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South Asia Hydromet Forum 2019

November 19-21, 2019

Kathmandu, Nepal


VIDEO Nov 19, 2019

SAHFII: Pathways For Regional Collaboration

The World Bank and the Government of Nepal, in technical partnership with the World Meteorological Organization, co-hosted the second South Asia Hydromet Forum (SAHF II), following the commitments made at the inaugural SAHF in Geneva, 2018. The Forum, which took place in Kathmandu, from November 19-21, brought together weather and climate stakeholders from the South Asia Region, including the Heads of the National Meteorological and Hydrological agencies as well as user-sector representatives from weather-dependent sectors.

Second South Asia Hydromet Forum - November 2019

The second  South Asia Hydromet Forum (SAHF) aims to further strengthen regional engagement to deliver reliable and timely weather information that local communities, farmers, construction firms, hydropower operators, and other economic sectors can act on. The forum will convene high-level representatives from government agencies and development institutions working on hydromet, disaster warning systems, and climate services. 

Following the commitments made at the first SAHF last year, the forum on Nov. 19-21 will explore ways to make weather and river forecasts more effective. For example, instead of telling users “what the weather will be,” national hydromet agencies can promote greater resilience by telling users “what the weather will do,” also known as impact-based forecasting. Severe weather warnings can be tailored for various stakeholders to help them act on the information. The gathering of hydromet agencies, scientists, researchers, and development experts will also discuss how to translate weather warnings into actions that save lives and property. An early warning system is more effective if it uses a people-centered approach that considers a community’s needs, perceptions of risk, and how weather information is accessed.

This year’s SAHF will focus on:

  • Sharing strategic visions to develop and deliver user-oriented hydromet services for key economic sectors;
  • Exchanging innovative approaches to improve forecasting skills, and provide hazard information for risk assessments, prevention, response and recovery, and risk transfer across sectors;
  • Addressing common implementation challenges;
  • Prioritizing areas for stronger regional collaboration, such as training weather forecasters; and
  • Discussing institutional arrangements to sustain and scale up national and regional efforts to deliver hydromet and climate services.



  • Background

    In the past two decades, over 50 percent of South Asians, or more than 750 million people, have been affected by at least one natural disaster. The social and economic costs  have been staggering. Natural disasters that occurred from 1970 through 2008 killed  some 230,000 people and caused US$45 billion in damages. The loss of life and scale of damages is expected to increase – the World Resources Institute estimates losses in the region will total US$215 billion annually each year by 2030. In addition to deaths and losses, key economic sectors such as agriculture, aviation, natural resources, urban infrastructure, hydropower, and tourism need tailored forecasts that they can act on.

    Investments in disaster early warning systems can save lives, property, and strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities. Because natural disasters often cross national boundaries, regional collaboration can help reduce the costs of improved early warning systems and weather services.

    Vision and Rationale

    Several partners such as the World Bank (WB), Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), European Union (EU) - South Asia Capacity Building for Disaster Risk Management program, and others support efforts by South Asian countries to modernize national hydromet agencies. Service-oriented agencies can provide timely, accurate, and reliable weather information to users and economic sectors.

    The World Bank’s program takes a bottom-up approach with national-level investments and/or engagement in South Asia. Regional collaboration can help national government weather agencies address common challenges in building expertise to operate complex hydromet systems. The forum is made possible with the continued support and collaboration of our partners, the EU and the GFDRR.

    The South Asia Hydromet Services Forum brings together representatives from government and development institutions working on  weather and climate services, which is considered a key element of sustainable development.

    SAHF - Inaugural Event, September 2018

    The World Bank, in partnership with the World Meteorological Organization, cohosted the inaugural event of the South Asia Hydromet Forum (SAHF) in October 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. The forum brought together more than 80 weather and climate stakeholders, including representatives from eight South Asian countries, regional organizations, such as The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)  and Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES), and development partners, such as DFID, EU, GFDRR, U.S. Agency for International Development, UK Met, and Korea Met.

    The forum, in a statement issued at the end of last year’s meeting, expressed a commitment to regional collaboration to improve weather, water, and climate services. The statement also said a second SAHF would be held in 2019 to discuss opportunities and priorities for regional collaboration.




    Last Updated: Nov 25, 2019

  • Focus Areas and Event Structure

    A key motivation for the SAHF is the need to keep up with the rapidly advancing science with innovations in technological and data solutions. The approach now needs to advance from knowing and sharing “what the weather will be” to “what the weather will do”, also known as impact-based forecasting. 

