Cooperation in South-East Europe for building better preparedness to meteorological and hydrological hazards
10:30 - 11:30 CET
26 November 2021
EFDRR Virtual Platform
South-East Europe region is experiencing an increasing number of severe meteorological and hydrological hazardous events, leading to substantial loss of life, livelihoods, and damages to infrastructure and key sectors. Often these hazards have impacts on multiple countries, therefore there is a need for a transboundary approach for addressing the issue. Development of the ‘South-East European Multi-Hazard Early Warning Advisory System (SEE-MHEWS-A)’was commenced to tackle this increasing challenge. The system aims to provide National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) operational forecasters with effective, efficient, and easy to apply tools for improved and more accurate forecasting of hazardous events and early warnings and to ensure that the national authorities have the best possible information to carry out early actions and make the decisions that can mitigate potential impacts of hazardous situations. Furthermore, advancements in policy frameworks are required to facilitate the collaboration between different entities at national and regional levels, to secure effective functioning of the regional early warning system, particularly in transboundary context.
The system development was initiated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) together with the NMHSs of the region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, and Ukraine). Leading European organizations in the fields of meteorology, hydrology and disaster risk reduction, including ECMWF, EUMETSAT, EUMETNET, JRC, ESSL, and DPPI SEE are essential partners in the system development.
The project aims to strengthen the interface and collaboration between the NMHSs and national stakeholders responsible for DRR matters. This will secure that effective communication and appropriate actions are taken by disaster risk management authorities, based on the warnings issued. The results of this joint action will ultimately serve more than200 million inhabitants in South-East Europe.
Technical Assistance to the ongoing demonstration phase of the SEE-MHEWS-A project is provided with financial support from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the European Union, the latter under the EU-WB/GFDRR Western Balkans DRM Program managed by the World Bank and GFDRR. The initial phase of the project was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.
The partners developing the system are presenting and discussing in the side event at the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction the opportunities and challenges in developing the Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for South-East Europe including:
1. What is the SEE-MHEWS-A system, and how the system operations will help the countries in providing accurate and timely forecasts and warnings of hydro meteorological hazards;
2. What are the lessons learned for the demonstration phase from the SEE-MHEWS-A project, and what steps are needed for development of the fully operational system;
3. How the system development will support the countries of the region in reaching the targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Executive Director, EUMETNET
WMO Representative for Europe, World Meteorological Organization
Director-General of the ECMWF
Director-General of the EUMETSAT
Director, European Severe Storms Laboratory
European Commission, Joint Research Center
Head of the Secretariat, Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South-Eastern Europe
Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist, World Bank Group