WMO Website, 17th October 2018

The need to accelerate climate change adaptation and improve multi-hazard early warning systems to increase resilience to extreme weather took centre-stage at WMO’s Regional Association for Asia and the Pacific (RAV), hosted by Tonga from 15-17 October.

The meeting, held every four years, received presentations from WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas on the proposed WMO governance reform to to increase efficiency and effectiveness.  'Ofa Fa'anunu, head of the Tonga Meteorological Services and Permanent Representative of Tonga with WMO, was elected President to succeed Andi Eka Sakya of Indonesia. Mr Tauala Katea of Tuvalu was elected vice president.

Tonga is ranked number two in the world risk index of the most vulnerable countries to the increasing effects of natural disasters. Climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific, Prime Minister ʻSamiuela Akilisi Pōhiva told the opening session.

He said that this was reaffirmed by the special report released last week by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C Celsius.

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