WMO Engages Youth on World Meteorological Day
23 March 2014: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) celebrated World Meteorological Day on 23 March, under the theme 'Weather and Climate: Engaging Youth.' During an official ceremony held to mark the Day in Geneva, Switzerland, WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud called on youth to use their "innovative spirit, fresh insights, and courage" to tackle climate change.
The ceremony, held at WMO headquarters, featured remarks by Alain Ratier, Director-General of the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), and a video address by UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. The UN Secretary-General's Envoy for Youth Ahmed Alhendawi, also via video message, said that youth have increasing environmental awareness and the ability to transform our societies for a low-carbon future. He stressed the importance of strengthening climate change education to prepare youth to take on this challenge.
The event amplified the WMO's call for youth, and women in particular, to consider careers in meteorology. Young researchers at the Neumayer-Station III in Antarctica (Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research) joined the celebration through a live video discussion, while Ferny Model United Nations (FerMUN) participants presented the outcomes from their student-run climate change conference. WMO also updated its Youth Corner website and released a new edition of its publication 'A Career in Meteorology.'
Noting the far-reaching effects of climate change on land and the importance of improving land-use practices, Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), said in a statement delivered to mark the Day, that the world has the responsibility to take action for the future of today's youth and to engage them in forging a new development path. [WMO Press Release] [UN Press Release] [World Meteorological Day Official Ceremony Programme of Events] [World Meteorological Day 2014 Resources] [WMO Youth Corner] [UNCCD Executive Secretary Message]