The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)
Future Developments
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WMO in y 21st Century

WMO faces many new challenges at the turn of the millennium. A range of external and internal factors, political and socio-economic developments and advances in science and technology will affect the Organization in the future. WMO intends to turn these challenges into opportunities.

Geneva Declaration

On 26 May 1999, the World Meteorological Congress adopted a universal declaration outlining the mission of the world meteorological community and calling upon all governments of the world "to contribute significantly to the reduction of the loss of life and property damage caused by natural disasters and other catastrophic events and to safeguard the environment and the global climate for present and future generations of humankind".

The Declaration, named the "Geneva Declaration", urges all governments to provide financial support to operate and maintain the required basic infrastructure, monitoring and services in the national and global public interest; and that such support be strengthened where needed.

The Declaration underlines the contributions already made by and through WMO in response to the United Nations General Assembly's appeal for a greater action to mitigate climate-related natural disasters and climate change. In particular, it highlights the role of "the global ensemble of national Meteorological and Hydrometeorological Services which is crucial to international strategies for the protection of the global environment such as addressing climate change and stratospheric ozone depletion issues, among others." The Declaration further underlines the importance of a unique and integrated international system for the observation, collection, processing and dissemination of meteorological and related data and products, implemented within the framework of WMO's World Weather Watch.

WMO's Long-Term Plan

The Fourth Long-Term Plan lays down a positive and effective set of actions that can be achieved by WMO through the next decade, leading to better worldwide meteorological and hydrological services with long-lasting benefits to all nations.

Major Objectives 1996-2005

WMO's major objectives for 1996-2005 encompass both the basic activities necessary to ensure the provision and enhancement of national and international meteorological and hydrological services, and the broad sectors and issues to be addressed during the decade. They are:

Global Observations: To foster the effective integration of global and regional programmes for comprehensive and reliable observation of the state of the global atmosphere and the entire earth system; and the free and unrestricted international exchange of these observations between national Meteorological and Hydrological Services;

Public Services, Welfare and Safety: To ensure that all countries achieve better public understanding of the value of, and increased community benefit from, weather information, and improved weather and flood forecast and warning services provided by national Meteorological and Hydrological Services;

Natural Disaster Mitigation: To contribute to the goals of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction through the implementation of improved detection, prediction and warning systems as well as through the implementation of weather modification systems, aimed at safety of life and reduction of the social and economic impact of natural disasters;

Specialized meteorological and hydrological services: To assist Members to satisfy the requirements of the growing number of users of specialized meteorological and hydrological services and to give specific attention to transportation safety; provision of food, fibre and fresh water; land use planning; and energy production and use;

Climate:To ensure that WMO exerts effective international leadership in climate monitoring, research, and applications including global climate prediction, and provides an authoritive international scientific voice on matters related to climate and climate change;

Environmental quality: To contribute, through scientifically sound monitoring and research, to understanding, arresting and reversing the degradation of the atmosphere, the marine and hydrological environments and, using WMO capabilities, to provide effective warnings of impending environmental emergencies and disasters;

Sustainable development: To contribute, through meteorological, hydrological and oceanographic monitoring, research and prediction facilities and programmes of national Services, to environmentally sustainable development in all countries;

Capacity building: To bridge the gap between national and Meteorological and Hydrological Services of developing and developed countries through a coordinated stategic approach to assistance in preparing country plans, promoting public awareness, education and training and technical cooperation, as well as identifying possible funding mechanisms;

Commercial activities: To build an effective harmonious and mutually supportive relationship between the public and private sectors of the meteorological and hydrological communities in the provision of commercial meteorological and hydrological services.