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Eleventh Session of the Commission for Hydrology (Abuja, Nigeria, 6-16 November 2000)


The WMO Commission for Hydrology held its eleventh session from 6 to 16 November 2000 in the Nicon Hilton Hotel in Abuja, the federal capital of Nigeria. It was hosted by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, in close collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Aviation. In fact the excellent administrative and logistical support was provided jointly by the Department of Hydrology and Hydrogeology, headed by Mr J. A. Hanidu, and the Nigeria Meteorological Services, headed by Mr Y. Salahu, in the true spirit of cooperation between Meteorological and Hydrological Services that is a strength of WMO.

This cooperation was exemplified at the opening ceremony, which was combined with that of the Sixth WMO Technical Conference on Management for Development of Meteorological Services in Africa that was held at the ECOWAS Centre in Abuja from 6 to 16 November 2000. The ceremony was addressed by senior officials of the Federal Government and by Professor G.O.P. Obasi on behalf of WMO. The Secretary to the Federal Government presented an address on behalf of His Excellency Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, President of Nigeria. The occasion also saw the presentation of a certificate for outstanding service to Mr M.A. Kohler (USA), the first president of CHy's predecessor, the Commission for Hydrological Meteorology from 1959 to 1968.

CHy-XI Participants - 66 Kb

The Commission's session was attended by 90 participants representing 50 members of WMO and nine intergovernmen-tal and non-governmental organizations. It received reports from its three working groups and reviewed all aspects of WMO's Hydrology and Water Resources Programme. In particular, it made recommendations concerning the implementation of

Resolution 25 (Cg-XIII) - Exchange of hydrological data and products, and provided inputs to the development of WMO's Sixth Long-term Plan and on-going discussions on the structure of the Organization.

The meeting was chaired by Professor K. Hofius (Germany), president of CHy, assisted by its vice-president, Mr D. Rutashobya (Tanzania). The more detailed discussions were held in two working committees chaired by Messrs D. Rutashobya and B. Stewart (Australia), assisted by Ms G. Wennerberg (Sweden) and A. Terakawa (Japan) as vice-chairs.

The need for inter-agency cooperation at national and international levels was frequently raised, one good example being the proposal for the establishment of an International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre. The Commission adopted a recommendation strongly supporting this proposal which mirrored one adopted by the Intergovernmental Council of the IHP of UNESCO a few months previously.

The Commission also kept in force recommendations concerning global databases and hydrological networks, and that on the participation of women adopted at its previous session. It regretted that the number of women involved in CHy activities had not increased in recent years and was therefore particularly pleased to be able to include three women in the Working Groups that it established to undertake work on its behalf over the next four years.

It was very appropriate that, as this was its first session to be held in Africa, the Commission elected Mr D. Rutashobya to the office of president of CHy. Mr B. Stewart chair of the previous CHy Working Group on Basic Systems, was elected to the post of vice-president.

At the close of the meeting, tributes were paid to Professor Hofius for his exemplary leadership of the Commission over the previous eight years and to Nigeria for its support to WMO, in particular the Commission session, and the hospitality it had shown to all attending the session.




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