WMD: NIMET urges stakeholders to leverage weather, climate information to address global challenges 


By Diana Omueza

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), has urged stakeholders to leverage the global power and connection of meteorology to address pressing global challenges and create a more just, equitable, and sustainable future and world for all.


Dr Charles Anosike, NIMET Director-General/CEO said this on Thursday in Abuja at an event organised by the agency to commemorate the 2024 World Meteorological Day (WMD).


The WMD is celebrated annually on March 23 to acknowledge the pivotal role it plays in promoting international cooperation and coordination in the field of meteorology, hydrology, and related sciences.


The theme of the 2024 WMD celebration is “At the Frontline of Climate Action”.


Anosike said that the day was a call for collective resolve towards harnessing the power of weather and climate information for the betterment of humanity.


This he attributed to the indispensable role of meteorology in building a sustainably developed society.


“From providing accurate weather forecasts to mitigating the impacts of natural disasters, as well as building climate resilient societies, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency remains steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding lives, property, and livelihoods across the country.


“Through our extensive network of observation stations, research and training facilities, forecasting capabilities and in pursuit of early warning for all, we keep striving and innovating to deliver timely and reliable meteorological services to all socio-economic sectors.


“However, as we reflect on the progress we have made, we must also acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead,” he said.


The NIMET DG said that climate change poses an existential threat to the planet, exacerbating extreme weather events, disrupting ecosystems, and endangering vulnerable communities.


However, he said in the face of these challenges, it had become imperative for increased efforts towards building a weather and climate-resilient society.


He advised enhanced preparedness for weather-related disasters, and promotion of sustainable development practices at all levels of government.


“We must also sustain awareness and continuous education on climate and climate change related issues.


“One of the ways to achieving this is to catch-them-young; our Young Meteorological Ambassador Programme is a testament to that and 2024 WMD Celebration is no exception.


“We must not relent at encouraging our young minds to build their capacity for meaningful contributions to effective climate actions that is impactful and measurable.,” he said.


Anosike reaffirmed commitment of the agency to excellence service delivery through the principles of scientific excellence, collaboration, and innovation.


Mr Bernard Gomez who represented the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Professor Celeste Saulo, commended the Federal Government of Nigeria for the strong partnership with organisation.


Gomez said that the WMO was committed to continue working with each National Meteorological and Hydrological Service to make sure that the climate value cycle was impactful at national, regional, and global levels.


“This is about fostering inclusivity and sustainable pathways. In the face of unprecedented environmental challenges, we are not mere observers.


“Rather, we are called upon to be game changers; our role as scientists and advocates for the planet has never been more crucial,” he said.


The WMO representative said that the year’s theme recognizes the critical stage that the country had found itself in regards to severe weather and climate events caused by climate variability and change.


He called for enhanced action to protect lives, property and livelihoods, among others.


He also lauded the incredible work of the meteorology community in providing the data, forecasts, and early warnings that empowered communities to prepare for extreme weather events and adapt to a changing climate.


He said that the accurate weather and climate information was at the heart of effective climate action and the work of the NIMET allowed people to understand the current state of the planet, predict future trends, and develop mitigation and adaptation strategies.


Gomez added that with continued dedication and innovation, stakeholders could build a more resilient world and navigate the challenges of climate change and ensure a healthy planet for generations to come.


“The lives of future generations are in our hands. Our efforts today will ensure a safer, healthier world for future generations—a world where children thrive in harmony with nature.”


Highlight of the event was the participation of youngsters drawn from across various secondary schools.

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