The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has, in a tender procedure, selected private weather service provider Ubimet to provide equipment and services for meteorological and hydrological early-warning systems that will be supplied to national weather services in developing countries, with a focus on Africa.
Under the long-term agreement with the UN’s global development network, Ubimet will support countries in establishing and further developing weather information systems and services.
The provider was selected to supply particularly lightning detection and weather station networks, short-term forecast systems for thunderstorms and weather forecast services, as well as maintenance, training and software.
The UNDP is active in more than 170 countries to integrate issues of climate, disaster risk and energy at national level. It focuses on building resilience and ensuring that development remains risk informed and sustainable.
A changing climate and exposure to disaster risk collectively present a challenge, especially for developing countries, with natural hazards significantly influencing agriculture, health, energy and water resources.
Every year, from 2000 to 2012, more than 200-million people, most of them in developing countries, were affected by natural disasters – especially floods and droughts – according to the ‘UNDP Human Development Report 2014’.
A recent study by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction also highlighted that weather and climate are major drivers of disaster risk, showing that 90% of major disasters have been caused by floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts, and other weather-related events over the past 20 years.
“Precise weather information plays a key role in reducing vulnerability to natural hazards and improving emergency management,” says Ubimet cofounder Dr Michael Fassnauer, adding that Ubimet is honoured to be a UN partner in creating sustainable development worldwide.