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World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

UN & International Organization

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 191 States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization, which was founded in 1873. Established in 1950, WMO became a specialized agency of the United Nations in...



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The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 191 States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization, which was founded in 1873. Established in 1950, WMO became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1951. Since its establishment, WMO has played a unique role in contributing to the safety and welfare of humanity. Under WMO’s leadership and within the framework of WMO programmes, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services contribute substantially to: 1) the protection of life and property against natural disasters; 2) safeguarding the environment, and 3) enhancing the economic and social well-being of all sectors of society in areas such as food security, water resources and transport. WMO promotes cooperation in the establishment of networks for making meteorological, climatological, hydrological and geophysical observations, as well as the exchange, processing and standardization of related data, and assists technology transfer, training and research.

Disaster Reduction Goal

The WMO Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Programmes’ goal is to enhance the contributions of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, in a more cost-effective, systematic and sustainable manner, towards the protection of lives, livelihoods and property, through strengthening of capabilities and cooperation in the field of disaster risk reduction at national to international levels.

Policies and Programmes in DRR

The implementation of the HFA by national governments is leading to changes in national DRR policies, legal and institutional frameworks, with implications on the role, responsibilities and new working arrangements for the NMHSs. These changes provide opportunities, such as increased recognition of the NMHSs by their governments and stakeholders, which could result in strengthened partnerships and increased resources. However, NMHS face increasing demand and liabilities related to the provision of products and services to a larger and more diverse group of DRR stakeholders (e.g. government authorities, public and private sectors, NGOs, general public and media, etc.) whom have direct responsibilities for DRR decision-making. To meet these new challenges the cross-cutting DRR Programme two-tier work plan (hereafter referred to as the “DRR Work Plan”) aims to facilitate better alignment of the activities of WMO constituent bodies and global operational network as well as strategic partners to assist NMHSs to: 1. Engage effectively in the National DRR governance and institutional frameworks; 2. Identify, prioritize, establish partnerships and service delivery agreements with national DRR user community (users); 3. Establish partnership agreements with other national technical agencies (e.g., hydrological services, ocean services, etc.) as well as global and regional specialized centres (e.g. Global Producing Centres (GPC), Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMCs), Regional Climate Centres (RCC), Tsunami Watch Centres, etc.), with standard operating procedures; 4. Develop and deliver core and specialized products and services for DRR decision support (e.g., hazard/risk analysis, multi-hazard EWS, sectoral risk management and disaster risk financing and risk transfer) in a cost-effective, systematic and sustainable manner; 5. Ensure that core operational capacities (e.g., observing networks, forecasting systems, telecommunication systems, data management systems, human resources, etc.) are built upon the principles of Quality Management Systems (QMS) to support product and service development and delivery; 6. Engage in regional and global efforts for development of risk information for large scale and transboundary hazards, through strengthened regional and global cooperation. Two-tier DRR Programme Work Plan 2012 – 2015 The implementation of the two-tier DRR Programme Work Plan, includes: (i) development of thematic guidelines, standards and training modules, based on documentation and synthesis of good practices; and (ii) coordinated DRR and climate adaptation national/regional capacity development projects: For the knowledge products and standards, during the 2012-2015 timeframe, a number of guidelines, manuals and standards are being developed related to hydro-meteorological hazard definitions, standardization of hazard databases, metadata and statistical analysis and forecasting techniques Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems, climate services for disaster risk financing and parametric insurance and requirements of the humanitarian community for meteorological and climate services. Coordinated DRR and Adaptation national/regional capacity development projects In 2011, the Sixteenth WMO Congress endorsed: (i) DRR and Adaptation DRR national/regional capacity development projects in South East Europe, the Caribbean, and South-East Asia; and (ii) national Costa Rica Early Warning System Project funded by the World Bank. Linkages to Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) Through the aforementioned implementation approach, the DRR Programme is significantly contributing to the development of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).

Membership in Key Networks

• Inter-Agency Group • International Flood Initiative (IFI) • Associated Programme on Flood Management (APFM) • Five Regional Tropical Cyclone committees managed by Tropical Cyclone Programme (TCP) • Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s Intergovernmental Coordination Groups for Tsunami Warning Systems • Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) • World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), (WMO is a co-sponsor with ICSU and UNESCO) • ISDR Platform for Promotion of Early Warning (PPEW) • ISDR System Thematic Cluster/Platform on Knowledge and Education, • Global Risk Identification Programme (GRIP) • OECD High Level Panel on International Network on Financial Management of Large Scale Catastrophes • International Research Centre on El Niño (CIIFEN) • International Council for Science (ICSU) • More than 40 specialized meteorological and climate centres (e.g. six tropical cyclone forecasting centres, 4 drought management centers, etc.) • Six Regional Network of Meteorological Services • Consultative Group of the Space Agencies, EUMETNET

National Counterpart

National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, National committees of water, oceanographic and earth sciences, Coastal Zone Management

Making disaster risk reduction a policy priority, institutional strengthening (HFA 1)

View 2011 WMO DRR profile National Policy forums are held in a number of countries and regions to demonstrate the role of NMHS and climate services in supporting DRR decision-making.

Risk assessment and early warning systems (HFA 2)

Several Publications in this areas have been developed and released. Comprehensive projects for strengthening national capacities in risk analysis and Early Warning Systems have been initiated in a number of regions and countries as an integral part of a comprehensive approach to DRR.

Education, information and public awareness (HFA 3)

WMO is undertaking a major initiative to develop guidelines, manuals and standard for hazard definition, monitoring, detecting and mapping of 10 primary hazards of concern to WMO Members.

Disaster Risk Reduction Focal Point(s)

Dr. Maryam Golnaraghi, Chief of Disaster Risk Reduction Programme (


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  • 7 bis, Avenue de la Paix, CP 2300 1211 Geneva 2 Switzerland

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  • Content partner
  • GP 2013 delegation
  • GP 2011 delegation
  • GP 2009 delegation
  • Conferences:  - 5th Africa Regional Platform for DRR
     - 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR

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