WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION CAgM/MMG-2/Doc. 5 ________________________ (8.03.05) COMMISSION FOR AGRICULTURAL METEOROLOGY AGENDA ITEM: 5 MANAGEMENT GROUP MEETING GUARUJA, BRAZIL, 30 MARCH – 2 APRIL 2005 Original: ENGLISH PROGRESS MADE IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGRICULTURAL METEOROLOGY PROGRAMME – A STATUS REPORT (M.V.K. Sivakumar) 1. TRAINING EVENTS IN AGROMETEOROLOGY The training activities under the Agricultural Meteorology Programme progressed well during June 2003 to March 2005. Main emphasis was on assistance to Members through various training events such as workshops and roving seminars. Most of these events have been organized in collaboration with national and international organizations. Following is a list of the training events held. (a) Training Workshop (RA II) on Satellite Remote Sensing and GIS Applications in Agricultural Meteorology WMO organized a Training Workshop (RA II) on Satellite Remote Sensing and GIS Applications in Agricultural Meteorology at the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) in Dehradun, India from 7 to 11 July 2003. The workshop was co-sponsored by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP), IIRS, the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) and the Space Applications Centre (SAC). Sixteen participants from thirteen Asian countries, including Bangladesh, China, India, Kazakhstan, Lao PDR, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates participated in the workshop. Thirteen invited lecturers from the ANGR Agricultural University, IMD, IIRS, NRSA, the Regional Remote Sensing Service Centre, and SAC presented lectures and practical exercises on fifteen different topics related to the theme of the workshop. These topics included: principles of remote sensing; meteorological satellites; digital analysis of satellite data; digital image processing; fundamentals of GIS & GPS; spatial data analysis; retrieval of agrometeorological parameters using satellite remote sensing data; remote sensing and GIS application in agro-ecological zoning; crop growth modelling and applications in agricultural meteorology; crop growth and productivity monitoring and simulation using remote sensing and GIS; assessment and monitoring of droughts, floods, water and wind induced soil erosion using remote sensing and GIS; satellite based weather forecasting and agro-advisory services; desert locust monitoring; and forest fire and degradation assessment using remote sensing and GIS. A training manual with copies of all the lectures and practical exercises was prepared and distributed to all the participants at the workshop. (b) Training Seminar (RA I) on Information Technology related to Internet WMO organized a Training Seminar (RA I) on Information Technology related to Internet for Agricultural Meteorology at the Drought Monitoring Centre (DMCN) in Nairobi, Kenya from 1 to 5 December 2003. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Drought Monitoring Centre. Eighteen participants from eight countries, including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, participated in the seminar. Participants represented their countries’ various meteorological services, the African Centre for Meteorological Applications to Development (ACMAD), the Agrhymet Regional Centre, and the SADC Drought Monitoring Centre (Harare). CAgM/MMG-2/Doc. 5, p. 2 Lecturers included experts from the United States Department of Agriculture, DMCN and the Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). The following topics along with practical computer exercises included: Agrometeorological Information Technology (IT) challenges in the IGAD region; Communicating Agrometeorological Information; Contents of Agrometeorological Bulletins; Improving Agrometeorological Bulletins; Survey on the status of internet in the IGAD region; Quick Tips on Using MS Windows, Internet, and MS Office; FTP; Automatic Internet Downloads; Introduction to HMTL; Introduction to MS FrontPage; Introduction to Databases; RANET initiative; Grid Analysis and Display System (GRADS); Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Arcview; and the World AgroMeteorological Information Service (WAMIS). A training manual with copies of all the lectures and practical exercises was prepared and distributed to all the participants at the workshop. All participants presented an overview of how their countries and organizations currently use information technology related to the Internet and what agrometeorological information (bulletins, advisories) were produced and disseminated. The participants also presented their needs and priorities in improving their agrometeorological products and use of Internet related information technology. (c) Roving Seminar on The Application of Climatic Data for Desertification Control, Drought Preparedness and Management of Sustainable Agriculture The Roving Seminar on The Application of Climatic Data for Desertification Control, Drought Preparedness and Management of Sustainable Agriculture was held at the Antigua and Barbuda International Institute of Technology (ABIIT), St John’s, Antigua, 21-29 April 2004 at the kind invitation of the Antigua Meteorological Services. Twenty participants from 9 