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WMO Secretary-General Outlines Efforts to Counter Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss

Speech by Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on The European Union and its Overseas Entities:<br /> Strategies to counter Climate Change and<br /> Biodiversity Loss 11 July 2008: In a speech delivered during the conference

The European

Union (EU) and its Overseas Entities: Strategies to Counter Climate Change and

Biodiversity Loss,” which was hosted on Reunion Island,

Mauritius, from 7-11 July 2008, under the auspices of the French Presidency of

the Council of the EU, Michel Jarraud,

Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), provided

an overview of the Organization's history and work in tackling climate change.

He outlined the repercussions of

climate variability and climate change on human activity and ecosystems, as

described in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment

Report, and underscored the importance of multidisciplinary partnerships among

all stakeholders. Jarraud listed possible

key priorities for the EU Outermost Regions and the Overseas Countries and

Territories, some African, Caribbean and Pacific signatories of the Lomé

Convention and Cotonou Agreement, and for Small Island Developing States to

address the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and the consequent

biodiversity loss, including: improving monitoring to assess the impact of

future climate change on ecosystems; increasing the efficient use of natural

resources; strengthening capacity building for effective management of

biodiversity-related issues; improving science and technology to minimize

losses and damages by extreme weather events; and establishing regional climate

change and biodiversity monitoring networks. He recalled the WMO's support to

the Convention on Biological Diversity; its pledge to contribute to the

implementation of the Nairobi Work Programme on Impacts, Vulnerability and

Adaptation; and its role in the provision of a knowledge base for adaptation in

the context of the UN System-wide coordination of climate activities. He closed

by noting that the WMO will organize the third World Climate Conference from 31

August to 4 September 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland, under the theme “climate prediction for decision-making.” [WMO Secretary-General's speech]