New funding mechanism underpins climate early warnings and adaptation

The UN Systematic Observation Funding Facility (SOFF) is a new climate action funding mechanism that has become operational and underpins early warning and adaptation.

The funding mechanism aims to strengthen weather and climate observations, improve early warnings to save lives, protect livelihoods and support climate adaptation for long-term resilience, the UN announced on Monday. June 30th.

SOFF seeks to address the long-standing problem of missing weather and climate observations from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

In support of the Paris Agreement, it will strengthen the international response to climate change by closing data gaps that limit our understanding of climate. These shortcomings affect the world’s ability to predict and adapt to extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and heat waves, the organization said.

“Less than 10% of the required basic weather and climate observations are available from SIDS and LDCs. The world urgently needs this data and that is why SOFF will be a partnership of equals where everyone has a role and responsibilities,” said Professor, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) . Petteri Taalas.

The objective of SOFF is to support SIDS and LDCs through the provision of grants and technical assistance for the sustained collection and exchange of surface weather and climate observations in accordance with the Global Basic Observing Network (GBON) agreed at the international level and to help other developing countries to assess how to meet the requirements of the GBON.

“As the climate crisis deepens, it’s crucial that we build predictive power for everyone so countries can reduce disaster risk. That’s why we’ve launched an initiative to ensure that every person on Earth will be protected by early warning systems within the next five years.

“SOFF is an essential tool to achieve this. I thank all countries providing seed funding to the United Nations SOFF Multi-Partner Trust Fund and urge others to do the same,” the UN Secretary-General said. Antonio Guterres.

“Early warning systems are built on the basis of meteorological observation data, but this base is uneven or even non-existent in many LDCs and African countries. I urge others to follow suit and help create a strong global evidence base upon which timely, accurate, and people-centered early warning systems can be built for everyone.

“Our collective efforts are needed more than ever,” says the UN secretary-general’s special adviser on climate action and just transition Selwin Hart.

SOFF provides benefits not only to the most vulnerable countries, but to all countries in the world. The improved availability of weather and climate observations enabled by SOFF is essential if the global community is to realize the $162 billion per year in socio-economic benefits of weather and climate predictions.

“Filling the gaps in the global observing system will significantly improve the quality of much-needed weather and climate predictions globally. This will improve climate warnings and forecasts.

“We will all benefit from this. Development and adaptation to climate change will be supported at local, regional and global levels,” said the Deputy Director General of the Austrian Development Agency. Habertheuer-Heinz.

SOFF is a key part of a new early warning and early action initiative led by Guterres to ensure early warning services reach everyone over the next five years.

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