Region IV: North America, Central America, the Caribbean
The region's geographical extent and great diversity include ecosystems from the Arctic to the equator, such as tropical forests, islands, deserts, snow-covered landscapes and high mountains, representing a wide range of weather, water, and climate challenges.
Projects in the region
Haiti Weather Systems Programme: Climate Services to Reduce Vulnerability
Assisting in the re-establishment and modernization of hydro-meteorological services in Haiti, while reducing its vulnerability to hazardous weather, climate and water events and climate change. With support from Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Haiti Weather Systems Programme: Climate Services to Reduce Vulnerability project assists in the re-establishment and modernization of hydro-meteorological services in the country, while reducing its vulnerability to hazardous weather, climate and water events and climate change. The project helps the national meteorological and hydrological service, Unité Hydrologique et Météorologique (UHM), in meeting the information requirements and needs of the Haitian users for real-time applications, and addressing the disaster risk reduction, civil aviation, agriculture and maritime sectors.
Intra-ACP Climate Services and Related Applications (ClimSA)
The six-year Intra-ACP [African, Caribbean, Pacific Group of States] Climate Services and Related Applications (ClimSA) project – with EUR 85 million in funding from the European Union – aims to improve the production, access to and use of climate information, services and applications for decision makers. The project will foster sustainable development through the prevention of desertification, preservation of ecological biodiversity and the sustainable use of water management in ACP countries. The WMO grant of EUR 5.5 million supports ACP regional partners to improve the climate services value chain in five priority sectors: agriculture, disaster risk reduction, energy, health, and water. Underpinned by capacity development and knowledge management, WMO technical guidance addresses observations, data, predictions, models and the mainstreaming of climate services into policy processes.
Flash Flood Guidance System with Global Coverage (FFGS)
Flash floods are among the world’s deadliest natural disasters with more than 5 000 lives lost annually. Their social, economic and environmental impacts are significant. Accounting for approximately 85% of flooding cases, flash floods also have the highest mortality rate among different classes of flooding, including riverine and coastal. Flash floods differ from river floods in their short time scales and occurrence on small spatial scales, which makes flash flood forecasting a different challenge from large-river flood forecasting. In flash floods forecasting, we are concerned mostly with the forecast of occurrence, and focus on two causative events: 1) intense rainfall; and 2) rainfall on saturated soils. Flash floods occur throughout the world, and the development times vary across regions from minutes to several hours depending on the land surface, geomorphological and hydrometeorological characteristics of the region. However, for the majority of these areas, there exists no formal process or capacity for developing flash flood warnings.
Strengthening Hydro-Meteorological and Early Warning Services in the Caribbean
The Caribbean region is highly exposed to natural hazards, in particular hydrometeorological hazards such as hurricanes and tropical storms, floods, landslides and storm surge, and has suffered in the past from numerous significant impacts. The capacity of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and National Disaster Management Offices (NDMOs) in the region is highly varied - in some countries, especially the smaller ones, the NMHS consists of only a few people with limited technical training, while larger countries or foreign territories have far higher levels of capacity, training and technology. There are some collaboration and coordination mechanisms in place in the region. CREWS Caribbean is a three-year US$ 5.5 million project that looks to strengthen and streamline regional and national systems and capacity related to weather forecasting, hydrological services, multi-hazard impact-based warnings and service delivery for enhanced decision-making in the Caribbean. Being led by the World Bank GFDRR, with support from WMO and UNDRR, CREWS Caribbean is the first project to leverage all three of the CREWS implementing partners. The project targets both regional- and national-level priority areas to comprehensively strengthen hydromet services and Early Warning Systems (EWS) across the region. Project activities primarily focus on the 15 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member countries, though the strategy considers all stakeholder groups engaged in EWS and risk management.
Building Resilience to High-Impact Hydro-Meteorological Events through Strengthening Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and South East Asia
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has allocated CAD $10 million to the project Building Resilience to High-Impact Hydro-Meterological Events through Strengthening Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and South East Asia, representing its institutional support to the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative. An additional CAD 3.3 million has been provided from the CREWS Multi-Donor Trust Fund. Running until March 2021, the multi-country project will strengthen weather-, climate-, and water-related impact-based decision support services, protecting lives and property in three regions: South East Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.
Support of the Hydrometeorological Unit of Haiti (UHM) for sustainable operability and the implementation of a relevant and efficient hydrometeorological warning system (CREWS Haiti)
Haiti is the only least-developed country in the Caribbean, and is further classified as a small island developing state (SIDS). Haiti scored “very high” on the 2018 INFORM Risk Index. Moreover, the World Bank’s “Natural Disaster Hotspot Study” ranked Haiti as one of the countries with the highest exposure to multiple hazards, and the SIDS with the highest vulnerability to tropical cyclones. The vulnerability of the Haitian population is caused by the exposure to hydrometeorological events including tropical storms and cyclones, earthquakes, landslides, floods, droughts as well as demographic factors such as poverty, high population density, the presence of settlements in low-lying areas and floodplains. Moreover, a lack of political stability, fiscal problems and weak public infrastructure increase the risk for the population. An essential step to achieve resilience to climatic shocks and a sustained development of the country is to secure efficient Hydro-meteorological services. This is the principal goal of this project. The CREWS Haiti project leverages the outcomes of the “Climate Services to Reduce Vulnerability in Haiti” project, which was funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) (2012-2019). The main achievements of this project included the construction of a zero-emission, hurricane and earthquake resistant building for the Unité Hydro Météorologique (UHM), the development and installation of a technical assistance package, providing UHM with the necessary technical equipment, and further training for weather forecasting, observation and aviation meteorology.