RIMES 2nd Ministerial Conference adopted RIMES Master Plan 2016-2020 for science-informed risk and resource management

Ministers and representatives of the Ministers of Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Comoros, India, Lao PDR, Maldives, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam adopted RIMES Master Plan 2016-2020 during the 2nd RIMES Ministerial Conference, held on 10 July 2015 in New Delhi. The Master Plan details country-specific capacity building priorities of RIMES member and collaborating states for user-centered multi-hazard risk-based early warning, and for maximizing opportunities associated with climate.

The Ministers reiterated their continued and unwavering commitment to sustain RIMES delivery of core services and support for implementing priority programs and projects under the Master Plan. In support of their National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and national scientific and technical agencies that generate multi-hazard warning information, the Ministers committed to fund Plan implementation primarily from resources available within the countries, and secondary from donor assistance. This include voluntary Member State contribution toward a Program Fund to assist other Member States, as modeled by India; associating RIMES as technical implementing partner in country projects that align with Master Plan priorities and driving resource mobilization for these projects, along the initiatives of Bangladesh; and making use of technical capacity available in member and collaborating states, such as those available at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).

The Ministers appreciated the invaluable support rendered by ESCAP in establishing, and in its continuous effort to strengthen, RIMES. The Ministers encouraged multilateral institutions to make use of RIMES mechanism for cost effective and sustainable delivery of programs and projects, and recommended the strengthening of the ESCAP Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness for continued assistance for Master Plan implementation. The Ministers and the RIMES Council acknowledged, with appreciation, the expressions of support from global and regional knowledge partners for Master Plan implementation. These include the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), and Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOTWS-IOC).

The Ministers agreed to share regionally relevant meteorological and oceanographic data with partner institutions and member and collaborating states, for improving forecast systems for early warning. Presently, RIMES has 12 signatory Member States. Bhutan, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, and Vietnam have indicated their readiness to sign the RIMES Cooperation Agreement; other 15 collaborating states are in various stages of Agreement consideration and approval. Fiji has recently indicated interest to participate in RIMES programs.

Hon. Dr. Harsh Vardhan, India’s Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, at the conclusion of the 2nd RIMES Ministerial Meeting, shared his vision of RIMES as a movement for the protection of people and their livelihoods from impending dangers from natural hazards, and urged all stakeholders to sustain and deepen this movement for the years to come.