WMO, FAO Strengthen Cooperation on Climate Change
Rome – The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) signed, on Monday, a memorandum of understanding to deepen cooperation to respond to climate variability and climate change.
Under the agreement, the two organizations will work on strengthening agro-meteorological services and making them more accessible to farmers and fishers; improve global and region-specific monitoring for early warning and response to high-impact events like droughts.
In addition, they will collaborate on technical cooperation, joint programmes and project development.
The agreement was signed by FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, and WMO Secretary-General, Petteri Taalas, on the sidelines of an international seminar on drought, held in Rome.
“Saving livelihoods means saving lives – this is what building resilience is all about,” said Graziano da Silva. Recalling the 2011 drought in Somalia that saw over 250,000 people perish from hunger, he said: “People die because they are not prepared to face the impacts of the drought – because their livelihoods are not resilient enough.”
“For years, the focus has been responding to droughts when they happen, rushing to provide emergency assistance and to keep people alive,” Graziano da Silva said, noting that while “of course, that is important,” investing in preparedness and resilience is essential.
For his part, WMO Secretary-General said his Organization “provides guidance and scientific information to strengthen national services responsible for addressing drought risks to agriculture.”
“We encourage countries to take early action against drought and to move towards a more proactive approach,” he added.