countries, including 12 from Antigua and Barbuda attended the seminar. Hon. Harold E.E. Lovell, Minister of Tourism, External Affairs, International Transportation and Trade of Antigua and Barbuda opened the seminar and explained the importance of the Seminar for Antigua and Barbuda. The seminar was conducted Prof. Luis Santos Pereira, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Lisbon, Portugal. He was assisted by Mr Adrian Trotman of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH). The WMO representative gave three lectures during the seminar. A CD-ROM version of the Training Manual was prepared at WMO for distribution to the participants. In addition to the Training Manual, other material was provided to the local organizers that prepared a CD-ROM for distribution to the participants. Data for the exercises were provided by the participants, who made available data sets of all types of weather data with daily and monthly time steps. Data on soils and crops were created in the Seminar using the expertise of participants with agricultural background. Training courses co-sponsored by WMO 2. WORKSHOPS AND MEETINGS ORGANIZED BY WMO (a) Regional Technical Meeting on CLIPS and Agrometeorological Applications for the Andean Countries WMO organized a Regional Technical Meeting on CLIPS and Agrometeorological Applications for the Andean Countries from 8 to 12 December 2003 at the Centro Internacional para la Investigación del Fenómeno El Niño (CIIFEN) in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Twenty four participants including CLIPS and Agricultural Meteorology experts from six Andean countries (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela), invited experts from Costa Rica, Colombia, International Research Institute for Climate Change (IRI), representatives from WMO and CIIFEN participated in the Meeting. The Meeting started with presentations by invited experts on current advances in seasonal forecasting and future challenges, applications of climate information in agriculture in the Andean region, recent advances in agrometeorological applications at the global level, climate prediction and agriculture, IRI experiences in climate forecasting and applications for the Andean countries and the potential for applications of climate forecasting. These were followed by two presentations reviewing the current applications and future potential in CLIPS and in Agricultural Meteorology from each of the CAgM/MMG-2/Doc. 5, p. 3 six Andean countries. One full day of the Meeting was devoted to discussions on future strategies to promote CLIPS and Agrometeorological Applications in two separate working groups. Plenary meetings were held at different stages to integrate the findings from the two working groups. (b) Meeting of the RA II Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology The meeting of the Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology of Regional Association II (Asia) was held at the Headquarters of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) in Jeddah from 15 -17 December 2003. Twelve participants attended the meeting. The meeting was opened by His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Nasser bin Abudulaziz, Permanent Representative of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia with WMO. The meeting was chaired by Dr G. Kamali (Iran). The meeting reviewed reports prepared by the members of the working group and made a number of suggestions for their improvement. The meeting agreed on the schedule for the finalization of the report of the group to be submitted to the thirteenth session of the Regional Association II which was held in September 2004 in Hong Kong, China. The meeting made the following recommendations for the future activities of the group: a) To review the approaches in promoting the more active use of agrometeorological research products by the end users for sustainable agriculture in the region. b) To review and summarize the status of seasonal and early warning prediction as well as the monitoring of drought in the region by both conventional and remote sensing techniques. c) To review and summarize the latest information on impact of climate change on the agricultural and water resources sectors, and the adaptation strategy to cope with the impacts. d) To review and summarize the current procedures of agrometeorological forecasts in particular with respect to pest and disease management. e) To review and summarize both the modern and traditional methods of rain water harvesting for agricultural use. f) To review and summarize the application of agrometeorological modeling in the region. g) To evaluate the status of education and training of agrometeorological personnel with particular reference to early warning and monitoring of drought so as to promote and support the activities of centres in the region such as the RDMEC in Jeddah. h) To review and evaluate the importance of urban and indoor agriculture in the region and the strategy to promote them for sustainable agriculture. (c) Meeting of the RA VI Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology The meeting of the RA VI Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology was held in Braunschweig, Germany from 17 to 19 December 2003. Ten