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Posted 30 May 2011


Shanghai Expo 2010 MeteoWorld Pavilion and Multi-Hazard Early Warning System

The overwhelming success of the MeteoWorld Pavilion, which attracted more than 815 000 visitors during the Shanghai World Expo 2010, increased public awareness of the critical role of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in urban planning, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and sustainable development.

The Multi-Hazard Early Warning System developed jointly by the China Meteorological Administration and the World Meteorological Organization ensured the provision of full meteorological services during the six-month Expo. These facilitated the smooth operation of high-profile events like the opening ceremony and guaranteed the safety and well-being of hundreds of thousands visitors.

These were the two main conclusions of a presentation at the World Meteorological Congress about the MeteoWorld Pavilion.

“The Meteoworld Pavilion successfully fulfilled its mission,” said Dr Zheng Guoguang, Administrator of the China Meteorological Administration, and Permanent Representative of China to WMO.

WMO President Dr Alexander Bedritskiy described it as an “extraordinary event in the life of international meteorology.” Almost one million people had an opportunity to meet with weather forecasters and see in practice how meteorology is carried out and how forecasts are made. This provided great publicity for the activities of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and should set an example for the future, he said.

The MeteoWorld pavilion took the form of a white cloud and had the theme “for the safety and well-being of the people” was a joint initiative of CMA and WMO, in partnership with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Group on Earth Observations, the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, and the Association of Hydro-Meteorological Equipment. Built by CMA at a cost of US$ 20 million it was one of the most visited pavilions during the Shanghai Expo and won a special jury prize. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was among the visitors.

Reliable and accurate meteorological services played a key part in the success of the Expo, said H.E. Mr He Yafei, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the U.N. in Geneva. In the five years leading up to the event, CMA and WMO, in partnership with Shanghai authorities, developed a Multi-Hazard Warning System for early detection, early warning, early dissemination and early response as a critical component of a disaster preparedness strategy. This will contribute to the provision of better climate services and sustainable development in the future, he said.

Over the course of the six-month period, severe weather warnings were issued 72 times, but there were no severe weather-related accidents at Expo.

“At the time of the Expo 2010, the city was prone to natural hazards like typhoons, thunderstorms, heat and cold waves, with the potential risk for urban emergencies like floods, transportation accidents, health crises and others,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. There were additional concerns such as atmospheric pollution, he said. “These emergencies can trigger secondary crises, so a rational response demanded proactive multi-agency coordination among the competent meteorological and civil defense organizations.”

This was successful, he said. “The theme of World Expo 2010 “Better City - Better Life”, symbolized our common aspiration for a better urban environment and the international community’s expectations to achieve sustainable development for all countries and in all regions of the world.”

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