The World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
The World Meteorological Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations under the overall supervision of the Economic and Social Council. The work of the World Meteorological Organization focuses on the interaction between land, oceans and climate as well as resulting weather phenomena or the distribution of water resources.
It was established in 1950 and became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1951. Currently, it has 191 Member States and Territories that work together in six regional associations to meet the goals of the organization.
At KULMUN 2019, the focus will lie on issues affecting the members of Region V, which is the South-West Pacific. Participants will look at a part of the world in which the consequences of a changing climate are most pressingly felt.
Topic A: Coming up with a flood risk-reduction and resilience programme
Floods are the most common of all natural hazards and they have the largest impacts on society. Fortunately, the amount of fatalities is decreasing thanks to better early warning systems, but the damages to land and property appear to be increasing due to inefficient and insufficient prevention policies. The importance of reducing the risk of floods and more specifically, alleviating the damages caused by extreme weather conditions will continue to rise in future as climate change will cause more severe and frequent weather events. A warmer and moister atmosphere due to human-emitted greenhouse gasses creates in theory a potential for more energetic storms and weather events.
Although there exists a certain uncertainty in current studies due to the rare nature of severe floods, recent historic catastrophic floods in India caused the death of hundreds of citizens and great material damage. Unfortunately, the most vulnerable areas of the world have coincidentally the highest risk of flooding. The effects of these great floods on the long term could negatively impact political stability and further development of the affected areas. These vulnerable areas do not have sufficient resources and means to tackle these phenomena and combined with the fact that the most severe events happen without regards to borders would indicate that tackling the issue of risk reduction and resilience schemes on a global scale is a natural extension of WMO’s competencies.
Topic B: Loss and damages mechanism applied to Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
Climate change and the overall increase of sea and air temperature are said to participate to the increase of extreme weather conditions. In addition to severe raining episodes that might lead to floods, SIDS are exposed to typhoons/hurricanes that cause unprecedented damage. Such extreme weather conditions en up jeopardizing many economic activities : in addition to damaging agriculture, tourism -a major income source for numerous SIDS- is also put at risk. Not only should climate change’s impact on SIDS be taken into account : demography also has to be focused on. Some nationals, concerned by the future of their country, often chose to emigrate in order to seek better and more stable economic and professional opportunities abroad. This also has a cost as the workforce of those nations is thus reduced, putting at stake the developing economy of some countries.
If dealt with by countries individually, the solutions states may come up with risk to be flawed and fail to take into account the individual input smaller states might come up with. Such an issue is centred on countries whose future is directly endangered by climate change but will also touch those states where SIDS national chose to migrate to : consequently, the design of a loss and damages mechanism could help dealing with such a pressing matter and allow countries whose role and position may differ to come up with a scheme that is as comprehensive and far reaching as possible.
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
- People’s Republic of China
- Republic of Korea
- South Africa