At the beginning of the year, the Government of Canada, through Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), granted 10 million Canadian dollars (US$ 7.5 million) for Building Resilience to High-Impact Hydrometeorological Events through the Strengthening of Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems (MHEWS) in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Southeast Asia. While the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative’s multi-donor trust fund provided US$2.5 million for Strengthening Hydro-Meteorological and Early Warning Systems in the Pacific. With these funds, WMO and its partners will be able to continue to support resilience building and disaster risk reduction (DRR) in Pacific and Caribbean SIDS and in Southeast Asia, in particular through:
- The Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration and DRR Project (SWFDD) in the Southwest Pacific as well as the Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Projects (SWFDPs) in Southeast Asia and the Eastern Caribbean; and
- The Flash Flood Guidance Systems (FFGSs) in Fiji, the Haiti/Dominican Republic, and Southeast Asia.
The ECCC and CREWS Pacific projects will run from 2017 to 2021. The following activities are planned:
- Reviewing capabilities, gaps and needs in relation to risk analysis and forecasting tools for severe weather, flash/riverine floods and drought, including a stock-taking of actors involved and of relevant on-going projects;
- Strengthening governance arrangements and coordination/communication mechanisms within and among the participating NMHSs and their stakeholders;
- Upgrading the forecasting capabilities of the Regional Forecast Support Centre (RFSC) in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, and the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) in Nadi, Fiji, to access and use global, and develop regional and national, data, products, tools and services;
- Providing regional and in-country technical assistance to the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of the participating countries for the development and delivery of impact-based products and services (using those provided by the strengthened Regional Centres); and
- Developing and delivering education and training packages for multiple stakeholders in the countries targeted while enhancing and using the capacities of the WMO Regional Training Centres (RTCs) in Barbados and the Philippines.
Through the strengthening of weather-, water- and climate-related impact-based decision support services, the two projects will reduce human and economic losses associated with meteorological, hydrological and climate-related hazards. The beneficiary countries include:
- In the Pacific region: Fiji and the countries that the RSMC Nadi is serving, namely Kiribati, Niue, Cook Islands and Tuvalu, with some services extending to Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, the Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Palau, Nauru, Marshall Islands and Tokelau.
- In the Caribbean region: Haiti, Dominican Republic and Sint Maarten as well as the Members of the Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO) – Anguilla*, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands*, Cayman Islands*, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat*, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands*. Guadeloupe and Martinique (France) and Puerto Rico (USA) are both beneficiaries and collaborators).
- In Southeast Asia: Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
Launched at the Paris climate change conference in 2015, the CREWS initiative aims to significantly increase the capacity of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and SIDS to generate and communicate effective, impact-based, multi-hazard, gender-informed early warnings and risk information by 2020. CREWS is led by France, with current support from Australia, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. It is being implemented by WMO, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR, hosted by the World Bank).
* Member of the British Caribbean Territories (BCT), a WMO Member Territory