Ms. Mikiko Tanaka, the Director and Head of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia visited the Maldives Meteorological Services (MMS) and RIMES Secretariat in Male, Maldives.

Ms. Tanaka discussed ESCAP’s collaboration with RIMES and highlighted the ongoing programs with Maldives including the joint ESCAP-UNDP Maldives project with the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology. She noted RIMES’ important role in advancing the integration of climate services within the broader agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and appreciated RIMES-ESCAP collaboration in the Asia-Pacific on enhancing climate services. She lauded the progress made by RIMES within a short span of time in expanding to cover 48 member and collaborating countries, as well as supporting the generation of science-based information and its application to address varied information needs across time scales for risk-informed decision making.

ESCAP has been a key partner for RIMES, right from its inception, through the support from its Trust Fund for Tsunami, Climate, and Disaster Preparedness for the regional early warning projects in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that led to the genesis of RIMES in 2009. ESCAP’s continued support through several projects has enabled RIMES to carry out and take forward its mission.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ali Shareef, Deputy Director General, Maldives Meteorological Services and Focal Point, RIMES Secretariat highlighted the gaps and challenges facing the institution in hydrometeorological service delivery in a rapidly changing climate and the continued collaboration with RIMES to improve existing services. He noted the significant role of the ESCAP-funded National Monsoon Forum in improving end-to-end forecast generation and preparedness strategies for sectoral agencies.

The MMS, in its role as Secretariat to RIMES since 2009 has been steadfast in its continued support for institutional strengthening and development of RIMES to address the needs and demands of RIMES member states and collaborating countries. The Secretariat undertakes an active role in expanding the RIMES membership in close collaboration with RIMES Council across Africa, Asia and the Pacific. In 2021, as RIMES Secretariat, Maldives facilitated and signed the MoU with ESCAP to integrate ESCAP programs with RIMES countries by leveraging RIMES technical and institutional resources. The Maldives RIMES Secretariat is also playing a key role in the formulation of the Joint Strategy and Action Plan with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to strengthen the capacities of national meteorological and hydrological services to continue their key contributions in addressing disaster risk reduction and climate change challenges for sustainable development.