| Regional cooperation and development activities
Fourteenth Session of RA II
(Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 5 to 11 December 2008)
The fourteenth session of Regional Association II (Asia) was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, from 5 to 11 December 2008. Seventy-one participants from 27 Members of the Association, seven observers from four Members from outside the Region and two from international organizations attended the session.
The Association recognized that an increasing focus on climate change and associated vulnerabilities and risks; and an increasing frequency of a number of hydrometeorological hazards, especially floods and droughts in Asia and other parts of the world, which posed escalating threats to sustainable development and other disasters including the tragic Indian Ocean tsunami, had been important areas to which WMO and RA II Members had contributed decisively.
The session discussed and made decisions on regional aspects of, among others, the further improvement of NMHSs’ forecasting and warning capabilities, additional support to climate-related activities through the establishment of a Regional Climate Centre (RCC) network, implementation of the WMO Flood Forecasting initiative, development and implementation of the WMO Integrated Global Observing Systems (WIGOS) and the WMO Information System (WIS), efforts in natural disaster mitigation, enhanced user focus on public education and awareness building initiatives, enhanced cooperation with other service providers and sectors and strengthened collaboration with relevant regional institutions, and sustainable human resources development. [ref. Presentation Materials]
The Association adopted the Strategic Plan for the Enhancement of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in Regional Association II (Asia) (2009-2011), which identified a set of action-oriented deliverables categorized under Regional Expected Results in accordance with WMO’s set of Expected Results.
The Association reviewed the activities of the RA II subsidiary bodies during the intersessional period presented by Working Group Chairpersons and rapporteurs. It expressed its satisfaction for the working groups’ activities. In view of the need to align the working mechanism of the Association to the Strategic Thrusts and Expected Results of the WMO Strategic Plan as well as Expected Results of RA II Strategic Plan, the Association established the following four Working Groups: Working Group on WMO Integrated Observing System and WMO Information System (WG-IOS/WIS); Working Group on Climate Services, Adaptation and Agrometeorology (WGCAA); Working Group on Hydrological Forecasts and Assessments (WGH); and Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction and Service Delivery (WGDRS). The Management Group of RA II was also established.
The Association expressed its satisfaction with the successful implementation of the two RAII pilot projects: Provision of City-Specific Numerical Weather Prediction Products to Developing Countries via the Internet; and to Develop Support for the Developing Countries in the Aeronautical Meteorology Programme; and agreed on continued support to further development and implementation of the pilot projects. The Association further established three pilot projects: Pilot Project to Enhance the Availability and Quality Management Support for NMHSs in Surface, Climate and Upper-Air Observations; Pilot Project to develop support for NMHSs in Numerical Weather Prediction; and Pilot Project to develop support for NMHSs in Satellite Data, Products and Training.
The following four scientific lectures were presented during the session: (a) Effective use of information on hazardous winds associated with severe storms, by Mr Kunio Sakurai (Japan); (b) Progress in natural disaster risk reduction in China, presented by Mr Chen Zhenlin (China); (c) Integrated approach to disaster risk management, roles and opportunities for NMHSs, by Dr Ali Mohammad Noorian (Islamic Republic of Iran); and (d) Climate change impact on hydrometeorological processes, agroclimatic and water resources, by Prof. Victor E. Chub (Uzbekistan).
The Association was informed by the Secretary-General on the continuing reform in the WMO Secretariat in general, and with special emphasis on the restructuring of the Development and Regional Activities (DRA) Department, being made in line with the WMO Strategic Plan and the Secretariat Operating Plan.
Two other special presentations were made by Dr Geoff Love on the Enhanced Capabilities of Members in Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems, Disaster Prevention and Preparedness, and by Dr Ali Mohammad Noorian on World Climate Conference-3.
The Association unanimously elected Prof. Victor E. Chub (Uzbekistan) as president and Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry (Pakistan) as vice-president. The Association extended special thanks and acknowledgement to Mr A. Majeed H. Isa and Mr Chiu-Ying Lam, president and vice-president, respectively, by presenting Certificates of Outstanding Services, in recognition of their strong leadership and significant contributions in implementing the activities of the Association.