Addressing global challenges through a collaborative approach: SERCOM-3 Day 1

04 March 2024

With over 200 technical experts in attendance and more than 100 participating online, the Third session of the Commission for Weather, Climate, Hydrological, Marine, and Related Environmental Services and Applications (SERCOM-3) kicked off today in Bali, Indonesia, setting the stage for a week of pivotal discussions.

Professor Dwikorita Karnawati, Head of Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG), opened the event by providing insights into Bali's rich natural and cultural heritage. However, Professor Dwikorita Karnawati reminded participants of the various natural hazards that the people of Bali and Indonesia experience regularly, ranging from earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to floods and wildfires. 

It comes as no surprise that SERCOM President, Ian Lisk, emphasized the paramount importance of the United Nations Secretary-General's Early Warnings for All initiative, aimed at implementing global early warning systems to protect every individual on Earth by 2027. SERCOM President underscored that this initiative stands as a clear priority for both SERCOM and WMO, touching on every aspect of SERCOM’s work. 

Finally, WMO Secretary-General, Professor Celeste Saulo, highlighted the importance of promoting collaboration within SERCOM and beyond, and engagement with National Hydrological and Meteorological Services (NMHSs) and UN bodies, to promote climate action. 

The first day of SERCOM-3 showcased the linkages between the Commission’s work with global frameworks and initiatives such as the Paris Agreement, the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Early Warnings for All initiative. The thematic areas covered during the day ranged from health, agriculture, and aviation to integrated energy services and disaster risk reduction, reflecting the expansive scope of meteorological and hydrological services.

Presentations and discussions emphasized the essential components for WMO Members to deliver accurate, reliable, timely, and useful services, including early warnings. Additionally, day one's discussions focused on evaluating past efforts, understanding the current state of climate and water resources, assessing the impacts of weather, water, and climate events, and anticipating future risks and challenges. This retrospective analysis, spanning four years since SERCOM's establishment after the WMO Reform in 2019, aimed to celebrate achievements, review progress, identify issues, and ensure SERCOM's readiness to meet the needs of WMO Members and partners. Partnership emerged as a recurring theme across all presentations, reports, and discussions, particularly with other UN agencies, reflecting a collaborative approach to addressing global challenges. 

Two side events were featured at day one in Bali:

  • The first side event explored the transformation of service delivery in aeronautical meteorology, forecasting its impact on member countries' service delivery modalities over the next 10 years. Highlighting drivers for change like increasing air traffic, evolving travel habits, and technological advancements, it underlined the fact that NMHSs must be proactive and anticipate problems before they occur, while undergoing fundamental changes in the next decades. 
  • The second side event provided a deep dive into the methodological aspects of the Early Warnings for All initiative implementation, focusing on experiences from 30 initial countries receiving targeted support. NMHSs discussed the Rapid Assessments undertaken to evaluate their hazard monitoring capabilities and strategies for integrating Early Warnings for All efforts into national plans. 

In the days ahead, discussions will delve into decisions and recommendations for international standards, methods, procedures, and practices, and the second day of SERCOM-3 will start with a review of previous resolutions and decisions to track SERCOM's progress.

For daily updates, visit the SERCOM-3 dedicated webpage.