Recognizing the challenges faced by the United Nations Member States, affected by accelerated changes in high mountains, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and its partners, are making a concerted worldwide effort to address emerging needs precipitated by these changes, and foster robust and sustainable monitoring and climate service delivery functions, and advances in critical scientific research, to close the capacity, knowledge, and information gaps in these regions. Once available and accessible, these services will provide people in mountain, downstream, and lowland regions with adequate information for decision-making regarding water, weather, climate, and hazard management.
At this unique juncture, WMO, as the UN system’s authoritative voice on Climate, Weather and Water, and its partners, will co-host a High Mountain Summit, in October 2019, at the WMO Headquarters, in Geneva (Switzerland).
This Summit will build on the momentum created by major international initiatives including the 2030 Agenda, endorsed in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and establishing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Paris Agreement that entered in force in 2016. Other key milestones that highlight the role of the mountain cryosphere in a changing climate are also made explicit in the upcoming 2019 Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes a dedicated chapter on High Mountain areas, as well as a cross-chapter paper on ‘Mountains’ to feature in the IPCC’s sixth assessment report (AR6) Working Group II report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, scheduled for publication in 2021, and the 2018 IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.50C (SR1.5). The “Framework for Action for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Mountains”, approved in December 2017 by the Mountain Partnership members, also referred to role of the mountain cryosphere in a changing climate, and the impact on mountain populations.
- address the need for accessible, reliable, and policy-relevant information on water resources, natural hazard management, by integrating emerging knowledge on the accelerated changes in high mountain cryosphere and ecosystems, in mountain regions, downstream, and in lowland areas.
- create a platform for enhanced multi-sectoral inter-agency collaboration at national, regional and international levels, across sectors, scales, and actors, by leveraging existing and planned initiatives for providing integrated and comprehensive climate services along the production and utility value chain.
- align the efforts of WMO and its partners in increasing the availability of accurate and accessible climate and hydro-meteorological knowledge in support of the international agenda on sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and climate change.