The World Meteorological Congress 2021 has endorsed a Water Declaration, including the Water and Climate Coalition.
- It has also approved a new vision and strategy for hydrology and an associated plan of action.
About World Meteorological Congress 2021
- The Congress also endorsed the Water and Climate Coalition for promoting sharing and access to integrated hydrological, cryosphere, meteorological and climate information.
- Water-related hazards top the list of disasters in terms of both the human and economic toll over the past 50 years, according to Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes (1970–2019) released by the WMO September 2021.
- In the last five decades (1970-2019), the number of disasters increased five times.
- Only 40% of countries globally have operational early flood and drought warning systems.
- Some 60% of WMO member countries lack hydrological monitoring capabilities. Globally, more than three billion people have no quality management system for their water-related data in place.
- It means close to half of the world’s population is at risk due to a lack of information on the state of their water resources including rivers, lakes, groundwater, according to the most recent United Nation (UN) estimates.
- Some 107 countries are not on track to have sustainably managed water resources.
- By 2030 early warnings for early action related to floods and droughts will be available for people everywhere on the planet to access.
- Policies for water and climate action developed within the sustainable development agenda will be integrated to yield maximum benefit for people.
- Members will pursue these goals through partnerships for capacity development, knowledge exchange and information sharing, etc.
- The coalition is made for promoting sharing and access to integrated hydrological, cryosphere, meteorological and climate information.
- It aims to boost resilient water adaptation to climate change as well as demographic and socio-economic development for the future.
- It is also aimed at accelerating the progress of water-related United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially SDG6 (water and sanitation for all).
- Germany experienced an unusually wet summer in 2021, according to a review of the season published by the German Weather Service August 2021.
- India experienced the second-wettest September in 27 years in 2021. June (the onset month) and September experienced higher-than-normal rainfall this year.
- But many countries, particularly in the developing regions of the Global South, are not prepared to handle the surge in water-related extremes, reminded WMO in its report on the State of Climate Services, 2021.
- More than half the WMO members lack early warning systems, especially in countries that can least afford disaster losses.
- Weather4UN, a pilot project led by MeteoSwiss and supported by the Swiss Federal Council, aims to improve the coordination of meteorological data production and transmission within the United Nations system and for humanitarian organisations around the world.
- As a result of this initiative, early action can be taken and people will be better protected from extreme weather events.
Back to Basics
- The World Meteorological Congress is the supreme body of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
- WMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations for meteorology, operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences.
- India is a member.
- It produces annually the State of the Global Climate Report.
- The WMO Congress will specifically focus on key priorities including water, a comprehensive new data exchange policy and a reinforced, better-funded global observing system. It will adopt a WMO vision, strategy and action plan for hydrology.
- The endorsements at the Congress are significant as more than half of the world’s population will be living under water-stressed conditions by 2030 according to the WMO and will be more vulnerable to water-related disasters especially cyclones, floods.
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