Belize observes World Meteorological Day 2022
Thursday, March 24th, 2022
Belize joins the rest of the world in celebrating World Meteorological Day 2022, on the 23rd of March, under the theme “Early Warning and Early Action”. This day commemorates the coming into force of the convention that established the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1950. This year’s theme highlights the importance of having adequate and easily accessible hydrometeorological and climate information to aid in disaster risk reduction and sustainable development. This is especially true as the frequency and intensity of extreme weather and climatic events has become more prevalent on varying and unprecedented scales across the world due to climate change. This has resulted in more persons becoming exposed to multiple hazards and compound disasters, which are themselves exasperated due to several factors including population growth, urbanization, and environmental degradation.
In this rapidly evolving landscape, forecasts of what the weather will be no longer suffice. Instead, impact-based forecasts that inform the public of what the weather will do are required to safeguard lives and protect property. At the same time, there is also a need to strengthen early warning systems as they are a top priority in most climate change adaptation plans. This includes improving the coordination between national meteorological and hydrological services, disaster management authorities and development agencies.
The National Meteorological Service of Belize in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management continues to fulfil its mission of providing services and products aimed at protecting the Belizean public from extreme weather and climatic events while at the same time protecting property and contributing to the socio-economic development of Belize through cost of avoided damage in its early warning services. The department works closely with the National Emergency Management Organization and other partners both during and outside of the hurricane season to aid in appropriate emergency response to any potential weather or climate related hazard that could pose a threat to the country. The department has continually improved its institutional capacity in early warning services by capital investments in weather stations across the country and capacity building that provides critical real-time data required to alert vulnerable communities of any impending threat to life and/or property. The team at the National Meteorological Service of Belize is acutely aware that a potential weather or climate hazard does not necessarily have to result in a disaster if the vulnerable population is informed in a timely manner through early warnings and risk information. With this in mind, the NMS team continues to work arduously to provide life-saving information aimed at saving lives, protecting property and contributing to the country’s overall resilient and sustainable development.
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