ECOWAS and partners host Hydromet forum to safeguard the environment15 Sep, 2018
|Abuja, September 14th 2018. The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is convening a 3-Day regional hydromet Forum and a Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) platform to press for a safer environment for sustainable livelihood among others in the region.
The Forum which starts on the 19th of September 2018, in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire is being organised in collaboration with the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the government of Cote d’Ivoire and other partners.
It will afford dignitaries and experts the perfect opportunity to proffer solutions to the challenging issues of the environment and raise the level of advocacy on the critical need to save lives while strengthening public and private investments.
Besides, the forum will provide an avenue for decision makers such as West African Ministers responsible for meteorology, finance, planning, Water, and DRR and experts from regional organizations, the academia, national hydromet services as well as disaster risk management organizations, to discuss regional initiatives, identify areas for collaboration while appraising financing opportunities.
Some of these identified challenges include funding, capacity building, infrastructure, technology exchange and knowledge sharing. They also revolve around the problems which the various national hydrological and meteorological services are facing in the region as well as the dissemination of information to end users through DRR Services.
Addressing these challenges will boost socio-economic development, regional integration and impact positively on gender equality in the region.
Essentially, the Forum and DRR Platform are primed to help galvanise regional leadership to strengthen weather, water and climate services in their global public good function for climate risk management, climate adaptation and disaster risk management.
It is also envisaged that participants would brainstorm and come up with workable approaches to the harnessing of existing weather, water, soil and climatic information strategies and programmes to achieve sustainable development in the West African region including the all-important need to mobilise resources for the implementation of projects at the nexus of hydrology and meteorology.
In the process private sector initiatives are to be highlighted in support of hydromet, early warning and disaster risk management services, while connecting potential business partners to ongoing initiatives.
Experts hold that effective and reliable hydromet services help ensure that people can be safely evacuated before a disaster. Government agencies can effectively plan for climate adaptation. Farmers can better plan for how to grow their crops, and businesses can make use of timely, accurate data in their decision-making. With useful weather, water, and climate information services, pilots and meteorologists can also plan and make more informed decisions, while water and weather-dependent industries like fishing, electricity, and tourism can become more efficient.
The Forum brings together about 212 participants comprising national representatives and experts from meteorology, hydrology and Disaster Risk Reduction, experts from West African technical institutions, national agencies and ECOWAS partners and global institutions.