WMO Discusses its Drought-Related Programmes at CSD16
7 May 2008: Speaking during the thematic debate on drought at the sixteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD16), which took place at UN headquarters in New York, US, from 5-16 May 2008, a representative of the World Metrological Organization (WMO) provided an overview of the Organization's work on drought and climate change.
The presentation focused on WMO's activities to improve observing systems for weather, climate and water resources through its recently established Space Programme and Global Earth Observation System of Systems. Regarding the work on early warning systems, the WMO has established a cross-cutting programme on Natural Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, which provides an integrated and coordinated framework by which government authorities and the natural disaster risk management community have access to scientific and technical information. WMO also conducts work on enhancing climate prediction capabilities through the Climate Variability project of the World Climate Research Programme and through the implementation of the WMO Climate Information and Prediction Services project. Furthermore, one of the WMO Technical Commissions, the Commission for Agricultural Meteorology, provides guidance on hazard mapping and suitable agro-climatic zoning. In addition, the WMO strengthens capabilities of regional institutions with drought-related programmes and promotes collaboration with other institutions in drought- and desertification-prone regions, with emphasis on Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the northern Mediterranean region. For instance, in 2007 the WMO, in collaboration with the UNCCD Secretariat, helped establish a Drought Management Center for South Eastern Europe located in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and is currently working with OECD and UNCCD to establish a similar drought management center for Central Asia.