WMO Organizes European Meeting on Disaster Risk Management

European countries seek to reduce disasters through closer interaction between hydrometeorological services and disaster risk management 9 October 2008: European countries met from 9-10 October

2008, in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, to discuss practical ways to reduce the

impacts of natural hazards through strengthened collaboration among the World

Meteorological Organization's (WMO) National Meteorological and Hydrological

Services and disaster risk management institutions.

The meeting was hosted by

the Republic of Moldova and organized by the WMO, with the support of the UN

International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UN/ISDR), the World Bank

through the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, and the Group

on Earth Observations. The regional conference brought together senior

government officials and representatives of intergovernmental and

non-governmental organizations as well as private entities. WMO President

Alexander Bedritsky underlined the critical role of National Meteorological and

Hydrological Services in addressing challenges related to natural hazards

caused by climate variability and change, “since accurate and timely weather-,

climate- and water-related products and services are prerequisites for the

successful formulation and implementation of adaptive response policies and

measures, especially to climate extremes.”

Salvano Briceño, Director of the

UN/ISDR Secretariat, sees the conference as “a concrete regional effort to

improve the capacity of European countries to better protect their populations

against climate disasters which will be more severe and frequent in the

future.” The meeting is expected to contribute to international deliberations

on disaster risk reduction, notably the third World Climate Conference, to be

held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 31 August to 4 September 2009. [WMO

Press Release]