Switzerland supports meteorological project to benefit developing countries
Bern, 03.04.2020 - At its meeting on 3 April 2020, the Swiss Federal Council decided that Switzerland would support a new World Meteorological Organization (WMO) programme intended to improve the production and transmission of meteorological information so that authorities and people can better protect themselves from extreme weather events. The programme will provide UN agencies and humanitarian actors with new services for optimising emergency response, especially in the event of hurricanes or flooding in developing countries.
Weather hazards often lead to major disasters. Early warning systems enable authorities, non-governmental organisations and affected residents to take targeted measures to protect themselves against the threat of extreme events, but access to reliable meteorological services and information is often difficult in developing and emerging countries.
Building broad-based collaboration
The WMO wishes to strengthen collaboration between its member states in a bid to improve this situation. A new coordination mechanism is to be developed to make information and expert advice on weather and climate available to the United Nations and to governmental and non-governmental organisations. These services are to be provided before, during and after emergencies and disasters caused by weather events with a view to assisting response and relief efforts.
With the support of its members, the WMO will build a network of national weather services, specialist regional weather centres and regional offices. A coordination centre will be created to enable data to be collected, recorded centrally within this network and passed on to the relevant agencies. Switzerland is contributing CHF 4.7 million to the establishment and implementation of the coordination centre as part of the programme's pilot phase. The Federal Department of Home Affairs (represented by MeteoSwiss) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (represented by SDC) are providing the required technical and specialist resources. The financing arrangements will be reviewed upon the conclusion of the pilot phase in 2023. The coordination centre is to be located at the headquarters of the WMO Secretariat in Geneva.
Emerging and developing countries, which do not always have adequate infrastructure for the production and transmission of weather data at present, can access these new services upon request.
Address for enquiries
Barbara Galliker, Head of Communication, MeteoSwiss, email@example.com, +41 58 460 97 00
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Communication Division