World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
Information
  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: United Nations & Other IGOs
  • Name: World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Vulnerability (0 hits), vulnerable (4 hits),

General Content

a) What are the expectations for the outcome of Rio+20, and what are the concrete proposals in this regard, including views on a possible structure of the Outcome document?

It would be necessary that the rules ? in a very broad sense ? governing the behaviour of all stakeholders ? from individuals to governments ? be established so that the net and cumulative results of the world activities reinforce the prospect of a more sustainable development and of a transition toward a greener economy, while creating a more eco-responsible mindset for all.
For these reasons, the Outcome Document should be as clear as possible regarding the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders while clarifying how resources, including funding, can be pooled and managed in fair and cost-effective ways under existing or to-be-created cooperation mechanisms as deemed necessary.



b) What are the comments, if any, on existing proposals: e.g., a green economy roadmap, framework for action, sustainable development goals, a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, or others?

Individual involvement


Progresses have to be monitored and measured along various axes. Indicators have to document, but cannot be limited to, financial (resources mobilized and spent), technical (inventory of technologies and equipment used and implemented), and managerial (roles and responsibilities defined and exercised) aspects. The human perspective is essential: sustainable development would only be achieved with the active participation of the people, who have to be educated, trained and well informed to be or become full actors of their own development.


Accordingly, capacity building, including education and training, and targeted and customized communication are key success factors for conducting reforms not only for the benefit of citizens but with them.



c) What are the views on implementation and on how to close the implementation gap, which relevant actors are envisaged as being involved (Governments, specific Major Groups, UN system, IFIs, etc.);

Measures should be taken to:


- Enhance understanding, coordination and cooperation related to interdisciplinary areas which require collective response to national, regional and international climate change impacts;


- Strengthen efforts on research, development, demonstration, diffusion, deployment, and transfer of technologies, practices, and processes; and capacity-building for adaptation, with a view to promoting access to technologies, in particular in developing countries;


- Strengthen data, information and knowledge systems, and education and public awareness;


- Improve exchange and access to climate-related data and information and research for adaptation and sustainable development purposes;


- Enhance archiving, analysis and modelling for improved climatic-related data and information to decision-makers at national and regional levels.



d) What specific cooperation mechanisms, partnership arrangements or other implementation tools are envisaged and what is the relevant time frame for the proposed decisions to be reached and actions to be implemented?

It could be advocated that a small fraction of the Adaptation Fund and of the Green Fund established under the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) should be dedicated to ensure that adaptation measures are optimal and are guided by timely science based climate information through global initiatives directed towards actions at local scale, such as Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), in particular of their capacity building components.


In particular, as predictive scenarios of the reality of climate change (cf. IPCC Assessment Reports) indicate increased frequency and intensity of a number of natural hazards, with potentially aggravated human, economical, ecological impacts, both governments and funding institutions, like the World Bank and many Development Banks, need to secure return on investment for post-disaster reconstruction effort or any other type of effort to national sustainable development. The GFCS will boost the availability of climate information needed by policy-makers and people to plan ahead and to take more optimal decisions that are sustainable in a changing climate.


It is expected that the UNCSD would contribute to support and facilitate the future of the IPCC, to encourage Governments to invest in hydro-meteorological and climate infrastructure necessary for research and operations, and to promote the effective implementation of the GFCS.



Specific Elements
a) Objective of the Conference: To secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assessing the progress to date and remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges.

Contributions could include possible sectoral priorities (e.g., (e.g., energy, food security and sustainable agriculture, technology transfer, water, oceans, sustainable urbanization, sustainable consumption and production, natural disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation, biodiversity, etc.) and sectoral initiatives that contribute to integrate the three pillars of sustainable development could be launched and endorsed at Rio+20.

WMO had experienced in the recent years very visible commitments at international level with respect to key deliverables entrusted to its community:


- support to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),


- organization, in collaboration with other UN Agencies and Programmes, governments and the private sector, of the World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3) which established the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).


- Continued contributions to the UNFCCC process through provision of unbiased scientific advice to broaden knowledge based public policy and improve decision making process.


More is required to be done to encourage Governments to invest in hydro-meteorological infrastructure and climate necessary for research and operations, and to promote the effective implementation of the GFCS.



Disaster risk management: a priority


Coping with climate variability and change is a well recognized and documented challenge. The implementation of the GFCS is very much dependent on addressing lack of resources at the national level, especially with respect to the maintenance or strengthening of the hydro-meteorological infrastructure, the consolidation of the National and/or Hydrological Services (NMHSs) capacity to deliver required services like early warnings and provision of effective climate services.


The Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) of the Twenty First century (Super computers, Internet, high-speed and broadband channels, mobile communications, geographical information systems, etc.) will considerably help to move from the information to the knowledge era as availability and ease of access to information are key components of sustained development and green economy.



b) Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication: views regarding how green economy can be a means to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions, and poverty eradication; what is its potential added value; experience to date, including what has worked and how to build upon success, what are the challenges and opportunities and how to address the challenges and seize opportunities, and possible elements of an agreement in outcome document on a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication

National dimension


To gain national support is critical and the most convincing evidences emerge from facts. The spectacular decrease of casualties in Bangladesh following successive monsoon and cyclone induced flooding events of significant magnitude ? from more than 500 000 in 1970 caused by the Bhola cyclone down to several thousands in more recent similar ones - can be attributed to the continuous efforts of the Bangladesh government to develop a comprehensive multi-sectoral approach to disaster risk reduction.


Most difficult situations concern the developing countries, particularly the least developed countries, which often face many challenges at the same time: poverty, food shortage, endemic health problems, negative impacts of climate variability and change, large data and information gaps for planning, lack of expertise and knowledge, etc. Achieving both sustainable development and transition to green economy need coordinated and concerted efforts at the international, regional and national levels. However, the path to sustainable development and green economy in every country remains first a national issue, which requires a set of sometimes difficult but necessary reforms touching many aspects of the public and private spheres, from legal and institutional reforms to implementation of ?safety nets? to guarantee a minimum to the most exposed and vulnerable communities.



Value of the regional scale


Climate variability and change have a footprint which manifests itself in many cases at a geographical scale larger than the national boundaries and present a consistent pattern at a more regional scale. Clearly, pooling of resources and building synergies between nations to combat the negative impacts of weather, water and climate extremes can be quite effective at the continental, regional and sometimes sub-regional scales. WMO is making strides in developing global (e.g., Global Producing Centres of Long Range Forecasts) and regional (e.g., Regional Climate Centres) infrastructures to support the implementation of the GFCS, especially for the benefit of the most vulnerable communities.



Creation of resources for information sharing


Green economy would exploit renewable energies, move to low-carbon ? and more generally low-GHG (Green House Gases) ? production and consumption of goods, utilize equitably and efficiently water resources, etc. The GFCS aims at integrating all knowledge on weather, water and climate to support the transition to the Green Economy. A major key success factor will be to establish a constructive dialogue between the end-users and the service providers.


One of the challenges remains to demonstrate the socio-economics benefits of any activity in financial terms. Green economy at large is already facing the same issue. Only a constructive inter-disciplinary dialogue between experts could lead to uncontroversial demonstrations that Green Economy initiatives are worth implementing. Sharing best practices and success stories could lead to a wealth of new initiatives, as demonstrated within WMO Members.



c) Institutional framework for sustainable development: Priorities and proposals for strengthening individual pillars of sustainable development, as well as those for strengthening integration of the three pillars, at multiple levels; local, national, regional and international.

Bearing in mind the fundamental national aspect of promoting policies favouring sustainable development and the principle of national sovereignty, the question of institutional framework for sustainable development should address the international and intergovernmental dimensions.


WMO receives contributions from its Members to carry out unique activities that no other intergovernmental organization is doing. WMO participates in co-sponsored programmes with partners such as UNEP, UNESCO, and ICSU. The Sixteenth World Meteorological Congress (May 2011) called on other United Nations System bodies, as well as all relevant regional and international organizations and entities, whether governmental or non-governmental, to give strong support to the implementation of the GFCS through participation in its working mechanisms and contribution of expertise and resources to its programmes, projects and activities.


WMO message would thus be to built on what is already in place, exploit synergies when feasible whilst minimizing the cost of the required coordination and avoiding diluting responsibilities for unique activities in umbrella or mega-structures.



d) Any proposals for refinement of the two themes. Recall that Resolution 64/236 describes the focus of the Conference: "The focus of the Conference will include the following themes to be discussed and refined during the preparatory process: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development".

N/A

Full Submission

Contribution for the Compilation Document For UNCSD ? Rio + 20

by

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

This contribution is provided with reference to the letter dated 14 March 2011 transmitted by the Co-Chairs of the UNCSD Bureau.