participants from 10 countries attended the meeting. The meeting was chaired by Prof. G. Maracchi (Italy), Chairman of the RA VI Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology. The group reviewed the reports prepared by the members and made a number of suggestions for revising these reports for the final report of the working group. Dr Ray Motha, President of the Commission for Agricultural Meteorology (CAgM), made a presentation on the USDA Joint Agricultural Weather Facility. The group discussed the possibility of preparing a Regional Project on Agricultural Meteorology that could be submitted to the European Commission for funding. The group also discussed the contents of the two reports to be submitted under item 7.2 on Agricultural Meteorology Programme at the fourteenth session of RA VI will be held in Aachen, Germany in September 2005 and agreed on a CAgM/MMG-2/Doc. 5, p. 4 time table for the preparation of the two reports. The group agreed that the subject of the impact of climate change and climate variability on agriculture and forestry in Europe is of significant importance and that Members in RA VI should be fully sensitized about these impacts to take action to monitor and mitigate these impacts. The group concluded that financial and human resources available for activities in the area of agricultural meteorology in Europe are not consistent with the perceived impacts of climate change and weather extremes on agriculture and forestry in Europe and made the following recommendations: 1) Efforts should be made to strengthen training, research and operational applications in agricultural meteorology in Europe. 2) There is an urgent need to strengthen the linkages between meteorological services and agricultural sector and improve the collaborative activities in the field of agricultural meteorology especially in the areas of numerical weather forecasting, remote sensing, data management etc. 3) The Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology for RA VI should be reestablished with renewed terms of reference which might include the following: (a) To review the various agrometeorological techniques and applications to enhance water use efficiency and availability in European Agriculture and suggest more appropriate tools for effective irrigation scheduling; (b) To assess the economic impacts of agrometeorological information in Europe through specific case studies; (c) To review and recommend applications of seasonal to interannual climate forecasts to agriculture in Europe, especially concerning quality and storage of agricultural products, through active collaboration with CLIPS, (d) To assess the feasibility of using numerical weather products in operational applications of agrometeorology; (e) To evaluate the use of remote sensing techniques for monitoring crop growth phases and promote their applications in operational agrometeorology, and (f) To promote more active collaboration with farming community in Europe for improved applications of agrometeorology at the farm level including internet technologies. (d) Inter-Regional Workshop on Strengthening Operational Agrometeorological Services The Inter-Regional Workshop on Strengthening Operational Agrometeorological Services was organized in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) from 22-26 March 2004 in Manila, Philippines, at the kind invitation of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). Twenty-eight participants from 19 countries, including 4 from the Philippines, attended the meeting. The workshop was opened by Ms E.F. Alabastro, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of Philippines. There were 11 sessions during the workshop in which 21 invited papers were presented dealing with various aspects on strengthening operational agrometeorological services. The technical sessions included the following: operational agrometeorological services: national, regional and international perspectives; strengthening operational agrometeorological services – a critical review; and strengthening operational agrometeorological services – needs from agricultural sector. These sessions were followed by a brainstorming session on strengthening services at which the participants identified the following main problems in Strengthening Operational Agrometeorological Services and prioritized them as follows: CAgM/MMG-2/Doc. 5, p. 5 1. Lack of effective communication between providers and users 2. Insufficient knowledge and appreciation of the potential applications of agrometeorology 3. Lack of adequate resources 4. Lack of training 5. Lack of adequate tools and methods 6. Lack of adequate infrastructure 7. Insufficient linkages between disciplines and institutions 8. Lack of adequate, reliable and standardized datasets with sufficient and temporal spatial coverage The workshop then identified the strategies to address the above priority problems in strengthening operational agrometeorological services. Following recommendations were made by the workshop: a) In order to improve the spatial resolution of the application of agrometeorology products, there is a need to strengthen the density of agrometeorology station networks. b) The NHMS need to accord recognition to the agrometeorology stations