ABU DHABI, 13th March, 2023 (WAM) — The Regional Conference (RECO) of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Regional Association II (Asia), hosted by the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) in the UAE, kicked off today in Abu Dhabi.
The opening ceremony drew the participation of several senior officials including Faris Al Mazrouei, Advisor in Presidential Court and Chairman of Board of Trustees, NCM; Majid Al Suwaidi, Director-General of COP28; Petri Taalas, WMO Secretary-General; and Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director-General of NCM, President of the Regional Association II (Asia); among others.
Running in a hybrid format from 13th to 16th March 2023, the event gathers over 150 participants including the Ambassadors of RA II Asia’s 35-member countries, key officials from WMO and other UN commissions and offices and the Permanent Representatives of WMO Members from Asia.
RECO aims to provide a forum for the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of RA II to address the emerging issues and challenges, strengthen regional cooperation and enhance partnerships for the implementation of WMO resolutions and decisions in view of regional priorities.
In his opening address, Dr. Al Mandous said, “This forum convenes at a time when the State of Climate in Asia for 2020 and 2021 highlights how climate change impacts are wreaking an ever-increasing human, financial and environmental toll, worsening food security and poverty and holding back sustainable development in ASIA. In 2021 alone, weather and climate related hazards caused damages worth US$ 35.6 billion affecting nearly 50 million people in Asia.
“The one-day high-level event today on the ‘United Nation’s Early Warnings for All initiative’ will give us a great opportunity to brief our key policy and decision makers on the high payoff of investments in weather and climate services in terms of lives saved, property protected, and economic gains achieved.
“For the past 150 years, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services have collected and standardized data which underpin the weather forecasts we now take for granted to improve the wellbeing of present and future generations. The history of WMO data exchange and the New Data Policy is a success story of scientific cooperation to save lives and livelihoods”, Al Mandous added.
The agenda of RECO’s opening day featured a high-level session focusing on the United Nation’s Early Warnings for All initiative.
The session was addressed by Petri Taalas and Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, along with the participation of Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction in the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
Over its four-day run, the conference will discuss an array of topics related to meteorology focusing on three segments including Early Warnings for All, Infrastructure, Integrated Services.
At the end of the conference, a high-level statement of the participants will be released on the UN initiative “Early warning for All” for implementation of climate adaptation.
The statement will commend the launch of the Executive Action Plan for the “Early warning for All” initiative announced during last COP27 and put forward its recommendations in support of the initiative.