Comments are organized according to the guidance note.

Preamble:

Sustainable development encompasses several challenges and WMO community is fully engaged to address some of the key challenges by developing the climate knowledge required, and to provide data, products and services to assist WMO Members and sectors sensitive to weather and climate to enable them to take appropriate decisions and set up relevant strategies and policies. Adaptation to climate change, management of risks associated with climate variability with particular emphasis on reducing disaster risks due to natural hazards and provision of weather and climate information to ensure food security are amongst the most relevant issues addressed by the WMO community for sustainable development.

This contribution is written from a WMO Members? perspective and provides some insight on why and how WMO activities (e.g. from basic research to services to end-users) will bring also critical contribution and support to the transition to and the long-term implementation of a green economy paradigm. From a global standpoint, WMO Members and partners should help creating information and knowledge on climate, weather and water to ease and favour convergence at all levels between sustainable development and green economy strategies and policies.

1. General content:

a. What are the expectations for the outcome of Rio+20, and what are the concrete proposals in this regard, including views on a possible structure of the Outcome document?

It would be necessary that the rules ? in a very broad sense ? governing the behaviour of all stakeholders ? from individuals to governments ? be established so that the net and cumulative results of the world activities reinforce the prospect of a more sustainable development and of a transition toward a greener economy, while creating a more eco-responsible mindset for all. For these reasons, the Outcome Document should be as clear as possible regarding the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders while clarifying how resources, including funding, can be pooled and managed in fair and cost-effective ways under existing or to-be-created cooperation mechanisms as deemed necessary.

b. What are the comments, if any, on existing proposals: e.g., a green economy roadmap, framework for action, sustainable development goals, a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, or others?

Individual involvement

Progresses have to be monitored and measured along various axes. Indicators have to document, but cannot be limited to, financial (resources mobilized and spent), technical (inventory of technologies and equipment used and implemented), and managerial (roles and responsibilities defined and exercised) aspects. The human perspective is essential: sustainable development would only be achieved with the active participation of the people, who have to be educated, trained and well informed to be or become full actors of their own development.

Accordingly, capacity building, including education and training, and targeted and customized communication are key success factors for conducting reforms not only for the benefit of citizens but with them.

c. What are the views on implementation and on how to close the implementation gap, which relevant actors are envisaged as being involved (Governments, specific Major Groups, UN system, IFIs, etc.)?

Measures should be taken to:

- Enhance understanding, coordination and cooperation related to interdisciplinary areas which require collective response to national, regional and international climate change impacts;

- Strengthen efforts on research, development, demonstration, diffusion, deployment, and transfer of technologies, practices, and processes; and capacity-building for adaptation, with a view to promoting access to technologies, in particular in developing countries;

- Strengthen data, information and knowledge systems, and education and public awareness;

- Improve exchange and access to climate-related data and information and research for adaptation and sustainable development purposes;

- Enhance archiving, analysis and modelling for improved climatic-related data and information to decision-makers at national and regional levels.

d. What specific cooperation mechanisms, partnership arrangements or other implementation tools are envisaged and what is the relevant time frame for the proposed decisions to be reached and actions to be implemented?

It could be advocated that a small fraction of the Adaptation Fund and of the Green Fund established under the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) should be dedicated to ensure that adaptation measures are optimal and are guided by timely science based climate information through global initiatives directed towards actions at local scale, such as Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), in particular of their capacity building components.

In particular, as predictive scenarios of the reality of climate change (cf. IPCC Assessment Reports) indicate increased frequency and intensity of a number of natural hazards, with potentially aggravated human, economical, ecological impacts, both governments and funding institutions, like the World Bank and many Development Banks, need to secure return on investment for post-disaster reconstruction effort or any other type of effort to national sustainable development. The GFCS will boost the availability of climate information needed by policy-makers and people to plan ahead and to take more optimal decisions that are sustainable in a changing climate.

It is expected that the UNCSD would contribute to support and facilitate the future of the IPCC, to encourage Governments to invest in hydro-meteorological and climate infrastructure necessary for research and operations, and to promote the effective implementation of the GFCS.

2. Specific Elements:

a. Objective of the Conference: To secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assessing the progress to date and remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges.

WMO had experienced in the recent years very visible commitments at international level with respect to key deliverables entrusted to its community:

- support to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),

- organization, in collaboration with other UN Agencies and Programmes, governments and the private sector, of the World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3) which established the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).