established and maintained by other national, regional, and international institutions focusing on agricultural, forestry, fisheries, and rangelands issues and assist, support, and collaborate with them. c) There is a need for routine interactions between agrometeorologists, agricultural extension services, and other intermediaries to provide better services to farmers. d) There is a need for a comprehensive strategy for capacity building at the national and regional level including short-term, long-term education and training, roving seminars, workshops, and conferences that will build on synergies between institutions and organizations responsible for capacity building. e) Sharing of data, tools, methodologies, and experiences should be promoted through the exchanges of experts between member countries and regional centers. f) The generation and application of climate information should be promoted by increasing the awareness and understanding of policy makers of its importance for sustainable development from national to the local levels. h) There is a need to involve communication experts in the process of disseminating agromet information. Implement the training programs for enhancing the capacity of farmers in using climate information for supporting their farming activities. i) A coordinated and integrated national agricultural weather policy is needed to ensure that operational services to agriculture and food security are met. j) There is a need to involve users in the identification of specific climate-sensitive issues in order to facilitate their operational decisions. k) While modern tools such as remote sensing and GIS may help reduce the impact of traditional limitations such as data scarcity, care must be exercised in their use, including thorough knowledge of the methodology, assumptions, and limitations. l) In an era of decreasing public resources, agricultural meteorologists need to actively publicize their efforts and successful endeavors, including an assessment of economic benefits if possible. m) Development and provision of agrometeorological products should involve active interaction with farmers and/or the agricultural industry initially for their perspective and specific needs, and ultimately including education of the user by the providers. CAgM/MMG-2/Doc. 5, p. 6 n) An international standard for reporting crop data along with minimum requirements for metadata, database formats and database content should be evolved which could be accepted by industry, international centers and academia. o) Use of participatory research approaches should be promoted in the establishment and implementation of projects involving agrometeorology in sustainable development. q) Efforts should be made to establish and/or improve phenological observations in a regular basis, due to their fundamental role in agrometeorology. r) In order to obtain financial resources for agrometeorological activities, very well supported and “completed” projects should be presented to different national and international agencies for their considerations. s) Taking in account the day-to-day increasing advantages of new technologies, efforts must be made to enrich the users of agrometeorological products with more precise, timely, and easy- to-use local information. (e) Expert Group Meeting on Meteorological Information for Locust Control The Expert Group Meeting on Meteorological Information for Locust Control was organized from 18 to 20 October 2004 in Geneva to discuss WMO’s response to the Desert Locust plague of 2004 which drew the attention of the world to the threat they pose to the food security of the affected countries, especially in the developing world. All the different phases in the life cycle of a locust require ideal meteorological conditions for it to evolve from the solitary phase to the gregarious phase and cause the widespread damage. The National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in the locust-affected areas in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, as part of the multi-disciplinary teams addressing the locust problem at the national level, do provide information when required. However, it is important to develop clear guidelines on the exact nature of meteorological products that must be produced at regular intervals to assist the International Agencies such as FAO and the regional and national organizations in effective control of the locust problem. Four experts from AGRHYMET, FAO, Italy and India attended the meeting. The meeting reviewed the inter-relationships between weather, climate, locust outbreaks and their migration using appropriate case studies and elaborated the detailed meteorological information required for the different phases in the life-cycle of locusts to facilitate more effective locust control operations (please see the attached programme). C/AGM presented an overview of meteorological information required for locust control and pointed out the challenges and opportunities to improve existing methods of monitoring. Mr Keith Cressman from FAO made an interesting presentation on the current locust plague and pointed out the needs for meteorological information for more effective locust monitoring. FAO’s analysis points out that conditions are