37 RIMES Countries agree to share data and focus on impact forecasting and forecast-based action for 2021-2025

Bangkok, Thailand, 26 November 2020. Members of the RIMES Council agreed today at the 12th Meeting of the RIMES Council to share real-time and historical meteorological and hydrological data to improve performance of climate model outputs, and thereby enable the provision of high-resolution forecast products to participating countries. They also agreed to focus on forecast-based action in 2021-2025, with requisite capacity building on impact-based forecasting, impact forecasting, risk-based warning, and forecast-based risk and resource management to enhance community resilience.

The data-sharing arrangement shall be under the collaborative framework between RIMES and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). RIMES and ECMWF will develop the terms of data exchange that consider the priorities and concerns of participating countries.

In the next 5 years, RIMES’ work on capacity building for forecast-based action aims for: systematic and sustained engagement between the National Meteorological and Hydrological Service (NMHS) and its users, co-production and application of climate services, institutional mechanism in each country that supports climate service application, and influencing policy on climate- and disaster-resilient development. Climate services is defined as information products and services that are derived from climate information, tailored to users’ needs and requirements, and provided to them in a timely and seamless manner to support decisions. In this regard, the capacity building process shall progress from general forecasting, which is hazard-based (i.e. “what the weather will be”), to impact-based forecasting, adding general vulnerability information (i.e. “what the weather will do”), on to impact forecasting, integrating exposure and local vulnerability information (i.e. “what the weather will do in my locality”), and risk-based warning, communicating risks and risk management actions (i.e. “what my risks are and what I should do to manage these risks), to enable communities at risk to take early action.

Efforts that were initiated this year, contributing to this process, are the World Bank-supported South Asia Hydromet Forum, which will build NMHS capacity on Numerical Weather Prediction, ensemble prediction systems, and impact-based forecasting, and the Climate Adaptation and Resilience for South Asia (CARE) Project, which will develop a Regional Resilience Data and Analytics Services (RDAS) platform and linked forecast-based decision-support systems for finance, planning, agriculture, water, and transport sectors of project countries. Also, efforts from the Department for International Development Asia Regional Resilience to a Changing Climate – Met Office Partnership (DFID ARRCC-MOP) Programme continue to contribute to this process.

Noting these initiatives for the South Asia region, Council Members from East Africa, Southwest Indian Ocean, Central Asia, and the Pacific regions requested Dr. Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, to support similar capacity development activities in their region under the WMO-RIMES partnership framework. Dr. Taalas, as well as Dr. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), addressed the opening session of the 12th Council Meeting. Dr. Madhavan Nair Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, and Chair of the RIMES Council, opened the Meeting, while Mr. Ali Shareef, Deputy Director General, Maldives Meteorological Services, and Focal Point for the RIMES Secretariat, welcomed all participants to the Meeting.


Dr. Madhavan Nair Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Science, Government of India and Chair, RIMES Council (left) and Mr. Ali Shareef, Deputy Director General, Maldives Meteorological Services and Focal Point, RIMES Secretariat (right)



Dr. Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) (left) and
Dr. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission
for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) (right) addressing the 12th Meeting of the RIMES Council


The 12th Council Meeting was held virtually from 25-26 November 2020, with 37 Member and Collaborating States, represented mainly by heads of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, participating. Technical and development partners, which included Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Department for International Development (DFID), European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), UK Met Office (UKMO), UNESCAP, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Bank, World Food Program (WFP), and WMO also participated.