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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.

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Professor Sergej Zilitinkevich, a great scientist and leader of numerous international research projects, passed away on Monday, 15 February 2021 after a lengthy illness.

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The development and use of low-cost sensors to monitor reactive air pollutants, particulate matter and greenhouse gases is accelerating. It is a tool leveraged in academic research and regulatory surveillance and is used by individuals, governments and businesses to serve the public. In line with this growing popularity, the Statement on the Low-cost Sensors for Atmospheric Composition virtual event, organized by Global Atmosphere Watch Programme (GAW) on 16 February, launched a new report: An update on low-cost sensors for the measurement of atmospheric composition.

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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. 

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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.

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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).

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The Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) held its first Funders Forum on 24 March. The event underscored the rise in support for the Facility, with declarations from leaders of the United Nations and development and climate finance agencies in the Alliance for Hydromet Development, as well as beneficiary countries and the meteorological community. The creation of SOFF is a commitment and priority of the Alliance for Hydromet Development, which is a coalition of major climate and development finance institutions.

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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.

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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. 

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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.