now favourable for the locust breeding conditions in North Africa in Spring 2005 which could bring more locust swarms into West Africa in the rainy season of 2005. Presentations from Drs J.R. Sharma (India), B. Sidibe (AGRHYMET) highlighted the regional needs for more effective meteorological monitoring and Prof. G. Maracchi (IBIMET, Italy) discussed the use of products of Numerical Weather Prediction Models (NWPs), reanalysis and satellite data and the use of Local Area Models (LAM) and GIS to improve the monitoring and forecasting of locusts. H. Kontongomde from WCDMP presented information on Climate Database Management Systems of WMO. Considerable time was devoted to discussing the data needs and design of a database on meteorological information for locust control. The meeting also discussed the contents of a guidance brochure for the NMHSs. CAgM/MMG-2/Doc. 5, p. 7 Conclusions of the meeting 1) There is a strong relationship between desert locust biology and behaviour and the different meteorological parameters including rainfall, temperature, wind etc., 2) There are several constraints in most of the locust-affected countries regarding near-real time meteorological information. These include poor density of rainfall network, lack of use or poor use of meteorological information by national locust control centres, variable quality of synoptic rainfall data provided on the GTS, and inadequate collaboration between the National Locust Control Centres (LCCs), and the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), international and regional institutions. 3) The lack of geospatial meteorological data for entire regions is a major draw back for monitoring the locust activity by different nations. 4) There are several tools and products such as Field Servers which could assist significantly in producing meteorological information for more effective monitoring of locusts. 5) There is a large amount of meteorological information available through Internet eg., the products of Numerical Weather Prediction Models (NWPs), reanalysis and satellite data, which allows the preparation of specific tools through Local Area Models (LAM) and GIS to improve the monitoring and forecasting of locusts. Recommendations of the meeting 1) NMHSs should strengthen collaboration with the National LCCs and provide near-real time rainfall and temperature data and forecasts, if any. 2) Meteorological observation networks could be supplemented by new tools such as “Field Servers” which offer a low cost option and can be combined with satellite data transmission systems to assist in locust monitoring and early warning, besides serving many other users eg., crop insurance, food security, drought monitoring etc., 3) Since many of the national, regional and international organizations rely on real-time meteorological data from GTS for locust monitoring, it is essential that NMHSs ensure the provision of good quality synoptic data on GTS. 4) National LCCs are encouraged to make better use of geospatial data under Reconnaissance and Management System (RAMSES) GIS for effective monitoring of locusts. 5) Because of the current state of observation networks, it is important to promote the use of NWP products including the use of local models. 6) It will be useful to verify, through the Institute for Biometeorology of the National Research Council of Italy (IBIMET–CNR) and in cooperation with WMO, FAO, and the AGRHYMET Centre, the feasibility of an operational system that integrates the various data and products of LAM to provide better estimates of rainfall, temperature and wind to national, regional and international agencies. 7) Evaluations should be made, with the same institutions, of the improvements in seasonal forecasting (two months in advance) that can be facilitated by the use of new parameters such as Hydrological Onset and Withdrawal Index (HOWI) and geopotential position to provide operational products to national, regional and international agencies. 8) WMO and FAO should collaborate in the preparation and publication of a brochure that provides guidance to NMHSs and LCCs for more effective monitoring of locusts. 9) FAO/WMO Regional Workshops on Improved Meteorological Support to National LCCs should CAgM/MMG-2/Doc. 5, p. 8 be organized for the Francophone and Anglophone countries which would bring together staff of NMHSs and the LCCs. 10) Considering the serious nature of the current locust emergency in West Africa and the need for improved user feedback to NMHSs in West Africa, meteorological information for locust monitoring should be the focus of PRESAO User Forum at the next session of PRESAO in 2005. 