The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Regional Association for North America, Central America and the Caribbean (RAIV) has held a virtual session with a focus on how to improve service delivery, disaster risk reduction, and climate resilience.
Evan G. Thompson, Permanent Representative of Jamaica, and Luz Graciela Calzadilla, Permanent Representative of Panama, were elected respectively president and vice president at the meeting, which took place from 8 to 11 February, with nearly 150 participants.
Implementation of WMO reform in the region and technical aspects related to enhanced services, regional climate centres, observations and data exchange, hydrology and water resources, capacity development and research were among the items on the agenda.
The RA IV Members decided on regional priorities and a new operating plan 2021-2023. A new regional working structure was also defined, comprising a Management Group and four regional Committees: infrastructure; hurricanes; hydrology and water resources; and services.
Five focal points were also established: (i) Capacity Development; (ii) Education and Training; (iii) Disaster Risk reduction; (iv) Research and Modelling; (v) Satellite Data Requirements.
In addition, decisions were made on WMO engagement under the regional UN and inter-governmental system, as well as with development partners and public-private engagement.
Ocean side event
A special Ocean side event aimed to explore the needs, find the gaps and identify priorities in ocean matters. Details are here.
Over 100 registered participants joined, beginning the conversation about a cooperation ‘roadmap’ for collaboration across the region on ocean matters. This was timely, a few weeks after the official start of the UN Ocean Decade of Science for Sustainable Development (2021 to 2030).
Dr Louis Uccellini, the Permanent Representative of the U.S.A. and WMO Co-Chair of the Joint WMO and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) Collaborative Board (JCB) stressed the importance of partnerships, building on the strengths of the past, and new opportunities across the science to services value chain, as the basis for emerging cooperation efforts.
The ocean characteristics of the Caribbean, North and Central Americas region is highly diverse – reaching from the polar to the tropical. These divergent geographical situations require innovative thought in serving societal needs. Key regional ocean priorities were discussed across the 5 important aspects:
- Improved Coastal and Marine services
- Coastal Hazards and Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems (MHEWS)
- Research and Capacity Development
- Maritime Safety and Polar
- International and Regional Cooperation
The Side Event discussions paved the way for the RAIV region to move forward with a clear vision and roadmap to address priority ocean actions in the upcoming Decade.