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Ecowas ministers seek greater response to meteorological issues

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Ecowas ministers seek greater response to meteorological issues

Ministers in Charge of meteorology have sued for greater responsiveness to environmental issues.

At the opening of their meeting at the ECOWAS Commission on the 5th of August 2016, the ministers lauded all the ECOWAS initiatives geared towards ensuring a better understanding of the devastating effect of climate change on the livelihood of citizens and on the economies of West African countries.

The ministers will also adopt the report of the experts after the 12th meeting of the Committee of Directors of National Meteorological Services, which ended on the 4th of August.

Addressing delegates at the Meeting ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources Mr. Tchambakou Ayassor highlighted the far reaching effects of climatic changes on the region and beyond

Climate change he maintained affects the whole world and more especially our region. 

Ecowas ministers seek greater response to meteorological issues

He noted that Forecasts suggest that the increase in average temperature in the projected period 1980 to 2080 will range between 3 and 4 Celsius and Cover the entire continent envisaged to be 1.5 times higher than the global level

In his remarks, the Minister of Transport of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi recalled that the reports of the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were concluded in 2015.

It showed that the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events constituted a significant challenge to attaining some of the Goals in Africa.

He went further to state that in the West African region, the poor performance in some aspects of the MDGs could, to a large extent, be attributed to the frequent occurrence of droughts, floods, violent storms, soil erosion and other severe weather phenomena. 

He stressed that extreme weather events have negative impact on agriculture, water resources, power generation and transmission, health, roads, rail lines and other physical infrastructure.

He noted that these are critical sectors for the national and regional economic development.

The minister’s submission also border on the effect of climate change on development and integration. 

He said extreme weather events retard the pace of development, and could even obliterate developmental achievements already recorded making it important for our national development to be climate-resilient.

The Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) spoke through his representative Bernard Edward Gomez, the WMO Representative for North, Central and West Africa.

He said that the ECOWAS region has already taken the right steps to proffer holistic approach to climate change challenge.

This is despite the challenges associated with the inability of most states to meet the requirements for the quality management system and competency assessment for the provision of meteorological services.

He noted further that with the support of ministers in charge of meteorology, development partners and stakeholders, he was of the conviction that the implementation of the programme on Climate change will significantly strengthen the resilience of populations and empower them to harness the favourable climate outcomes for sustainable development.

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