11) Increased efforts should be made to strengthen capacity building and research in improving meteorological information and products for locust monitoring. (f) Meeting of the RA III Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology The meeting of the RA VI Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology was held in Lima, Peru from 30 November to 3 December 2004. Eighteen participants from 10 countries attended the meeting. The meeting was chaired by Mr Constantino Alarcon (Peru), Chairman of the RA III Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology. The group reviewed the reports prepared by the members and made a number of suggestions for revising these reports for the final report of the working group. The group examined the current activities in agricultural meteorology in the region and identified the following major priorities: Operative In most of the countries of the region, agrometeorological and agroclimatological applications have been developed, in addition to the agrometeorological and phenological data banks, and this work is restricted by the lack of human resources and insufficient budgets. It is necessary that the meteorological services promote the collection of phenological data· At the moment the NMHSs in the region prepare and distribute agrometeorological bulletins (both in printed form and on Web) in which evolution of the weather conditions and the different agrometeorological indices are described, however these bulletins still present deficiencies in relation to the agrometeorological forecasts. In some countries of the region, in face of the extreme events, evaluations of the losses and monitoring of the disasters is carried out and in a partial manner, the monitoring of crop yields. Applied NMHSs in the region carry out agrometeorological studies in collaboration with the different research institutes Within the services, more importance is given to agroclimatological studies than to agrometeorological studies. Some countries undertake agrometeorological as well as agroclimatic studies on frosts, crop growth periods, evapotranspiration and phenological maps and these studies are made using and validating the agroclimatic indices in addition to agroclimatic and agroecological zonation at both the national and regional level. With respect to the technologies, the countries use specialized software as well as Agroclimatic Information Systems (AIS) for different agrometeorological and agroclimatological applications and in a form specific to each individual country in the region. Hence it is recommended that the RA IV countries develop a generalized AIS for South America. CAgM/MMG-2/Doc. 5, p. 9 Diffusion In some countries of the region, two bulletins - one for the policy makers and the other for the users – are prepared. In some countries of the region, agrometeorological forecasts in the short term are not made until the moment when significant extreme events in agriculture occur. This is because no country has agrometeorological information in real time. Most of the countries provide the information on the Internet and those that do not have this platform, can provide the information through WAMIS. In the end printed media as well as group meetings with the producers are possibly used for the diffusion of information, but they are not so effective. There no institutional support to establish clear policies for diffusion of the information generated. Participation The participation of the agrometeorology experts in the activities of CAgM and in the Working Group of RA-III is related given the main reasons for the changes that occur in the members of the group. An optimal coordination does not exist between the organizations that develop agrometeorology. This is the reason why the different meteorological services will have to assume with greater force the coordination of the activities that are carried out in meteorology, specifically in the case of agrometeorology. It is necessary that the Permanent Representatives of each country pay more effective attention to the institutions involved in agrometeorological activities and these can then have access to the WMO meetings, forums, training, bibliographical material, etc. A systematic plan for training in agrometeorology does not exist in the region which is necessary to follow up on the work programme within the group. The Group recommended that the Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology for RA –III be reestablished with the following main terms of reference: 1) To investigate the drought indices that are commonly used in RA-III in the last 5 years and to evaluate the relation between these indices and the spatial impacts in the agricultural activity registered during this period; 2) To review and analyze the methodologies currently used for the evaluation of the impacts caused by the different extreme events that affect the agricultural productivity in RA-III; 3) To compile and analyze the results of the crop growth models using the results of the seasonal to interannual climate forecasts; 4) To evaluate the diffusion of information and the awareness raised amongst the farmers of the economic benefits of the use of agrometeorological services and products and to evaluate the human, technical and budgetary the resources available to the agrometeorological services. 5) To evaluate the different ways of diffusion of the agrometeorological information for the different users, obtain feedback from the users and to propose appropriate mechanisms to improve it. CAgM/MMG-2/Doc. 5, p. 10 6) To analyze and evaluate the use of crop simulation models in the NMHSs and institutions in RA-III and suggest the procedures to implement them. 7) To review the studies on agroclimatic and agroecological zonation that make use of GIS and Agrometeoroloigcal Information Systems in RA-III and determine the best procedures for their implementation througout the Region. 