Assistance for developing countries to manage water resources, combat drought, and measure climate change will be forthcoming under a new agreement signed today by the World Bank and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.
The first projects are planned for Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, while the partners consider more projects in other parts of the world.
The assistance can help establish end-to-end early warning systems, enhance and protect local ecosystems, and realize the benefits of an integrated Earth observing system.
The enormity of many coastal problems requires international alliances and solutions. The partners said their new agreement will allow NOAA scientists and resource managers and the World Bank to more readily assist global communities in building resilience to climate extremes.
The new agreement will serve as an umbrella for future projects like the one NOAA's National Weather Service is discussing with the city of Medellin, Colombia, to install a reliable flash flood guidance system.
Future projects may include establishing high altitude mountain climate surface observing stations in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.
Also under discussion is the possibility of developing water resources and drought management projects in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.
Marine environment ecosystem observations in the Caribbean may be expanded to see how climate change affects small fish that live in deep water.
The poorest people in the world's poorest countries will need all the technical and financial help they can get to cope with climate change, according to this year's edition of the World Bank's annual environmental review, "Environment Matters," released Wednesday.
Due to their geographical location, low incomes, and low institutional capacity, as well as their greater reliance on climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture, the report says that those least responsible for climate change and least able to cope with it will suffer most as global temperatures rise.
This year's "Environment Matters" focuses on the immediate necessity for developing countries to begin adapting to climate change.
It points out that climate change may bring back water security challenges to countries that for 100 years have enjoyed reliable water supplies and few, if any, water shocks.
In the report, the World Bank's top climate change and environment experts, and other contributors, give frank assessments of what is currently known, and not known, on key subjects linked to adaptation - climate variability, biodiversity, social dimensions, and water security. They make concrete recommendations for the way forward.