Professor Petteri Taalas (Finland) was appointed Secretary-General (SG) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in June 2015 by the 17th World Meteorological Congress for a four-year mandate starting 01 January 2016. He succeeds Michel Jarraud (France).
Prof Taalas has been the Director-General of the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) since 2002, excluding 2005 – 2007 when he worked at the WMO Secretariat as the Director of Development and Regional Activities (DRA) Department. He holds a PhD in Meteorology from the University of Helsinki. Click here for more information.
New Staff: Josephine (Jay) Wilson: Ms Wilson joined WMO on 01 December 2015 as the Programme Manager for the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET). Jay is responsible for the overall planning and coordination of the AMCOMET Secretariat and its operations. Prior to WMO, Jay worked for the Global Humanitarian Forum (GHF) in Geneva and for various telecommunications companies in the United States of America (USA) working on various projects from first generation mobile phones and GPSs, voice over IP and fiber deployment to the home. Jay holds a degree in International Business Management from California State University, Northridge.
Kosmos E. Akande-Alasoka: Mr Akande-Alasoka was appointed Public Information Officer (PIO) to the DRA Department to work for the WMO Regional Office for Africa and the AMCOMET Secretariat on 01 January 2016. Prior to this appointment, Kosmos was a PIO in the Communication and Public Affairs (CPA) Unit of the WMO Cabinet of External Relations (CER) Office where he served for 14 years. Kosmos obtained his Master’s Degree in Media and Communications from the International University in Geneva, Switzerland.
Ernest A. Afiesimama: Dr Afiesimama joined WMO on 1 October 2015 as a Programme Manager for the Regional Offices for Africa and Least Developed Countries responsible for assisting National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in Regional Association I (RAI-Africa) to improve their operations and capacities in service delivery to relevant stakeholders. Prior to joining WMO, Ernest worked with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) for over 30 years. Ernest was Head of the International Relations Office of NIMET responsible for maintaining strategic relationships with international organizations to advance cooperation with these institutions on weather, climate and water issues. Ernest holds a Ph.D in climatology (climate dynamics) from the University of Lagos in Nigeria.
Africa Celebrates World Meteorological Day 2016
World Meteorological Day was observed on the 23rd of March, under the theme, "Hotter, Drier, Wetter. Face the Future". This theme was chosen to illustrate the reality of climate change. Click here for more information.
Follow the links below to see how some African Member States celebrate this special day.
AMCOMET Partners with ACPC and UKMO for the WISER Programme
The Weather and climate Information SERvices for Africa (WISER) programme funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) will provide up to £35 million in the next four years on projects aimed at generating and improving the use of weather and climate information across the Sub-Saharan Africa with initial focus on the Lake Victoria Basin Region.
WMO-AMCOMET, in collaboration with the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), the UK Met Office (UKMO), the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in the East African Community (EAC) Partner States and Regional Climate Centres (RCCs) in Africa, are expected to develop a standardised methodology for needs assessment, strategic and business planning for NMHSs, development of national strategic plans in selected countries as well as produce a consolidated baseline report on the needs and gaps in RCCs. The WISER Programme aims to increase the use of reliable, co-produced and accessible weather and climate services based on better data, information, knowledge and tools to inform regional, national, sectoral and sub-national as well as community level policy, planning and decision-making in Africa. Click here for more information.
African Union Heads of State and Government adopt the African Space Policy and Strategy
The African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government adopted the African Space Policy and Strategy during their 26th Ordinary Session on 31 January 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This is a giant stride towards the realization of an African Outer Space Programme, which is one of the flagship programmes of the AU Agenda 2063.
The AU Commission, through an AU Member States-based Working Group (WG) guided by sectorial Ministerial Conferences, among which is AMCOMET, drafted the space policy and strategy, bringing together various stakeholders to harness space technologies for socio-economic benefits that improve the quality of lives and create wealth for Africans. The next steps would be to develop a Framework for the Implementation of the Policy and Strategy, as well as the governance framework that would outline the relevant legal requirements and protocols for an operational African Outer-Space Programme. Click here for more information.
CR4D Scientific Advisory Committee Met in Addis Ababa to provide strategic direction on initiatives
The Climate Research for Development (CR4D) in Africa initiative was launched to strengthen links between climate science research and climate information needs in support of development planning in Africa. The primary goal of this research initiative is to create a multi-institutional and multi-stakeholder collaborative platform that mobilizes expertise and attracts resources to facilitate user-inspired climate science research that informs climate change policy and sustainable development planning in Africa. The CR4D Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) met on 17 – 18 March 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss the 2°Africa2020 Assessment Framework and the CR4D 5-Year Strategic Plan, among others.
The participants in the meeting included 13 of the 15 SAC Members, representatives of the CR4D Oversight Body, namely, the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) and the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET) as well as the CR4D Secretariat. The SAC elected Prof. Amadou Gaye of the University Chiekh Antia Diop, in Senegal and Dr. Judith Omumbo of USAID as their co-Chairs.