8) To evaluate and propose appropriate methodologies for the application of remote sensing in agriculture in the region. (g) Meeting of the RA IV Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology The meeting of the RA IV Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology was held in Barbados from 14 to 17 December 2004. Eighteen participants from 10 countries attended the meeting. The meeting was chaired by Mr Constantino Alarcon (Peru), Chairman of the RA III Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology. The group reviewed the reports prepared by the members and made a number of suggestions for revising these reports for the final report of the working group. Following are the conclusions and recommendations of the group: Conclusions a) Agriculture is not a sector that exerts a predominant weight in the economies of many countries in the Region as in the case of other sectors such as tourism, energy, zones of free trade, services, etc. b) Allocation of resources for the agricultural sector and the meteorological services is diminishing in the Region. c) As a consequence of the above, the human and financial resources for the agrometeorological applications have declined, therefore, they affect the provision and the quality of the agrometeorological services that are offered to the user community. d) The lack of agrometeorological services to the user community in some countries of the Region should be a serious concern in the short as well as long term. e) Present concerns with respect to climate change, soil degradation, desertification, the impacts of ENSO (for example, the 1997/98 episode) and the extreme events (for example, droughts and floods) on the crops, livestock, forestry and the fisheries have strong implications for the agrometeorological investigations and applications in the Region. f) If the present tendencies continue, the ability of the countries to respond and, but even more important, to anticipate the beginning of the above extreme events and to mitigate their impacts, would decline. g) The use of improved technologies and tools, such as GIS, for the agrometeorological applications is expanding and could continue to improve the ability to effectively handle the user needs. h) Nevertheless, the lack of training and capacity of some of the personnel who toil in agrometeorology in the Region, is making it difficult to use the improved tools and resources and is affecting the quality of the services that are offered. i) In order to minimize the impact of natural events in sectors such as tourism, on the national economies and to assure their stability and security, is essential to educate to the decision makers on the necessity to improve the agricultural sector with the use of sustainable agricultural strategies. CAgM/MMG-2/Doc. 5, p. 11 j) In order to meet the growing needs for weather and climate information in different sectors, it is necessary to expand the meteorological service operations in the Caribbean region beyond the forecasting and aeronautical applications, to include meteorological applications in areas such as agriculture and water resources. k) The support of WMO has been excellent in the preserving the Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology in RA IV, however in a general sense, the possibilities for the development of Agricultural Meteorology have been very limited in comparison to the support received by other meteorological disciplines in the Region. l) Only one NMHS in the Region has an independent agrometeorological unit. m) The themes addressed by the Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology of RA IV, are an important contribution to the knowledge source on Agricultural Meteorology of the Region and especially for the Spanish speaking countries. Recomendations a) It is essential to develop to training modules on the use of improved tools and resources such as the GIS, which could facilitate the development and the implementation of agrometeorological products. b) The Member countries should be invited to collaborate in the development of new applications and agrometeorological products and in the improvement of the existing ones. c) Developed countries such as the United States and Canada should increase their efforts in the transfer of improved tools and technologies for agrometeorological applications (such as the drought monitor, forecasts and data base management) to the developing countries in the Region by means of the organization of training courses and seminars as well as through the Internet. d) Review the present linkages between the NMHSs and the agricultural research and extension services in the Region and suggest the ways and means to improve these linkages to promote the most efficient use of weather and climate information in the Region. e) Promote regional projects to strengthen the collaboration between the agrometeorological services of the countries of the region in critical subjects such as the socioeconomic impacts of the climatic change and the extreme events (ENSO, droughts floods, etc.). f) The Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology of RA IV should be reestablished with renewed terms of reference. h) Develop projects that allow to create capacities for the development of the agrometeorological services, with special emphasis on the monitoring, prediction and the early warning of extreme weather and climate events that can endanger agriculture, livestock, forestry and fisheries. 