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December 2011


UN System Provides Its Perspectives on a Green Economy - A “People-Centered” approach emphasized
Posted on 16 December

Against a backdrop of the multiple crises of the past four years -- financial, economic, food and energy -- the United Nations today launched a report that offers UN agencies and its member states guidance for coordinating the transition to a Green Economy at the international and country levels.

In the first-ever inter-agency report on the Green Economy, the Environment Management Group (EMG), representing the work of UN agencies, the Bretton Woods Institutions and other intergovernmental bodies -- many of whom have a human and social development mandate – outlines steps and policies for pursuing a green economic transformation that generates new sources of sustainable and equitable economic growth that will assist in a global economic recovery. >> full story


WMO and UNCCD work on the foundations to build national drought policies
Posted on 16 December


The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) are laying the foundations to help build coordinated, proactive national policies on drought.

An international organizing committee met in Geneva 13-14 December to make initial plans for a High Level Meeting on National Drought Policy scheduled for March 2013. Droughts rank first among all natural hazards. In 2011, droughts occurred in the Horn of Africa, parts of China and the United States of America and other parts of the world. >> full story


Launch of Polish-language version of World Weather Information Service website
Posted on 13 December

The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) and the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management - National Research Institute (IMGW-PIB) of the Republic of Poland announces today (December 13) the launch of the Polish-language version of the World Weather Information Service (WWIS) website ( of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).  With the launch of the Polish version, WWIS now serves the international public in ten languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. >> full story


Durban conference delivers breakthrough in international community’s response to climate change
Posted on 12 December

(Durban, 11 December 2011) - Countries meeting in Durban, South Africa, have delivered a breakthrough on the future of the international community’s response to climate change, whilst recognizing the urgent need to raise their collective level of ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to keep the average global temperature rise below two degrees

“We have taken crucial steps forward for the common good and the global citizenry today. I believe that what we have achieved in Durban will play a central role in saving tomorrow, today,” said Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and President of the Durban UN Climate Change Conference (COP17/CMP7).

“I salute the countries who made this agreement. They have all laid aside some cherished objectives of their own to meet a common purpose - a long-term solution to climate change. I sincerely thank the South African Presidency who steered through a long and intense conference to a historic agreement that has met all major issues,” said Christiana Figueres,
Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). >> full story


Norway and WMO sign an agreement to strengthen climate services in Africa
Posted on 9 December

The government of Norway today signed a grant agreement with the World Meteorological Organization to strengthen climate services and help vulnerable African countries become more resilient to climate variability and change. The agreement was signed by Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim and WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud during the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP17.

Press release


WMO and South African Weather Service sign agreement for regional training centre
Posted on 9 December

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the South African Weather Service (SAWS) have signed today an agreement to establish a new WMO Regional Training Centre in South Africa. WMO Secretary General, Mr. Michel Jarraud, and South African Weather Service Chief Executive Officer, Dr Linda Makuleni, signed the agreement during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17) in Durban. >> full story


IRENA/WMO: Renewable energy contributes to the Global Framework for Climate Services
Posted on 7 December 2011

  WMO & IRENA sign MoU
  Adnan Amin (right) and Michel Jarraud (left)

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly implement activities related to the assessment of renewable energy potentials.

The Director-General of IRENA, Mr Adnan Amin and the Secretary General of WMO, Mr Michel Jarraud, signed this first Memorandum of Understanding between IRENA and a UN agency on 5 December during the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2011 (COP 17).

The partnership brings together the WMO’s scientific knowledge and network, technical capabilities and programmes, with IRENA’s knowledge and convening power in the renewable energy area. This first agreement will provide meteorological information and scientific expertise on climate services to better serve the needs of the energy community.

Press release


Atlantic Hurricane Season ends
posted on 2 December 2011

  Hurricane Irene
  Hurricane Irene

The 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season officially ended 30 November. There were a total of 19 tropical storms of which seven became hurricanes, including three major hurricanes, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

This level of activity matched NOAA’s predictions and continues the trend of active hurricane seasons that began in 1995.

The 19 tropical storms represent the third-highest total (tied with 1887, 1995, and 2010) since records began in 1851 and is well above the average of 11. Irene was the lone hurricane to hit the United States in 2011, and the first one to do so since Ike struck southeast Texas in 2008.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center In Miami is one of WMO’s Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres. >> More


Investment in Climate Services Reaps Big Returns
Posted on 1 December

  Michel Jarraud
  Click here to watch the Web cast

Investment in the Global Framework for Climate Services would yield benefits in the order of ten to one, according to World Meteorological Organization Secretary General Michel Jarraud.

Mr Jarraud told a news conference during COP-17 in Durban that a few tens of millions of dollars were necessary to kick start the Framework, gradually increasing to hundreds of millions of dollars.

The initial investment is tiny compared to what is already being spent on existing observation and information programmes like satellites and super-computers.

“ The more we invest, the more benefits we get, “ he said, adding that the investment would reap a “ very significant return” in terms of stronger food security, better water management, improved health outcomes, and enhanced disaster risk reduction.

Mr Jarraud said it was important that a connection be made between the Framework and the planed Green Fund to support developing countries with regard to mitigation, adaptation and capacity-building, which is being discussed in Durban.

The Framework, which was adopted by the World Meteorological Congress in June, is currently being developed by WMO and a wide range of partners including the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. >> Full story







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