Latin America and Caribbean Week highlights climate action, early warnings

24 October 2023

The Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week and a parallel Forum of Environment Ministers take place in Panama as the region is battered by record temperatures, drought and fires – as well as floods and storms.

A high-level symposium co-organized by WMO on the role of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in "providing weather, water and climate services and early warnings for the protection of the environment and society and for the prevention of disasters" showcased the vital work of the WMO community.

“Your area is one of the hotspots. We are aware of the challenges you are facing because of the tropical storms, hurricanes and changes in the precipitation patterns driven partly by the impacts of climate change and partly by El Niño and La Niña,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.

The growing vulnerability of society and economies to high-impact weather is one of the driving motivations for the international Early Warnings For All initiative, which seeks to ensure that everyone on Earth is protected by life-saving early warnings – including small island developing states on the frontline of climate change, he said.

The outcomes of the symposium on 24 October will feed into the high-level segment of the Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week and the Forum of Environment Ministers meeting. One of the key messages to the Ministers is that NMHSs play a key role in increasing resilience and adaptation by serving strategic sectors and providing early warnings. The financial support to NMHS is a strategic national investment.

Ministers of Environment were invited to regard NMHSs as important actors in  National Adaptation Plans and related climate financing initiatives.