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Second International Joint Workshop on Sand- and Duststorms
(Seoul, Republic of Korea, 7 August 2007)

The Korea Meteorological Administration and the Korea International Cooperation Agency jointly organized the Second International Joint Workshop on Sand- and Duststorms. Sand- and duststorm experts from China, Japan, Mongolia, the Republic of Korea and WMO gave presentations on the monitoring and forecasting of sand- and duststorms, as well desertification issues.

Representatives of governmental agencies, international organizations, academia, industry and the media shared their experiences in, and information on, observing, forecasting and analysing sand- and duststorms. This exchange confirmed that sand- and duststorms show a tendency to increase in frequency and severity every year. The Workshop promoted the WMO early warning system project and close regional cooperation.

group workshop korea

Man-Ki Lee, Administrator of KMA (fifth from the left, front row), with participants in the Second International Joint Workshop on Sand- and Duststorms

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First International Training Course on Analysis of Communication, Ocean
and Meteorological Satellite (COMS) Data

(Seoul, Republic of Korea, 2-17 September 2007)

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) jointly organized this international training course, which took place at KMA Headquarters. The objectives were to: introduce COMS, the first Korean Geostationary Meteorological Satellite to be launched in 2009; understand the COMS programme, including the development plan, satellite system, and data-processing system; and form a user community to share information on COMS.

Participants from 13 developing countries in the Asia-Pacific area, namely: Bangladesh, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam, received 17 lectures on, among others: the COMS Meteorological Imager, production and application of COMS meteorological data; and dissemination plans of the COMS Meteorological Imager user data. The participants presented the status of meteorological satellite services in their own countries.  KMA is planning to organize this training course every year to extend the user community of COMS in the Asia-Pacific area.

Man-Ki Lee & participants

Man-Ki Lee, Administrator of KMA (fifth from the left, front row), with participants in the Second International Joint Workshop on Sand- and Duststorms

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Third International Conference on Climate and Water
(Helsinki, Finland, 3-6 September 2007)

Finland had earlier hosted two conferences climate and water, which focused on the interface of climate and water, the first one in 1989. Now, almost two decades later, climate issues play a major role in water and energy policy all over the world and in many national and international research programmes.

The main organizer of the conference was the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). Some 160 participants from 50 countries and international organizations attended. Most presentations addressed hydrological extremes (floods and droughts), observed or anticipated changes in hydrological variables, and adaptation to climate change in the water sector.

The Conference was opened by Lea Kauppi, General Director of the Finnish Environment Institute, and was address by Sirkka-Liisa Anttila, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of WMO, stressed the importance of giving due recognition in climate talks to the need for the continued monitoring of our climate and enhancing climate knowledge to make sure the world adapts to change in the most efficient way, notably in managing water resources.

Ten keynote addresses; hydrological extremes—droughts; risk management; the state of hydrological models; and the state of hydrological observation networks.

speakers press conference

Speakers at the press conference during the Third International Conference on Climate and Water (from left to right): Lea Kauppi, General Director of SYKE, Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of WMO; Charles J. Vörösmarty, Research Professor at the University of New Hampshire (USA) and Esko Kuusisto, Hydrologist at SYKE

The conclusions of the Conference focused on three main issues related to climate variability and change in the water sector, namely: observed hydrological change; adaptation issues; hydrology, poverty and food security.

Observed and anticipated hydrological changes reported during the conference were consistent overall with the findings of the Fourth Assessment report of the IPCC.

Conference participants overwhelmingly agreed that the human dimension should be mainstreamed, in particular with regard to community involvement, awareness-raising and education. Adaptation tools and methods are not yet fully understood and mainly treated as limitations and barriers with little knowledge of the cost factor of adaptation. In the same line it was recognized that adaptation alone is insufficient as other stress factors can exacerbate vulnerability to climate change (demographic developments, poverty mitigation, food security, etc.). The beneficial use of decision-making and adaptation management tools was also presented.

There was consensus that climate change is occurring and that investment in poorly managed water resources systems and disaster prevention will contribute significantly to reducing vulnerability to climate variability and change. The Conference highlighted the scientific challenges related to addressing uncertainties in present projections, downscaling challenges and the incorporation of non-climate factors (e.g. population, governance, land use, technological changes). Special emphasis was placed on the importance of the cryosphere, including snowfields and glaciers of the mountain regions of the world, and its importance for water-resources management, including hydro-energy.

