WMO Executive Council Approves Road Map for Early Warnings for All

WMO is specifically responsible for Pillar 2, which focuses on detection, observation, monitoring, analysis, and forecasting.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Geneva | Updated: 18-06-2024 12:35 IST | Created: 18-06-2024 12:35 IST
WMO Executive Council Approves Road Map for Early Warnings for All
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The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Executive Council has endorsed a comprehensive road map to expedite the global implementation of life-saving early warning systems. The seventy-eighth session of the Executive Council (EC78), held in Geneva from June 10 to 14, 2024, focused on several critical resolutions, including an Early Warnings for All (EW4All) initiative, a Global Greenhouse Gas Watch, and enhanced actions on the cryosphere.

Early Warnings for All Initiative

One of the key outcomes of EC78 was the adoption of a detailed road map for the EW4All initiative. This plan outlines the vision and actions necessary to improve the delivery and use of multi-hazard early warning systems over the period from 2024-2027, aligning with the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres' target date.

Key Highlights:

Political and Policy Support: The initiative calls for stronger political and policy backing from the international community and governments, coupled with significant investments in infrastructure, technology, and training.

Economic Sense: According to WMO Secretary-General Celeste Saulo, early warning systems provide a nearly tenfold return on investment, highlighting the economic benefits of proactive climate adaptation.

Global Coverage: The road map seeks to extend early warning systems globally, addressing major gaps in small island developing states and least developed countries, where 70% of deaths from climate-related disasters have occurred in the past 50 years.

Priority Hazards: The road map identifies priority hazards such as:

Flash floods and riverine floods

Tropical and extra-tropical storms

Heatwaves, cold waves, and thunderstorms

Drought and coastal inundation

Cryosphere-related hazards like glacial lake outflows

Environmental hazards including wildfires, sand and dust storms, tsunamis, landslides, and volcanic activity

Pillar 2 of EW4All

The EW4All initiative is co-led by WMO and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), with support from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and other partners. WMO is specifically responsible for Pillar 2, which focuses on detection, observation, monitoring, analysis, and forecasting.

Current Gaps:

Only 50% of countries have adequate multi-hazard early warning systems.

Significant observation gaps exist across Africa, parts of the Pacific, and West Latin America.

Many National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) operate with basic or less-than-basic monitoring and forecasting capacity.

Additional Resolutions and Actions

Global Greenhouse Gas Watch: An implementation plan was adopted to enhance the monitoring of greenhouse gases.

Cryosphere: Scaled-up actions were agreed upon to address changes in ice and snow regions.

Climate Monitoring and Services: Resolutions were passed to strengthen climate monitoring, services, research, and innovation.

WMO Coordination Mechanism (WCM): The initiative will support humanitarian actions through projects like Weather 4 UN.

Youth Engagement

The Executive Council adopted a resolution to foster youth engagement in the hydrometeorological community. A Youth Action Plan will be developed to empower young people, aligning with the UN Youth Strategy implemented by 55 United Nations entities.

Notable Recognitions:

IMO Prize: Prof. Tim Palmer was honored as the 68th IMO Prize winner, and Prof. Gerhard Adrian was nominated as the 69th IMO Prize winner.

Future Plans

World Meteorological Day 2025: The theme "Closing the Early Warning Gap Together" was adopted.

Extraordinary Session of Congress: Scheduled for October 20-24, 2025, in Geneva.

This strategic road map and the accompanying initiatives underscore WMO's commitment to enhancing global early warning systems, improving climate resilience, and fostering international cooperation to protect lives and livelihoods from climate-related hazards.

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