The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) participated in the 16th session of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010. WMO activities at this Conference focused on the intensive work to build the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), decided upon by World Climate Conference-3 in 2009. A report on the GFCS was made to the Conference in plenary session.
The sixteenth Conference of Parties (COP 16) adopted the Cancun Agreements under which established the Cancun Adaptation Framework, and an Adaptation Committee to strengthen action on adaptation in developing countries through international cooperation. The Adaptation Framework will support better planning and implementation of adaptation measures through increased financial and technical support, and through strengthening and/or establishing regional centres and networks. The framework will also boost research, assessments and technology cooperation on adaptation, as well as enhance education and public awareness. The Agreements are available here.
The Cancun Agreements emphasize, among others:
WMO regards the Cancun Adaptation Framework as a comprehensive basis for enhanced action on adaptation, encompassing scientific and financial mechanisms and taking into account common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities of Parties and contributing organizations. WMO as an observer organization along with NMHSs from Member countries has the capacity to increase good practices on adaptation in the UNFCCC process and broaden the range and value of engagement with the Adaptation Committee through provision of the best available science and technical advice.
WMO monitors climate change indices - over land, in the ocean and in the atmosphere - and the changes in the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, pollutants, ozone and other gases. National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of 189 countries contribute to WMO's networks of systematic observations for monitoring the current climate, projecting the future climate, and for better understanding climate impacts. This scientific and technical information is the very basis for making efficient and sustainable decisions for mitigating, and adapting to, climate variability and change and for reducing vulnerability to extreme weather events.
As in previous sessions, WMO contributed to the work of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). The 33th session, in Cancun, was chaired by Mr Mama Konaté, Director-General of the Mali Meteorological Service and Permanent Representative of Mali with WMO, following his election at COP 15 as Chairman of SBSTA for two years.
A large number of Representatives of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of WMO Members were at the Conference. They met informally during the conference to discuss a WMO position paper and the role of science in the ongoing negotiations.
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