World Meteorological Organization Holds Critical Global Climate Services Discussions in Geneva

La Nina impacts map. Better Climate Services in Offing

Geneva June 26,2013: The World Meteorological Organization(WMO) Intergovernmental Board on Climate Services holds its first session 2 to 5 July 2013 in Geneva to discuss implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). This is a country-driven initiative to provide accurate and accessible climate services to users such as disaster management authorities, water and energy utilities, public health agencies, the transport sector and farmers.

The global push to deliver climate information and services is spearheaded by the World Meteorological Organization in partnership with many other United Nations agencies, the World Bank and partners such as the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.

An estimated 70 countries, many of them in Africa, have inadequate climate services and are ill-equipped to meet the challenges of both natural variations in the climate and human induced climate change.

The Intergovernmental Board on Climate Services seeks to coordinate the contributions of partners and stakeholders to the development of global, regional and national climate services. The Board will discuss the GFCS implementation plan, including progress in the initial priority areas of food security, water management, disaster risk reduction and health. It will also discuss a compendium of projects, resource mobilization and pillars of the GFCS, including a platform to bring the providers and users of climate services together to ensure that the scientific information provided by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services is understandable and useful to a wide variety of different users.

A one-day Dialogue on Practical Action for Operational Climate Services takes place 1 July. WMO President David Grimes and WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud will open the Dialogue. Julia Slingo, Chief Scientist at the UK’s Met Office, will make the keynote address on Enabling Climate Services.

Senior members of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services which provide climate services will speak at the Dialogue, as will representatives of the donor community and users in the humanitarian, agriculture, health and disaster risk reduction communities. The Dialogue, which takes place at the Centre International de ConferencesInternational Conférences Genève will be webcast and is open to the media.

To coincide with the meeting, WMO will issue a report Wednesday 3 July on The Global Climate 2001-2010, A Decade of Extremes. The report analyses global and regional temperatures and precipitation as well as extreme events and their impact on economies and loss of life. There will be a press conference by WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud at 1 pm on 3 July in Salle III at the United Nations in Geneva. Copies of the Summary Report and the press release will be sent to media and a copy of the full report will be available at the www.wmo.int website