Sustainable Development: WMO RA VI's Role in Advancing Socio-Economic Benefits

In 2009, during the XV Session of RA VI in Brussels, a strong call was made for intensified assessment of the socio-economic impacts linked to weather, climate, and water services. This emphasis sought to highlight the concrete advantages brought to society by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS). Concurrently, the endorsed Madrid Action Plan from the 2007 International Conference "Secure and sustainable living: Social and economic benefits of weather, climate, and water services" was set to involve collaborative contributions.

In line with these directives, the Task Team on Socio-Economic Benefits (SEB) was established within RA VI's Working Group on Service Delivery and Partnership. It played a pivotal role in orchestrating two significant events. The WMO RA VI Conference on Social and Economic Benefits of Weather, Climate, and Water Services took place in Lucerne during October 2011, with contributions from MeteoSwiss and the Swiss Government. This conference aimed to invigorate the practice of socio-economic assessments and studies across RA VI Members. The proceedings are accessible through the WMO e-library. 

In continuation, a Training Workshop for National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) was conducted in Zagreb between June and July 2015, concentrating on designing effective socio-economic benefits studies of meteorological and hydrological services and products.

In tandem with these efforts, the collaborative publication "Valuing Weather and Climate: Economic Assessment of Meteorological and Hydrological Services" was prepared with support from the World Bank, USAID, and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery. This publication offers a comprehensive review of socio-economic benefits analyses conducted in the field, underscoring the economic importance of these services across diverse sectors.

Having fulfilled its mission, the RA VI Task Team on SEB concluded its activities.

Consequently, as a result of these initiatives, RA VI refocused on pivotal WMO endeavors, including the EW4ALL program and the implementation of the Unified Data Policy. Nonetheless, the commitment of the RA VI High Level Team on Sustainable Development Goals endures, persistently advocating for the recognition of National Hydrological and Meteorological Services (NMHSs) as vital agents for sustainable development. These services play an essential role in fostering socio-economic benefits, not only through informed decision-making but also by enhancing disaster preparedness, resilience, and overall well-being within the communities they serve.

This advocacy takes advantage of significant events, such as the UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development and the UN Summits on Sustainable Food Systems, to underscore how NMHSs play a vital role in safeguarding the environment, ensuring public safety, and fostering resilient economies for the betterment of societies.

Moreover, the collaboration extends to workshops and webinars organized with other agencies within the UN Regional Collaborative Mechanism. One such event is planned for 12-13 September 2023 in Istanbul, catering to UN Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams.

The WMO Regional Office for Europe's active contribution includes presentations on its value-added regional products, notably the State of Climate in Europe report, the Sand and Dust Storm Warning and Advisory System, and the Early Warning for All initiative. These offerings not only showcase the NMHSs' significant role but also emphasize their contributions to informed decision-making, disaster preparedness, and sustainable development.