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Themes > Socio-Economic benefits

Socio-economic benefits of weather, climate and water services

Governments need to respond to population growth, to reduce poverty, to increase water and food security, to improve health and to ensure safety to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Nations aim towards reducing and mitigating natural disasters, improving and sustaining health, adapting to climate change, improving the management of energy and water resources, managing and protecting ecosystems and developing sustainable agriculture. They also seek to reduce the risks that affect finance, recreation and tourism, transport and other sectors of society.

Both sectoral users and decision-makers need to appreciate better the current capabilities, responsibilities and limitations of the various service providers. Services providers need to have a better knowledge about how their products and services are used, and how their value to civil society and the economy can be improved. WMO aims to increase further, in view of their growing value and impact, the utility of weather, climate and water knowledge for social and economic benefit.

Decision-support tools for various social and economic sectors have been developed and are operational. These tools have demonstrated to some extent some of the benefits that society can gain from their National Meteorological and Hydrological services (NMHSs). In order to increase the utility of weather, climate and water knowledge for social and economic benefit, WMO established a group of professionals from NMHSs and various socio-economic sectors named, the "WMO Forum: Social and Economic Applications and Benefits of Weather, Climate, and Water Services", to advise on strategies that can be adpoted to advance knowledge in socio-economic benefits of weather, climate and water. The WMO Forum is guided in its activities by the Madrid Conference Statement and Action Plan, whose overall objective is “to achieve a major enhancement of the value to society of weather, climate and water information and services in response to the critical challenges represented by rapid urbanization, economic globalization, environmental degradation, natural hazards and the threats from climate change”.

For more information, visit the Public Weather Services Programme site on the topic. It has background information and an inventory on decision-support tools, background information and an inventory of case studies, information on social economic applications and events and reports.


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