- Continued contributions to the UNFCCC process through provision of unbiased scientific advice to broaden knowledge based public policy and improve decision making process.

More is required to be done to encourage Governments to invest in hydro-meteorological infrastructure and climate necessary for research and operations, and to promote the effective implementation of the GFCS.

Disaster risk management: a priority

Coping with climate variability and change is a well recognized and documented challenge. The implementation of the GFCS is very much dependent on addressing lack of resources at the national level, especially with respect to the maintenance or strengthening of the hydro-meteorological infrastructure, the consolidation of the National and/or Hydrological Services (NMHSs) capacity to deliver required services like early warnings and provision of effective climate services.

The Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) of the Twenty First century (Super computers, Internet, high-speed and broadband channels, mobile communications, geographical information systems, etc.) will considerably help to move from the information to the knowledge era as availability and ease of access to information are key components of sustained development and green economy.

b. Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication: views regarding how green economy can be a means to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions, and poverty eradication; what is its potential added value; experience to date, including what has worked and how to build upon success, what are the challenges and opportunities and how to address the challenges and seize opportunities, and possible elements of an agreement in outcome document on a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

National dimension

To gain national support is critical and the most convincing evidences emerge from facts. The spectacular decrease of casualties in Bangladesh following successive monsoon and cyclone induced flooding events of significant magnitude ? from more than 500 000 in 1970 caused by the Bhola cyclone down to several thousands in more recent similar ones - can be attributed to the continuous efforts of the Bangladesh government to develop a comprehensive multi-sectoral approach to disaster risk reduction.

Most difficult situations concern the developing countries, particularly the least developed countries, which often face many challenges at the same time: poverty, food shortage, endemic health problems, negative impacts of climate variability and change, large data and information gaps for planning, lack of expertise and knowledge, etc. Achieving both sustainable development and transition to green economy need coordinated and concerted efforts at the international, regional and national levels. However, the path to sustainable development and green economy in every country remains first a national issue, which requires a set of sometimes difficult but necessary reforms touching many aspects of the public and private spheres, from legal and institutional reforms to implementation of ?safety nets? to guarantee a minimum to the most exposed and vulnerable communities.

Value of the regional scale

Climate variability and change have a footprint which manifests itself in many cases at a geographical scale larger than the national boundaries and present a consistent pattern at a more regional scale. Clearly, pooling of resources and building synergies between nations to combat the negative impacts of weather, water and climate extremes can be quite effective at the continental, regional and sometimes sub-regional scales. WMO is making strides in developing global (e.g., Global Producing Centres of Long Range Forecasts) and regional (e.g., Regional Climate Centres) infrastructures to support the implementation of the GFCS, especially for the benefit of the most vulnerable communities.

Creation of resources for information sharing

Green economy would exploit renewable energies, move to low-carbon ? and more generally low-GHG (Green House Gases) ? production and consumption of goods, utilize equitably and efficiently water resources, etc. The GFCS aims at integrating all knowledge on weather, water and climate to support the transition to the Green Economy. A major key success factor will be to establish a constructive dialogue between the end-users and the service providers.

One of the challenges remains to demonstrate the socio-economics benefits of any activity in financial terms. Green economy at large is already facing the same issue. Only a constructive inter-disciplinary dialogue between experts could lead to uncontroversial demonstrations that Green Economy initiatives are worth implementing. Sharing best practices and success stories could lead to a wealth of new initiatives, as demonstrated within WMO Members.

c. Institutional framework for sustainable development: Priorities and proposals for strengthening individual pillars of sustainable development, as well as those for strengthening integration of the three pillars, at multiple levels ? local, national, regional and international.

Bearing in mind the fundamental national aspect of promoting policies favouring sustainable development and the principle of national sovereignty, the question of institutional framework for sustainable development should address the international and intergovernmental dimensions.

WMO receives contributions from its Members to carry out unique activities that no other intergovernmental organization is doing. WMO participates in co-sponsored programmes with partners such as UNEP, UNESCO, and ICSU. The Sixteenth World Meteorological Congress (May 2011) called on other United Nations System bodies, as well as all relevant regional and international organizations and entities, whether governmental or non-governmental, to give strong support to the implementation of the GFCS through participation in its working mechanisms and contribution of expertise and resources to its programmes, projects and activities.

WMO message would thus be to built on what is already in place, exploit synergies when feasible whilst minimizing the cost of the required coordination and avoiding diluting responsibilities for unique activities in umbrella or mega-structures.
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