SMHI and WMO to increase cooperation on international development

The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) are teaming up to increase their international development cooperation. The two organizations have signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding today that lays the basis for mutual cooperation on weather, water, oceans and climate change in developing countries.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed today by WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas and SMHI Director General Rolf Brennerfelt, The agreement provides a platform for SMHI and WMO to undertake specific cooperation agreements on projects in developing countries. Such agreements may, for example, include training or feasibility studies. The parties have agreed to share and exchange information as a first step in mutual cooperation. 

Rolf Brennerfelt, generaldirektör SMHI och Petteri Taalas, generalsekreterare WMO undertecknar avsiktsförklaringen om internationellt utvecklingssamarbete.
Today SMHI Director General Rolf Brennerfelt and WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas signed the memorandum of understanding.

"All countries, developed and developing alike, must work together to tackle the global climate challenge. SMHI has extensive and proven experience in working in developing countries. The newly signed Memorandum of Understanding between SMHI and WMO lays a foundation for an open dialogue on the continued efforts and initiatives by both parties. It is an important step in the further development of SMHI's international activities," said Mr Brennerfelt.

Climate-resilient societies 

The UN's Agenda 2030 sets out 17 global goals for sustainable development. A key goal is eradicating extreme poverty in the world. The future climate and the availability of fresh water are particularly critical issues for the world's poorest countries. There is need for knowledge and tools to plan and act for a climate-resilient society.

"SMHI’s broad and deep expertise is in strong demand and could make a big difference. Right now," said Eleonor Marmefelt, Head of SMHI Capacity Development, "we are carrying out, on behalf of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), international training programs on climate change, mitigation and adaptation for a total of about 250 decision makers from nine African countries." 

"With expertise in meteorology, hydrology, oceanography and climate all under the same roof, SMHI is unique globally as a hydromet service," added Ms Marmefelt. "Partnering with WMO will strengthen our reach, facilitating contact and opportunities for collaboration with sister agencies around the globe, particularly those active in international cooperation and capacity development. SMHI also brings a lot to the table, especially in climate and water services."