Members of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) formed various sub-committees to develop a Post Paris 2°Africa2020 Assessment Framework, the CR4D 5-Year Strategic Plan and to explore viable options for a dedicated outlet for publishing work on climate services, policy and practice by African scientists, in particular early career and junior scientists. The various sub-committees will report their findings and recommendations to the CR4D Secretariat by the end of April 2016. Click here for more information.
AMCOMET at the African Union Summit
The AMCOMET Secretariat participated at the 28th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council and 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union from 27-28 January 2016 to represent WMO and to support the AMCOMET Bureau Chair (Cabo Verde) during discussions on the AU Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARDWE).
While the discussion on the STC-ARDWE was moved to the June 2016 agenda of the AU Summit, one of the key outcomes from previous AUC meetings was the inclusion of meteorology under the STC on ARDWE as was requested on the Praia Ministerial Declaration, which was endorsed in February 2015 during the Third Session of AMCOMET.
AMCOMET, African Ministerial Council on Water (AMCOW) and African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) joined efforts and made a request to retain their brand names while serving as sub-committees on the STC-ARDWE. All three institutions are Sectorial Ministerial Conferences of the AU whose Secretariats are not hosted by the African Union Commission (AUC) and are self-financing with their own Constitutions, and thus, not a financial burden to the AU. A decision on this request is expected during the AU Summit in June 2016. Decisions of the Summit can be accessed here.
Consultative Climate Services Forum on Agriculture
The WMO sub-Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA), based in Nairobi, Kenya, attended the consultative meeting for climate services on agriculture organized by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Global Framework on Climate Services (GFCS) held from 17 - 20 January, 2016 in Rome, Italy. The purpose of the meeting was to share updates on priority areas with exemplars on agriculture and which have a reflection on the current climate services provided by various organizations. The stakeholders were able to identify various gaps and offered ways for addressing them.
Next steps include capacity building programmes, such as training courses on the use of remote sensing for drought monitoring and agricultural meteorology, with potential support from EUMETSAT and coordination with FEWSNET to undertake applied training in the use of different tools for crop monitoring and assessment. For instance, SEI will be engaged to provide technical expertise to Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) in the application of decision-making support tools to facilitate the process of finalizing their Climate Services Action Plan and capture learning from the process to feed into the GFCS Community of Practice.
5th MESA Project Steering Committee Meeting
The Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) project (2013-2017) held its 5th Steering Committee Meeting in Accra, Ghana from 8-11 February, 2016. Delegates were from the African Union Commission (AUC), Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and their Regional Implementation Centres (RICs), the Project Coordination Unit, Technical Assistance team and WMO. Hon. Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development of the Republic of Ghana, opened the meeting, highlighting the project’s important contribution in the effective management and preservation of the continent’s natural resources for current and future generations.
The objective of the meeting was to take stock of project implementation actions in the various economic communities in sub-Saharan Africa with a view to ensuring effective delivery of project results and goals. Discussions centered on the status of implementation of past recommendations, the status of the project in the various implementing entities, including its financial status and mid-term evaluation.
Overall, the MESA project implementation was satisfactory, with concerns raised in the low uptake and application of the information generated from the project by target beneficiaries. The meeting recommended that efforts be made for increased engagement with the user-community, as in the case with the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) concept.
The next meeting of the MESA Steering Committee will take place in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC )region at the end of November 2016 (after COP-22). The 2nd MESA Forum will be hosted in the ECOWAS / SADC region during the second quarter of 2017. Click here more information.
2nd Open-Ended Committee of the Permanent Representatives (OECPR-2) to UNEP
WMO participation at the OECPR meeting as well as the upcoming UNEA-2 meeting is critical to have a better understanding of UNEP’s Strategy and Programme of Work in delivering on the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). WMO is exploring how it can build on its current collaboration with UNEP, among other UN Agencies, to effectively deliver on the 2030 Agenda for SDGs.
The OECPR meeting also discussed UNEP’s 2018-2021 Medium-Term Strategy (MTS), a stepping stone for facilitating SDG delivery. The meeting further discussed the Global Thematic Report on “Healthy Environment, Healthy People,” an area of interest to WMO, in particular as it relates to the WMO-World Health Organization (WHO) partnership to tackle the increasing risks to human health posed by weather and climate hazards.
UNEA President, Oyun Sanjaasuren (Mongolia), presented the results of informal consultations and meeting participants agreed to continue negotiating the draft resolutions during the inter-sessional period, with the intention of submitting to UNEA-2 for consideration and adoption. WMO Secretary-General, Prof Petteri Taalas, is expected to participate during the High-Level Segment of the UN Environment Assembly on 27 May 2016.
WMO Regional Office for Africa relocates to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The WMO Regional Office for Africa (RAF), currently located at the WMO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, will be moving to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by July 2017.