3. WORKSHOPS AND MEETINGS CO-SPONSORED BY WMO (a) International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Environment in the Arab Region (Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 14-16 October 2003) (b) Technical Workshop on Drought Preparedness for Balkan within the context of the UNCCD (Romania, 25 – 26 October 2004). CAgM/MMG-2/Doc. 5, p. 12 4. PUBLICATIONS BROUGHT OUT DURING THE INTERSESSIONAL PERIOD Proceedings (a) WMO. 2004. Servicios de Informacion y Prediccion del Clima (SIPC) y Aplicaciones Agrometeorologicas para los Paises Andinos (Actas de la Tecnica llevada a cabo en Guayaquil, Ecuador, 8-12 de diciembre de 2003). Geneva, Switzerland: World Meteorological Organization. 221 pp. (b) WMO. 2004. Applications of Climate Forecasts for Agriculture. (Proceedings of an Expert Group Meeting for Regional Association I (Africa), Banjul, Gambia, 9-13 December 2002). Geneva, Switzerland: World Meteorological Organization. Technical Note Technical Note No. 202. Management Strategies in Agriculture and Forestry for Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Adaptation to Climate Variability and Climate Change. Report of the CAgM Working Group, WMO-No. 969 2004 No. 93 Experts for Collection of Case Studies of Economically Beneficial Agrometeorological Applications and Services and Other Success Stories in Agrometeorology for Policy Matters, by W. Baier No. 94 Contribution from Members on Operational Applications in Agrometeorology and from Discussants of the Papers Presented at the International Workshop: Reducing Vulnerability of Agriculture and Forestry to Climate Variability and Climate Change, by H. Abadalla, A. Abdullaev, L. Grom, V. Alexandrov, A. Bockari, M. Carvajal, et. al. No. 95 User Requirements for Satellite and Other Remote Sensing Information in the Field of Agricultural Meteorology, by P.C. Doraiswamy, G.B. Diagne, M. Labo, S.K. Shaha, and O. Virchenko No. 96 Impact of Agrometeorological Information on Rangeland and Pasture Ecology and Management, by L.V. Lebed, Y. Gandega, and D. Rijks No. 97 Working Group on the Communication of Agricultural Information, by V. Perarnaud, A. Bootsma, P. Isabyrie, and B.-L. Lee No. 98 Informe del grupo de trabajo sobre meteorologia agricola de la AR IV, by O. Solano, R. Villalobos, and A. Albanil Training Manual M.V.K. Sivakumar, P.S. Roy, S.K. Saha (Eds.). 2003. Training Workshop (RA II) on Satellite Remote Sensing and GIS Applications in Agricultural Meteorology (Dehradun, India, 7-11 July 2003). Geneva, Switzerland: World Meteorological Organization. 5. WMO'S PARTICIPATION IN THE MEETINGS RELATED TO THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION (UNCCD) WMO participated actively in various meetings related to UNCCD during 2003 and 2004, which are as follows: (a) Second Asian Ministerial Conference on UNCCD Implementation in Preparation for the Sixth Session of the Conference of the Parties to UNCCD and Sixth Regional Meeting of Asian Focal CAgM/MMG-2/Doc. 5, p. 13 Points in preparation for the Ministerial Conference and the Sixth Session of the COP (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 7-11 June 2003). (b) Sixth Conference of the Parties (COP-6) to the UNCCD (Havana, Cuba, 25 August to 6 September 2003). (c) Technical Workshop on Drought Preparedness for Balkan within the context of the UNCCD (Romania, 25 – 26 October 2004). 6. REPRESENTATION AT MEETINGS OF OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WMO was represented at the following meetings during 1999-2002: (a) 13th Brazilian Congress of Agrometeorology (CBA), Santa Maria, State of Rio Grande do Sul, 3 to 7 August, 2003. (b) 5th Conference on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology of the Korean Society of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Wonju City, 26 to 27 September 2003. (c) Meeting of the Task Force on CLIMAG (Climate Prediction and Agriculture) of START (Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training), Washington DC, 11 November 2003. (d) Meeting of the Management Committee (MC) of COST Action 718 (Meteorological Applications for Agriculture), Brussels, 4 to 5 March 2004. (e) 24th FAO Regional Conference for Europe, Montpellier, France, 5 to 7 May 2004. (f) 7th Session of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SACOM) of the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development, Niamey, 14 to 17 September 2004. (g) 30th Session of the Committee on World Food Security, Rome, 20 to 23 September 2004. (h) 96th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, Seattle, 31 October to 4 November 2004. (i) First Project Steering Committee (PSC) Meeting of the Project on Capacity-Building in Drought Preparedness in Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, 24 January 2005. (j) Workshop on Reducing Food Insecurity associated with Natural Disasters in Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, 27-28 January 2005.
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