The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 and SDG 13 have brought attention to global issues such availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all and climate actions to minimize risks, respectively. Climate change is a major factor contributing to significant alterations in the earth's weather, climate, and water systems. The future weather, climate, and water systems will not be the same as they were in the past due to climate change, resulting in rising global temperatures, sea-level rise, altered precipitation patterns, and more frequent and severe extreme weather events such as tropical cyclone, droughts, floods, and wildfires. Tropical Cyclone Freddy is a recent example that has broken record of having ever recorded accumulated cyclone energy (ACE). It has traveled across the entire South Indian Ocean covering distance over 8,000 kilometers over 34 days (WMO, 2023).
These changes will have significant implications for the well-being of humans and other living organisms, ecosystem sustainability, the global economy, and food security.It is evident that the climate is changing, and traditional methods of monitoring, forecasting, and warning about weather will no longer be adequate. The unpredictability of climate and the growing frequency of extreme weather events demand significant improvements in monitoring, forecasting, and warning capabilities in the future. The future of weather, climate, and water systems will hinge on how quickly and effectively we adapt to the already occurring changes. To prepare for the future of weather and climate, it is crucial to invest in adaptation.
To adapt to the changes that are already happening in the weather, climate, and water systems, it is necessary to plan and invest in institutions, infrastructure, and information that can help countries and communities deal with the effects of climate change. This includes prioritizing investments in institutions like enhancing the capabilities of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) and upgrading tools and technology in a timely manner. Secondly, investments in infrastructure such as flood and typhoon protection, water storage, and energy and communication systems designed to withstand to extreme weather events. Finally, investments in information generation and disseminating systems such as Multi-hazard Early Warning (MHEW) and Impact-based Forecasting and Warning (IbFW) are essential to provide last-mile warnings.
Most of the interventions that Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) is implementing in Asia are closely aligned to this year’s theme of theWorld Meteorological Day – 2023 “The future of weather, climate and water across generations”.
ADPC approaches are comprehensive in enhancing capacities of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) by utilizing science-based information; strengthening governance systems for effective risk management at all levels; and by improving grounded application of disaster and climate risk reduction measures in sustainable development. Climate Data Portals for Bangladesh, and Myanmar are one such intervention designed and developed to enable planning and development in climate services in South Asia.
ADPC has been working with regional partners and supporting national governments to manage climate extreme, localising anticipatory actions and help the communities to build back better. Urban Resilience to Climate Extreme in Southeast Asia (URCE)programme (2018-2023) supported by Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) is one such key initiative in Southeast Asia to assist national and urban local institutions in Viet Nam to build resilience of the urban systems and urban communities to the current and emerging climate extremes, disasters and emergencies that are anticipated in the deltaic and coastal cities. ADPC is supporting Viet Nam Meteorological and Hydrological Administration (VNMHA) for Impact-based Forecasting and Warning (IbFW) and National Framework for Climate Services (NFCS) in Viet Nam.
Mekong Drought and Crop Watch is another one such intervention developed under SERVIR-Mekong Program which is an integrated web-based information system to (1) improve the operational, technological, and institutional capabilities to prepare for and respond to droughts in the Lower Mekong region; (2) support local decision-makers in drought monitoring, analysis, and forecasting.
ADPC also supports NMHS of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Pacific, which are leading crucial initiatives to manage the challenges posed by climate change. Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems Capacities and Needs Assessment (2020-2021) for Pacific Small Island Developing States (Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Tokelau, and Tuvalu) under Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems Programme supported by the World Meteorological Organisation is one such initiatives. Findings of this assessment was referred and highlighted in “Weather Ready Pacific – A Decadal Program of Investment” developed by Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC) (2021). This provides a Decadal Program of Investment to underpin the ability of NMHSs to deliver effective and timely forecasts and warnings to Pacific communities and industries. It is also complementary to regional initiatives that aim to enhance resilience to climate change and disasters.
ADPC’s recent work on MHEWS assessment in the Pacific SIDS and IBFW readiness assessment in Cambodia and Lao PDR
ADPC will continue to support NMHSs, National Disaster Management Organizations (NDMOs) and other sectoral organizations in countries to improve their technical and human capacity to cope up with future weather and climate extremes and help to achieve SDG 6 and other relevant SDGs.