December 2006 Downloads & Links

World Meteorological Day 2006
Preventing and mitigating natural disasters 

With natural disasters in 2005 worldwide, including hurricane Katrina, the Mumbai flooding, and others such as the aftermath of the Pakistan, the theme for World Meteorological Day 2006 was highly appropriate.  

Keynote speaker for the event at WMO Headquarters was Sir David King, Chief Scientific Advisor to HM Government of the United Kingdom. During a special interview in the WMO Bulletin he said: 

“The main challenge is ensuring that hazard and risk analysis and early warning systems are integrated into an overall disaster-risk reduction plan. Warning systems have to be integrated into people’s lives to make them accessible and easy to understand, and so does disaster risk reduction in the broader sense. Globally, there needs to be an exchange of information by developing universal data formats, data-exchange agreements and agreeing global roles for organizations with the most developed capabilities.

World Meteorological Day 2006 also saw the release of a new WMO film: “Preparing for a safer world”, focusing on the vital role of early warnings, combined with effective preparation planning as essential components of national strategies for disaster prevention. The film was illustrated by preventive strategies in Bangladesh and South Africa, which have shown great progress in reducing losses from tropical cyclones and drought, respectively.

WMO’s information package: “Preventing and mitigating natural disasters” was distributed around the world. Included was a comprehensive brochure, explaining in detail, the process of end-to-end early-warning systems and NMHS’s contributions towards saving lives and property in anticipation of natural disasters. 

The Organization also held a booth at the United Nations Secretariat in New York City. UN staff and visiting members of the general public found the display interesting and informative. 

National celebrations  

It was open house at Antigua and Barbuda’s Meteorological Services, where visitors were invited to a look “behind the scenes”.   

Belize’s National Meteorological Service held a two-day fair at Battlefield Park where numerous organizations set up displays highlighting either water to celebrate World Water Day on 22 March, or the WMD 2006 theme. It attracted hundreds of members of the general public and students.  

Several government ministers took part in festivities at Brazil’s National Institute of Meteorology which featured a day-long programme of lectures and addresses on preventing and mitigating natural disasters.   

The Brunei Meteorological Service used the day to open a new building to accommodate offices as well as climate data and monitoring centres. An exhibition of meteorological instruments was also set up and visitors, many of whom were students, were able to examine the new automatic weather station.  

In Ethiopia, the National Meteorological Services Agency organized a celebration at offices throughout the country where government officials mingled with staff past and present. State Minister of Water Resources acknowledged the role of the Agency and confirmed that the Government would strengthen it in every possible way. The event received widespread media coverage.   

The Hydrometeorological Service of Guyana held a two-day book exhibition at the National Library. The event was highlighted in the editorial of the Guyana Chronicle and on a local radio programme. 

The Hong Kong Observatory (China) was open for several days and members of the public were encouraged to pose as a TV weather presenter while staff explained how forecasts were made.  

Kenya’s Meteorological Department hosted a wide range of activities and invited representatives from United Nations agencies, government ministries, the private sector as well as students, teachers and the general public.  

The National Meteorological Centre of Libyan Arab Jamahiriya celebrated World Meteorological Day 2006 at the University of Garyounis Campus in Benghazi. An observing station was inaugurated, an Arabic calendar produced, the WMO film screened, an exhibition on climatological and meteorological bulletins set up and a scientific symposium around the Day’s theme organized.  

In Mauritius, the Meteorological Services organized a half-day workshop at its headquarters; eminent personalities and different socio-economic sectors participated.  

Media coverage in the Netherlands was noteworthy according to the National Meteorological Institute, whose efforts led to interviews on national breakfast TV and radio, as well as several articles in newspapers and on Websites.  

The Pakistan Meteorological Department set up a three-day public exhibition of instruments and charts the Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics in Karachi with similar events in Lahore. These all attracted TV reports and stories in the press.  

Roshydromet organized a Moscow press conference attended by more than 25 journalists which provoked a number of articles and broadcasts. Elsewhere in the Russian Federation there were round-table discussions, meetings and scientific conferences on the World Meteorological Day 2006 theme also gaining press coverage. 

The tragic tsunami of December 2004 was uppermost in everyone’s mind at the National Environment Agency of Singapore, due to the unveiling of the Seismic Monitoring System. The Meteorological Service also launched the first edition of Meteo Flash. The eight-page publication included a handy, easy-to-understand pull-out providing vital information on what to do in the event of a natural disaster.   

The Spanish Minister for the Environment, HE Mrs Christina Narbona, took part in a ceremony at the National Meteorological Institute, attracting the attention of TV, radio and printed press. Celebrations were also carried out at 14 regional centres.   

Several ministers gathered at the University of Khartoum in Sudan says to view an exhibition and a newly upgraded agrometeorological station. Five scientific papers were presented.   

Tunisia’s National Institute of Meteorology also reported a successful 23 March which saw the presentation of several important scientific papers.  

Uzbekistan focused efforts on a round-table discussion at the Hydrometeorological Service where reports were presented on the Day’s theme with special attention to the threat of mudslides and avalanches. These issues attracted extensive media coverage.  

Memorable celebrations were also carried out at many other NMHSs around the world including Costa Rica, Macao (China), Peru, Poland, Uruguay and Venezuela.  

Next year the theme for World Meteorological Day is “Polar meteorology: understanding global impacts” in recognition of these regions which are highly sensitive to global warming and require further research if we are to understand more about the nature of their influence on the rest of the planet.









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