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Conference of Parties of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)—eighth session (COP-8)

(Madrid, Spain, 3-14 September 2007)

The Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification cited the WMO International Workshop on Climate and Land Degradation held in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, in December 2006, as a useful model to reform the UNCCD Committee on Science and Technology (CST). This was recorded in the decision of COP  (ICCD/COP(8)/L.14) entitled “Reshaping the operation of the Committee on Science and Technology in line with the recommendations of the Intersessional Intergovernmental Working Group Ten-Year Strategic Plan” as follows:

Welcoming also the process and outcome of the World Meteorological Organization international workshop on climate and land degradation held in Arusha in 2006, and noting that it provides a useful organizational model to enable the CST to achieve the goal of being a global authority on scientific and technical knowledge on combating desertification/land degradation and mitigating the effects of drought”.

Decision ICCD/COP(8)/L.14 also decided that “each future ordinary session of the CST shall be organized predominantly in a scientific and technical conference-style format".

jarraud cop-8

The Secretary-General of WMO participated in the ministerial roundtable discussion on desertification and climate change on 12 September. It brought together 11 ministers, deputy ministers and heads of UN agencies. He stressed the need to integrate risk prevention in policy-making in the context of the conventions’ synergies.

The WMO workshop in Arusha was organized in collaboration with the UNCCD Secretariat and the Tanzania Meteorological Agency.  It was co-sponsored by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development (OFID), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).  The workshop focused on how climate induces and influences land degradation and what measures need to be taken to enhance the applications of weather and climate information in the combat against land degradation.

Sixty four participants from 30 countries and five UN agencies (WMO, UNCCD, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UNDP and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)) presented state-of-the-art papers, real-world applications and innovative techniques for combating land degradation and offered recommendations for the effective use of weather and climate information for sustainable land-management practices.

The Secretary-General of WMO participated in the ministerial roundtable discussion on desertification and climate change on 12 September. It brought together 11 ministers, deputy ministers and heads of UN agencies.  He stressed the need to integrate risk prevention in policy-making in the context of the conventions’ synergies.

The proceedings of this workshop were edited jointly by WMO and the UNCCD Secretariat and are published by Springer.  The 623-page book includes 34 chapters written by 58 experts from 26 countries (Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania and the United States of America).    

Press Release No. 794

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Working Group on Planning and Implementation of the World Weather Watch (WWW) in Region II (Asia) (RA-II-WG-PIW)—fifth session
(Khabarovsk, Russian Federation, 12-15 September 2007)         

The Working Group reviewed its activities since re-establishment by the 13th session of Regional Association II in December 2004. In particular, the session reviewed the decisions made and guidance given by the relevant constituent body sessions, especially Fifteenth World Meteorological Congress and the 59th session of the WMO Executive Council of relevance to the work programme of the working group. Major discussions were focused on the present status of World Weather Watch implementation and operation of its key facilities, namely the Regional Basic Synoptic Network, the Regional Basic Climatological Network, Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay (AMDAR) and marine observations, as well as implementation of the Global Observing System (GOS) space-based subsystem in RegionII. The Working Group considered in detail information on regional aspects of WWW components and support functions provided by regional rapporteurs/coordinators on the Integrated Observing Systems, information systems and services, including implications of the WMO Information System and difficulties of migration to table-driven code forms, data-processing and forecasting systems and public weather services. The session also discussed results of the regular WMO monitoring, implementation aspects of technical cooperation activities related to the WWW, implementation of the Regional Strategic Plan for the Enhancement of National Meteorological Services and the future work programme of the Working Group.

participants working group

 

The Working Group developed recommendation for consideration by the 14th session of RA II regarding: (a) revision of the Regional Basic Synoptic Network and Regional Basic Climatological Network stations in Region II; (b) revision of  the Manual on Global Observing System, Volume II—Regional Aspects—Asia; (c) a draft proposal of the implementation plan for the evolution of the Global Observing System in Region II; (d) revision of the terms of reference of the Rapporteur on Regional aspects of the Global Observing System; (e) revision of the terms of reference of the Subgroup on the Regional Aspects of the Global Telecommunication System and Data Management; (f) Regional priorities for the technical cooperation support related to information systems and services; and (g) the future work plan of the Working Group. The Group also proposed to rename the Subgroup on the Regional Aspects of the Global Telecommunication System and Data Management as the Subgroup on Regional Aspects of Information Systems and Services and proposed to establish the Subgroup on Regional Aspects of the Global Observing System instead of the Rapporteur on Regional Aspects of the Global Observing System.

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