World Meteorological Day 2015
Since 1961, World Meteorological Day has commemorated the coming into force on 23 March 1950 of the Convention establishing the World Meteorological Organization and the essential contribution that National Meteorological and Hydrological Services make to the safety and well-being of society. Each year, the celebrations focus on a theme of topical interest.
The World Meteorological Organization, as the successor of the International Meteorological Organization, created in 1873, has its fundamental mission to support the countries of the world in providing meteorological and hydrological services to protect life and property from natural disasters related to weather, climate and water, to safeguard the environment, and to contribute to sustainable development. This cannot happen without the necessary observations, research and operations that develop the understanding and knowledge of weather and climate.
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) is set to celebrate World Meteorological Day at the Phuthaditjhaba Multi-Purpose Centre in QwaQwa, Free State on Monday, 23 March 2015.
The event is set to be co-hosted by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), SAWS and Maluti-A-Phofung local municipality. The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms. Barbara Thomson will lead the events and is expected to engage with 1000 attendees. This will include the three spheres of government, disaster management structures, surrounding community leaders and members, the business community, interest groups and 20 public schools.
The theme for this year, “Climate knowledge for climate action,” provides an opportunity to take stock of the climate knowledge built in the last decades as an essential base to support the path towards more ambitious action to address climate change and climate variability.
The purpose of the day is to create weather awareness and enhance the learners’ knowledge on weather and climate. In this respect, three schools will participate in a competition in the form of seven-minute presentations on climate change. The schools stand a chance to win fantastic prizes from SAWS, DEA and the broadcast media partner, OVHD.
The Deputy Minister Environmental Affairs, Free State MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs; Thabo Mofutsanyane District Mayor and the Maluti-a-Phofong Executive Mayor will lend their public profiles to the day and further act as judges in the competition.
The Free State province has recently experienced severe weather conditions, ranging from droughts and heavy rains to dust storms. There is thus, a dire need to reach out to communities in this province particularly those affected by severe weather events in order to educate them on precautions they can take during these events as well as the interventions by SAWS to ensure the safety of life and property.
The event will ensure that more people become aware of the work of SAWS as the national provider of weather and climate-related information, technological advancements and the various careers and bursary opportunities available for the youth at the state-owned entity.