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Info Note No.54

For use of the information media. Not an official record


Geneva, 5 May 2009 (WMO) – The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Météo-France are sponsoring on 5-7 May 2009, the “Second Experts’ Symposium on Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems, with focus on the Role of National Hydrometeorological Services”, in Toulouse, France, to review for the first time lessons learnt and examples of good practices in early warning systems in different countries around the world.

This Symposium will build on the outcome of the first session held in 2006 which identified criteria for good practices in early warning systems and several examples of such practices, and recommended future actions. It will bring together top experts from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), disaster risk management agencies, Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, as well as from international and regional agencies.

The main purpose of the Symposium is to develop guidelines and recommendations on the basis of lessons learned from good practices in early warning systems that will be examined including the Shanghai Multi-Hazard Emergency Preparedness Programme, the French “Vigilance” System, the tropical cyclone early warning system in the Republic of Cuba, and the Cyclone Preparedness Programme in Bangladesh. (See also )

Among its priorities, WMO has been working with UN and other international partners and the NMHSs of its 188 Members to ensure early warning systems are an integral component of disaster risk management strategies at national and local levels. It is now widely recognised that early warning systems do have a significant impact. Statistics show that although the number of disasters and economic losses related to disasters due to weather, climate or water extreme events have increased, over the past half century, the losses of life have decreased by a factor of 10.


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Ms Gaëlle Sévenier, Press Officer, Tel.: +41 (0)22 730 8417. Email:

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In Weather and Disaster Risk Reduction Services Department:

Dr Maryam Golnaraghi, Chief, Disaster Risk Reduction Division, Tel.: +41 (0) 22 730 8006, E-mail:

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At Météo France

Sofia Nadir, WMO coordinator for public information, Director of Communication, Météo France. Tel: (+33) 1 45 56 71 74. E-mail:

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