Strengthening and Sustaining National Meteorological and Hydrological Services: “Beyond business as usual – closing the capacity gap”
Second Development Partners Conference
Geneva, 21 -22 March, 2018
The second Development Partners Conference brought together representatives from the global hydromet community in a context of exponentially growing weather, climate, and water challenges that translate into increasing importance and demand for hydrometeorological services. Participants agreed that progress made since the first conference in 2016 was not sufficient and explored ways to move beyond business as usual to close the capacity gap between developed and developing countries. The conference brought four main outcomes:
Exploring the possibility of developing a “Global Hydromet Compact” that would create the framework for scaled-up, coordinated, sustained, and more impactful actions.
Scaling up programmatic approaches, taking advantage of increasingly available funding from the Green Climate Fund that expects improved and better coordinated funding proposals.
Scaling up provision of expert services to develop and implement better, more effective, and more sustainable hydromet projects.
Developing a web-based information platform providing value to the whole hydromet community, beyond the scope of WMO’s current Country Profile Database
The conference took place in a context of rapidly increasing global weather, climate and water challenges, translating into increasing importance and demand for hydrometeorological services.
Increasing challenges and demands: 2017 was the costliest year on record in terms of weather-related natural disasters. From hurricanes and wildfires to droughts and floods, global economic losses totaled more than $330 billion. According to the 2018 Global Risks Report four of the five most pressing risks the world is confronted with are related to weather, climate, and water. While demand for information and service provision is increasing, many hydrometeorological institutions in developing countries are confronted with major performance challenges.
Insufficient progress: With exponentially growing challenges and demand, linear progress in delivering hydrometeorological services is not sufficient. Participants agreed that substantial progress is needed to address issues already identified at the first Development Partners Conference in April 2016.
Closing the capacity gap through effective partnerships: The draft WMO Strategic Plan 2020-2023 sets an ambitious Goal – to close the capacity gap on weather, climate, and water services between developed and developing countries. Scaling up effective partnerships is one of the Strategic Objectives to achieve this Goal. As a critical partner to achieve this, the World Bank Group through its Climate Change Action Plan will help bring access to high-quality hydrometeorological data and early warning systems to another 100 million people in 15 developing countries.
Improving and sustaining the Investments: Scaling up effective coordination, shifting focus from a capital-based infrastructure to a service-based approach, innovation and leveraging of partnerships including the private sector are needed to improve the quality of support provided by development partners and the sustainability of investments.