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WMO, the World Bank and its Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) have committed to intensify joint action in order to improve country capacities that build resilience to extreme weather events, climate and disaster impacts. The Action Plan for scaling up collaboration was signed during a meeting on 1 April between World Bank interim President Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank Vice-President Laura Tuck and WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
Heat risks remain a silent disaster. The First Global Forum on Heat and Health, held in Hong Kong, China, from 17 to 20 December 2018, addressed that challenge and launched the Global Heat Health Information Network (the Network). Over the four-day event, 120 interdisciplinary practitioners and researchers from 33 countries provided fresh, real-world perspectives on heat health risk management across diverse fields, such as medical science, urban planning, meteorology, and economics.
The Coastal Inundation Forecasting Demonstration Project (CIFDP) has been developing and implementing a Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (MHEWS) for coastal flooding, from both rivers and the ocean, for the last ten years. Since its establishment in 2009, three demonstration projects have been completed – Bangladesh (2017), Caribbean (2018), Indonesia (2019) – and a fourth, Fiji, is on-track for completion by the end of 2019.
Joint session of Mediterranean, South East European, Northern Africa and Arab Climate Outlook Forums was held in Cairo, Egypt, from 26 to 29 November 2018. The Forum produced a seasonal climate outlook for the 2018-2019 boreal winter season over the entire Mediterranean region, as well as sub-regional outlooks for South East Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, and agreed on a common approach to ensure harmonized information across overlapping areas.
WMO hosted the first Symposium and User Summit of the Integrated Global Greenhouse Gas Information System (IG3IS), one of the recent initiatives of the WMO Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Programme, from 13 to 15 November in Geneva.
A new joint WMO/World Bank commitment was announced with the creation of an Alliance for Hydromet Development aimed at boosting climate and weather science and information for a resilient world. The initiative was announced on 12 October at an event on “Investing in a Climate Adapted World” held during the 2018 International Monetary Fund/World Bank Group Annual Meetings in Bali, Indonesia.
WMO has joined the global commitment to reduce deaths due to air pollution by two thirds by 2030. At the First World Health Organization (WHO) Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, held in Geneva from 30 October to 1 November, WMO pledged to improve the quality and availability of pollution observations, enable provision of air quality forecasts and advisory services, and incorporate health impacts in key scientific assessments on climate and climate change.
WMO, together with the Government of Germany and the Geneva Water Hub, held a Mobilization for Water Data and Peace event on 27 November. Representatives from the Permanent Missions in Geneva attended to help advance the water data and peace agenda for sustainable development and to advocate for easily accessible and reliable water data to inform policy and decision-making in their national governments.