Progressing in Integrated Urban and Energy services: SERCOM-3 Day 5

08 March 2024

Day 5 of SERCOM-3 saw significant milestones reached, including the re-election of Mr. Ian Lisk as SERCOM President and the election of three new Co-Vice Presidents. Additionally, the approval of a new SERCOM work programme and recommendations for enhancing coastal hazard forecasting, and integrated urban, energy and marine services marked the day's discussions.

The fifth day of SERCOM-3 was a day of celebrations: after an inspiring Gender Action Day and International Women’s Day, representatives from all WMO Members, whose experts have provided invaluable contributions and countless hours of their time to the work of the Commission over the past five years, accepted - on behalf of these experts - certificates of appreciation. 

The current President of SERCOM, Mr. Ian Lisk (UK), was re-elected as President of SERCOM for the upcoming inter-sessional period (2024 - 2027). SERCOM members also elected three new Co-Vice Presidents: Angela Corina (Italy), Ardhasena Sopaheluwakan (Indonesia) and Raymond Tanabe (USA). 

Meanwhile, technical discussions continued: a big milestone was the approval of SERCOM’s new work programme for the next inter-sessional period (2024-2027). In addition, SERCOM recommended to the WMO Executive Council (EC), through the Technical Coordination Committee (TCC) to consider a new and expanded Weather, Climate, Hydrological, Marine and Related Environmental Services Programme, which would replace previous programmes for individual service and application areas. Such a programme will support the development and implementation of globally harmonized weather-, climate-, hydrological-, ocean- and environment-related services and applications that enable informed decision-making and the realisation of socioeconomic benefits by all user communities and society as a whole. 

Members decided to develop guidance material for National Hydrological and Meteorological Services (NMHSs) regarding coastal hazards caused by weather-driven long waves, considered ‘tsunami-like’ and work towards a common vocabulary among UN agencies, in particular with the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC) which, together with WMO, is part of a Joint Collaborative Board. Clear messaging on this phenomenon in alert and warning messages can be life-saving for the population in coastal areas, including transient populations such as tourists and migrant workers. 

SERCOM also recommended to the EC the collection and dissemination of marine meteorological and oceanographic information using IMO Recognized Mobile Satellite Services (RMSS), reflecting the modernization of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), as well as the new Unified Data Policy of WMO. In this way, Members will be able to provide better meteorological warnings and forecasts for their marine communities, as required under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), as well as search and rescue information. 

Furthermore, noting the important role of NMHSs in providing technical support and services in the transition to more resilient, secure and renewable national energy systems, and of WMO in enhancing their respective capabilities, SERCOM endorsed a long-term Capacity Development Plan for WMO Energy Services. Thanks to the work of the SERCOM Study Group on Energy Services, Members have already access to a training course and an online learning platform. This can be seen as a step towards significantly increasing the share of renewable energy and fundamental, urgent changes in the energy system. 

Integrated urban services are a relatively new area of service provision for many NMHSs.  A collection of good practices for the implementation of such services and for assessing their socio-economic and organizational costs and benefits was endorsed by SERCOM. Complementing other WMO Guides and Guidelines in this area, these offer guidance for stakeholder engagement and for the scientific infrastructure needed to develop integrated urban services, and a methodology to assess their quality and impact. 

A side event was dedicated to the International Data Rescue (DARE) Initiative: data rescue, i.e. preserving and digitising historic observational data, has been a priority for WMO since its foundation, as “without data, there is no service”. SERCOM-3 participants were briefed about the new DARE portal and guidelines developed and maintained in close partnership with the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) of the European Commission and other global partners. Several presenters elaborated on ongoing DARE projects and opportunities, including support to the Early Warnings for All initiative and the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS)

The final day of SERCOM-3 will see further discussions on climate services for the health sector as well as the disaster risk management community, and aspects of coordination and collaboration with other WMO entities. 

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

Approved documents: 

  • Doc. 4.7(2) Forecasting/Alerting for Coastal Hazards caused by weather driven long waves elsewhere known as 'meteotsunami'
  • Doc. 4.7(3) Marine meteorological and oceanographic information using Recognised Mobile Satellite Services (RMSS)(Draft 3)
  • Doc. 4.8 Long-term SG-ENE Capacity Development Plan on Services for Energy
  • Doc. 4.10 Integrated urban services
  • Doc. 10 Election of SERCOM officers 

Documents sent for Draft 2:

  • Doc. 4.9 Implementing Mechanisms for Health

*Documents will soon be accessible on the SERCOM-3 website.