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World Climate Conference - 3, Geneva, 31 August – 4 September 2009

Better climate information for a better future

High-level policy- and decision-makers, and providers of climate services will meet from 31 August to 4 September 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland, at World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3).

WCC-3 will consider scientific advances in seasonal, inter-annual and multi-decadal climate predictions and spur their applications to real-world problems. Better climate prediction information offers a host of opportunities to policy-makers: services to improve water and agricultural management, disaster mitigation and response, urban planning and energy production, just to mention a few.

By enabling such outcomes, WCC-3 will strengthen regional and national capabilities to prepare for, and adapt to, climate change and variability at all levels.

The Conference is being convened by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the United Nations Specialized Agency that coordinates the activities of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services around the world, including the collection of authoritative climate data. WCC-3 is organized in cooperation with other UN agencies, governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and the private sector. The Conference will be hosted by Switzerland, at the International Conference Center in Geneva.

WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud emphasizes “the critical need to mainstream climate predictions in decision-making processes for development and poverty alleviation efforts to succeed”. This task is even more urgent in light of the anticipated increase in the frequency and intensity of floods, droughts, heatwaves, disease outbreaks and other climate-related hazards.  Only by reducing such disaster risks can we stay on target to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals by 2015, especially the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger.

Not just another climate change conference

WCC-3 hopes to build on the successes of its predecessor meetings. The first World Climate Conference organized by WMO in 1979 led to the creation of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  The second World Climate Conference in 1990 called for a climate convention and ultimately resulted in the establishment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

This third World Climate Conference is intended to help bridge the gap between the assessments of the WMO/UNEP co-sponsored IPCC and the practical climate adaptation needs of Parties to the UNFCCC. WCC-3 outcomes will complement the 15th session of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 15), which will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in November 2009. 

WCC-3 aims to ensure that effective climate services are available to everyone – an operational toolbox for adaptation and planning ahead for a changing climate.  These tools should help reduce the impact of natural disasters, enhance food security and manage other climate risks. 

Climate predictions, for example, have helped reduce losses of lives due to droughts and famine in parts of Africa.  They have enabled health communities to take well-informed decisions about the allocation of resources to combat malaria and target mosquito control efforts in southern Africa in light of rising temperatures. They have also helped the Panama Canal Authority make decisions about maximum load capacity to handle predicted future water levels.  Seasonal climate predictions provide information to farmers to increase crop and livestock yields, plan their planting and harvest time and reduce pests and diseases, and to reduce the vulnerability of the agriculture to floods and droughts.

All socioeconomic sectors -­- including agriculture, health, water resources, tourism, industry, transport and energy – benefit from enhanced climate services. WCC-3 will encourage the continued growth and success of these services worldwide.

For more information, please see

http://www.wmo.int/pages/world_climate_conference/index_en.html

Contact: Ms Carine Richard-Van Maele, Chief, Communications and Public Affairs, Tel:  +41 22 730 83 14/15, or Ms Lisa M.P. Munoz, Press Officer, Communications and Public Affairs, Tel: +41 22 730 82 13, E-mail: cpa@wmo.int, Web: www.wmo.int 

 
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