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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.
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.
While in Washington, D.C., the Secretary-General had high-level meetings with senior U.S. Government officials to discuss the WMO constituent body reform and new WMO Strategic Plan. He met with the new interim administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Dr Neil Jacobs and U.S. Permanent Representative to the WMO, Director of the National Weather service (NWS), Dr Louis Uccellini. They discussed the integrated Earth system approach that drives the WMO reform progress in public private partnership engagement and the WMO budget.
The WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate 2018 report was launched on 28 March at a joint press conference with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, United Nations General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés and WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas at United Nations headquarters in New York.
The objective of the WMO reform is to increase the Organization’s effectiveness and efficiency, and to better engage Members and experts.
Petteri Taalas of Finland, first appointed in 2015, was re-appointed WMO Secretary-General for a further four year-term. Congress elected Gerhard Adrian of Germany as the new WMO President for a four-year term in office with effect from the end of Congress on 14 June.
The need to tackle climate change and predict and pre-empt its future impacts has added new imperatives to bringing down the barriers between scientific fields, policymakers, business and wider society.
Paving the way for a radical overhaul of the international exchange of observational data which underpin all weather, climate and water services and products, Congress approved the establishment of a Global Basic Observing Network (GBON).
Congress also endorsed a package of measures to strengthen early warnings against hazards like floods and tropical cyclones, and to ensure that these become part and parcel of humanitarian operations. It decided to spur work on a Global Multi-hazard Alert System that would pool information from national and regional systems that already exist, or are being planned.