This week saw the 16th session of the Regional Association II of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Abu Dhabi. The event brought together high representatives from 36 Asian countries to discuss a wide range of common challenges, including contingency planning for extreme events and more efficient data exchange to improve regional cooperation on monitoring and analysis of weather phenomena. The meetings concluded with electing the UAE as the association’s leader for the next four years, and His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Al Mandoos, Director of the National Center of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), to be President of the Association.
The WMO, a specialized agency of the United Nations since 1950, facilitates exchange of weather information across national borders with aim of harmonizing government policies towards climate phenomena. With 191 Member States and Territories, the organization fosters collaborative study and monitoring of the Earth’s atmosphere, the interaction of climate with land and oceans, and the consequences these processes have for the world’s water resources.
This week’s conference also included a comprehensive presentation by Alya Al Mazroui, Manager of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement, on the Program’s pillars, progress and objectives. The event also enabled Al Mazroui and the Program team to exchange insights with the WMO President, David Grimes and the WMO Secretary General, Prof Petteri Taalas, along with delegates from countries including Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, South Korea, Russia, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. Alya Al Mazroui provided an overview on the Program and its achievements, and invited them to submit their pre-proposals for the Third Cycle, to expand the pool of international researchers and institutions involved in this UAE innovative initiative.
His Excellency Dr Abdullah Al Mandoos, Director of the NCMS, said: “We are honored to play an active role within a major global forum for international cooperation on the science and understanding of meteorology and hydrology. Through its productive collaboration with the WMO, our team of UAE experts is contributing to the national efforts to tackle climatic and water security challenges that are placing vulnerable populations around the world at risk.”
Al Mazroui added: “We are very proud to be part of this important meeting of the WMO’s Regional Association II and give the delegates insights into the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science’s valuable work in driving innovative research. Our presentation allows us to highlight the Program’s role in improving international scientific and technological collaboration to mitigate water scarcity in the UAE and many regions around the world.”
Launched by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs of the UAE in early 2015 and overseen by the NCMS, the Program is an ambitious initiative of global scope designed to stimulate rain enhancement research and accelerate water security through international cooperation in scientific research and development. The Program offers a grant of US$ 5 million over a three-year period to be shared by up to five winning research proposals, selected by a two-stage merit review decision process. For its Second Cycle, the Program received 91 pre-proposals, representing 398 scientists and researchers affiliated to 180 institutes distributed across 45 countries. This significant level of interest evident from last year’s cycle testifies to the Program’s importance and marks it as a truly global initiative.
Playing its full part in the NCMS’s important contribution to meteorological and hydrological sciences, the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science is helping to fulfill the UAE Innovation Strategy’s vision of making the country a leading global knowledge economy.
Registrations are currently open for the Third Cycle at http://www.uaerep.ae. Pre-proposals must be submitted by March 16, and full proposals on or before August 16, 2017.