for Hydrology (CHy)—twelfth session
was held in Geneva from 20 to 29 October 2004. A record
number of more than 160 delegates from the National
Hydrological and Meteorological Services of 55 countries
and representatives of international organizations
attended. CHy is one of eight technical commissions which
advise in the planning, implementation and evaluation of
the scientific programmes of WMO. The Commission discussed
the way forward in water-resources development as a means
of attaining socio-economic benefit for all nations.
Commission addressed the issue of building the capacities of
National Hydrological Services (NHss) in water-resources
monitoring, extreme hydrological events forecasting and
assessing the long term effects of climate change and
variability on the availablity of freshwater. The World
Hydrological Observing System (WHYCOS) programme, had improved the capabilities of the NHSs in
delivering the products required for Integrated Water
Resources Management at the national level. The Commission
called for further efforts to implement WHYCOS and appealed
to donors to support the programme.
order to strengthen
the software part of capacity building, the Commission
adopted a strategic approach to education and training for
the personnel of NHSs.
The Commission put special emphasis
on the standardization and quality-control aspects of
water-resources monitoring, forecasting and prediction and
decided to develop and update standard procedures and
methods in close collaboration with the International
Organization for Standardization and other relevant
Commission took a number of measures to bring into focus the
issues of climate variability and change for reducing risks
in water-resources management. One measure was to stipulate
the criteria for identifying pristine river basins in order
to detect trends. In view of the importance of data exchange
for water-resources management and flood forecasting in
transboundary rivers and in order to study the effect of
increased anthropogenic changes on the flows in rivers and
into oceans, the Commission decided to develop data-exchange
formats and protocols, including metadata. It stressed the
need to work in close colaboration with other UN agencies
such as UNESCO, which are also involved in various facets of
hydrology and water-resources management.
Commission elected Mr Bruce Stewart of the Bureau of
Meteorology, Australia, and Mr
Julius Wellens Mensah of the National Hydrological
Service, Ghana, as its president and vice-president,
respectively for the period 2004-2008. They will be
supported by a team of seven hydrology and water-resources
specialists, working as members of the Advisory Working
Group, and a pool of 110 experts from different parts of the
Regional Association II (Asia)—13th session
The 13th session of Regional Association II (Asia) was held in Hong Kong, China, from 7 to 15 December 2004. A total of 102 representatives from 33 out of 35 Members of the Association, 14 observers from five Members of other Regions and two observers from two international organizations attended the session.
The session approved a total of 24 resolutions and established six working groups in the most critical areas for the Region: Planning and Implementation of the WWW; Climate-related Matters; Agricultural Meteorology; Hydrology; Natural Disaster Prevention and Mitigation; and an Advisory Working Group to address issues related to the work of the Association and its subsidiary bodies.
The Association agreed that special attention should be given to the implementation of the regional components of WMO Programmes and activities. Every effort should be made to improve current network performance.
The Association agreed to initiate a process on the establishment of Regional Climate Centre (RCC) network of multiple multifunctional centres and/or specialized centres on a pilot basis.
The Association agreed to establish a pilot project on the provisional of city-specific
numerical weather prediction products to developing countries via the Internet, as well as a pilot project in aeronautical meteorology to assist RA II Members, in particular the Least Developed Countries, to build capacity in providing aviation weather services.
The Association adopted the Strategic Plan for the Enhancement of National Meteorological Services in RA II (Asia) for the period 2005- 2008 and agreed to finalize a similar plan for National Hydrological Services for the same period.
Mr A. Majeed H. Isa (Bahrain) and Mr C.Y. Lam (Hong Kong, China) were elected president and vice-president of the Association.
Small Island Developing States
International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the
Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of
Small Island Development States (SIDS) was held in
Mauritius from 10 to 14 January 2005. The major outcomes
were the Mauritius Strategy and the Mauritius
SIDS in developmental and environmental areas, especially
with regard to natural disaster mitigation, climate
variability, climate change and its potential impacts,
coastal zone management, pollution monitoring over land,
rivers and oceans, assessment and management of water
resources and capacity building.
SIDS are only 1-4 metres above mean sea-level, making them
especially vulnerable to sea-level rise, as well as flooding
and storm surge associated with tropical cyclones, and
tsunamis. Of particular interest to SIDS therefore, in the
wake of the disaster of 26 December 2004, are the ongoing
international consultations on the creation of
a global tsunami early warning system.
brochure covering the specific problems of SIDS is available
from the WMO Secretariat, as well as a poster, fact sheets,
the WMO position paper and a video.
more information, including the online version of the
brochure (pdf), position paper, etc., see: http://www.wmo.int/pages/publications/showcase/other_themes_en.html
See also: http://www.un.org/smallislands2005/
Conference on Disaster Reduction
Some 90 per
cent of all natural disasters are related to weather,
climate and water hazards. At the World Conference on
Disaster Reduction ((WCDR), Kobe, Japan, January 2005), WMO
demonstrated the benefits of its activities in all aspects
of the disaster-risk-reduction decision process, with
particular emphasis on risk assessment and early warning
systems to prevent the hazards from becoming disasters. It
was stressed that disaster-risk prevention must be viewed as
part of a multiple-hazards approach for warning purposes and
that early warnings must be a cooperative effort of National Meteorological and Hydrological
Services with other agencies.
information package on WMO’s activities in disaster
reduction is available from the WMO Secretariat and a
Website has been launched (http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/drr/index_en.html).
The Website will be an information source for the
risk-management community in both public and private
sectors at national, regional and international levels and
the general public, on WMO activities and capabilities
related to disaster risk reduction.
account of WMO activities at the WCDR can be accessed at
the WMO-DPM website.
information package on WMO’s activities in disaster
reduction is available from the WMO Secretariat.