesh – in Bhutan, China, India and Nepal. The topography, location and discharge from each of these three basins shape the annual hydrological cycle of the country.