Friday, June 22, 2012

Declaration of First Rimes Ministerial Conference

        Following is the text of the Declaration of the First Ministerial Conference on Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES):

“We, the Ministers, and Representatives from the Governments, responsible for Building Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems and Senior Officials from Member States and Collaborating Countries of the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES), consisting of Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Comoros, India, Kenya, Lao PDR, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Uzbekistan met in New Delhi on 21 June 2012, to resolve to build and sustain RIMES institutional and core operational  activities through voluntary country contributions and mobilize financial support for implementation of the targeted activities of the RIMES Master Plan:

Welcome the evolution and development of RIMES technical cooperation platform to appropriately address the needs and demands of the Member States and Collaborating Countries in building technical capacity development in respect of generation and application of early warning and decision support information to reduce impacts of natural disasters;

Note and Appreciate the vital contribution of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) for establishing, institutionalizing and supporting the regional early warning arrangements at RIMES through funding support from the ESCAP Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disasters and Climate Preparedness with support from Thailand and Sweden

Also Note and Appreciate the funding support provided by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) for establishment of a high-performance computing facility at RIMES Program Unit, Pathumthani, Thailand  to support research and development efforts of member states to improve hydro-meteorological forecast products to provide improved early warning services;

Welcome and Appreciate the key role played by H.E Dr. Mohammed Waheed Hassan, the President of Republic of Maldives in his capacity as Chair of the Presidential Task Force for marshalling Maldives RIMES Secretariat through his vast experience and profound wisdom, and also transforming RIMES into an international and inter-governmental institution, and by laying a solid foundation for its sustained growth;

Recognize and Appreciate the extremely valuable role of Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Chairman, Earth Commission and Earth System Science Organization; Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, in his capacity as Chairman of RIMES Council for guiding the RIMES programs to fulfill the immediate and priority needs of the RIMES Council Members, and as Chairman of RIMES Executive Board in evolving the RIMES Master plan through an exhaustive consultative mechanism;

Recognize and Appreciate the generous support extended by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), U. K. for signing the agreement with RIMES in respect of utilizing forecast products for building multi-hazard early warning programmes for RIMES member states with improved lead times;

Appreciate the significant contributions of the first RIMES Secretariat in Maldives for RIMES institutional development and its consolidation and expansion, and continuing to provide services for the on-going programs

Appreciate the significant contributions of the RIMES Secretariat in Mongolia for its efforts particularly to expand RIMES membership to East Asian and Central Asian countries;

Recognize and Appreciate the contributions of Government of Thailand in extending vital support to operations of RIMES Early Warning Facility and RIMES Program Unit;

Recognize and Appreciate the highly commendable efforts of the RIMES Program Unit for sustaining its core operations, despite being impacted by severe and prolonged flooding of Bangkok, by relocating the Early Warning Facility to a safe alternative location;

Greatly Appreciate the support of Government of India for providing computing resources to offset loss of RIMES’s High Performance Computing (HPC) facility due to Thailand Floods   to enable RIMES to continue to provide uninterrupted services to its Member States; and access to forecast products from NCMRWF, and readiness of India Institutions- IMD, INCOIS and NCMRWF to expand the scope of capacity development and value added Early Warning products through RIMES.

Greatly Appreciate the Government of Bangladesh effort to institutionalize an innovative program to upgrade early warning system with scientific and technical forecast tools and management practices with technical support from RIMES through the Climate Resilient Fund of Government of Bangladesh and acknowledge the contribution of Government of Bangladesh of US $ Four Million for this purpose, and,

Commend this initiative of Government of Bangladesh as an innovative institutional model to be replicated by RIMES Member States

Appreciate Government of Mozambique initiative to establish collaborative linkage between RIMES and Meteorological Association of Southern Africa (MASA)

Decide to provide sustained support and commitment as appropriate to strengthen RIMES core and prioritized programs under Master Plan;

Noted the readiness of Government of Seychelles to host the Indo-Africa Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting;

Fully Recognize the Government of India’s commitment as RIMES Council Chair and agree for India to continue to Chair RIMES Council;

Request RIMES to collaborate with Indian Ocean Commission and African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD) for generation and application of seasonal forecast in the region;

Decide to evolve a financial mechanism as appropriate to enable RIMES to realize its full potential. For this purpose a sub-group of Ministers could be constituted with appropriate terms of reference to recommend such financial mechanism;

Welcome Government of India’s active consideration to financially support prioritized projects of the RIMES Master Plan;

Recommend and Request financial support from international donor agencies, in particular to enable UN-ESCAP to expand scope of Regional Tsunami and Climate Trust Fund to build programs identified in the RIMES Master Plan, and RIMES Member and Collaborating States for mobilization of funds for the full and successful implementation of the RIMES Master Plan to translate the envisaged efforts for building country-specific actions;

Invite and Call for convening of First RIMES Donors’ Conference during the course of 2012 to seek global donor agencies support towards strengthening early warning arrangements for most vulnerable and least developed RIMES Member and Collaborating States;

Encourage RIMES Collaborating Countries- Afghanistan, Armenia, Bhutan, China, Kenya, Madagascar, Myanmar, Nepal, Somalia, Tanzania, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam to accelerate their respective government level approvals so as to enable them to sign RIMES Cooperation Agreement at the earliest convenience.”  (PIB) 21-June-2012 19:27 IST