Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia Kicks Off

21 June 2012: The First Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) Ministerial Conference met to mobilize financial support for implementation of the targeted activities of the RIMES Master Plan, which aims to increase capacity for dealing with natural hazards and extreme weather events.

At the meeting, which convened in New Delhi, India, from 18-21 June 2012, Member States and collaborating countries took steps to: build and sustain RIMES' institutional and core operational activities through voluntary country contributions; and decided to evolve a financial mechanism to enable RIMES to realize its full potential.

According to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), RIMES evolved with support from ESCAP, as a result of efforts in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami to establish a regional system to generate and communicate early warning information, and enhance the capacity of countries to mitigate transboundary hazards. The RIMES Master Plan determines that implementation of the five-year plan would require approximately US$64 million in funding.

The meeting concluded with the adoption of a declaration, which notes that the Government of Bangladesh announced a US$4 million contribution to RIMES from its Climate Resilience Fund for an innovative programme to upgrade early warning systems. The declaration also indicates, inter alia: that the Government of Mozambique announced an initiative to establish collaborative linkage between RIMES and the Meteorological Association of Southern Africa (MASA); the readiness of the Government of Seychelles to host the Indo-Africa Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting; and the agreement for the Government of India to continue to Chair the RIMES Council.

The Member States and collaborating countries of RIMES consist of: Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Comoros, India, Kenya, Lao PDR, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar/Burma, Nepal, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Uzbekistan. An additional 17 others are in various stages of agreement, consideration and approval. [ESCAP Press Release] [Declaration of the First RIMES Ministerial Conference]