    Communication of early warning messages needs to be tailored to stakeholders to ensure they understand the messages and how to act on them. Collaboration between NMHS (in particular, forecasters and technical teams of different countries), the scientific and research communities and humanitarian and development practitioners are essential to ensure that warnings translate to actions.

    Innovations in the development of information and communication technologies can be effectively used to reach vulnerable communities. But it is vital to ensuring a people-centered approach when developing an early warning system that considers people’s needs, their perceptions of risk, how different community members access and communicate information.

    Day 1 will focus on inviting high level speakers from Nepal, the Region and key partners to draw attention on the regional dimensions, explore identified priorities for regional training and joint activities to address user needs, as well as hearing from country representatives;

    Day 2 will focus on service delivery, community-based disaster preparedness and technological innovation including the use of remote and big data to enhance service development and delivery; 

    Day 3 will include the inauguration of the GoN’s DHM building with high level speakers from the Government of Nepal, WMO etc. and include a session lead by the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal on showcasing Nepal’s challenges and lessons learned in their hydromet modernization process, as well as launch of the South Asia Challenge Fund for Hydromet and Early Warning Services.

    Outcomes of SAHF Event 2

    The expected outcomes of the Forum are:

    • Agreed concrete areas for regional collaboration to increase the coverage, quality and access to hydromet services to ensure better weather, water and climate services for sustainable and resilient development in the region;
    • Increased technical and operational understanding of Nepal’s experience in modernizing its hydromet system, offering valuable lessons for participating countries facing similar challenges and;
    • Enhanced partnerships that translate priorities for regional cooperation into programs and investments

  • Agenda – South Asia Hydromet Services Forum II

    November 19, 2019, Day 1 – Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Hall

    Coffee and Registration 9.30 - 10.00 am: Corridor outside Regency Hall

    Opening Ceremony 10.00 – 11.00 am

    • Welcome Address – Er. Rabindra Nath Shrestha, Secretary of Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation
    • Lighting of the Panas by Mr. Barshaman Pun “Ananta”, Hon’ble Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, and Mr. Hart Schafer, Vice President, South Asia Region, World Bank
    • Opening Remarks – Mr. Hart Schafer, Vice President, South Asia Region, World Bank
    • Statement from Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, delivered by Mr. Markus Repnik, Director, WMO
    • Opening Statement – Mr. Barshaman Pun “Ananta,” Hon’ble Minister, Government of Nepal
    Group Photo 11.00 - 11.15 am: Garden outside Regency Hall
    Coffee Break 11.15 - 11.30 am: Corridor outside Regency Hall

    Session 1: 11.30 am – 12.30 pm

    Chair: John Roome,

    Regional Director, South Asia, WB

    Pathways for Regional Engagement

    This session will include a discussion of ongoing efforts in the modernization of weather and climate systems and services in the region. Following the outcome statement from SAHF I, a particular focus will be on operationalizing regional priorities supported by the development of a regional capacity and information initiative.

             Presentations (15 mins)
    • SAHF and the Regional Hydromet Capacity and Information Initiative



        Panel Discussion (45 mins)

    • Markus Repnik, Director, WMO
    • Dr. A.R. Subbiah, Director, RIMES, Program Unit
    • Dr. David Rogers, International Advisor, SAHF (Former Chief Executive of UKMet Office)
    • Dr. Laxman Singh Rathore, International Advisor, SAHF (Former Director General of Indian Meteorological Dept, IMD)
    • Arati Belle, World Bank



    • Visioning for hydromet services in South Asia
    Lunch 12.30 – 1.30 pm: Garden Area outside Regency Hall

    Session 2: 1.30 – 2.30 pm

    Chair: Christoph Pusch,

    Practice Manager, WB

    Highlighting Lessons from Ongoing Programs in SAR

    This session will highlight some of the lessons from ongoing regional efforts and draw on assessments for hydromet capacity related needs.

             Presentations (12 mins) 
    • Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP)
    • Highlights of Needs Assessment
    • Hydromet Modernizaton: Lessons from Myanmar
    Coffee/Tea Break 2.30 – 2.45pm: Corridor outside Regency Hall

    Session 3: 2.45 – 4.15 pm

    Moderators: Dr. Laxman Singh Rathore; Dr. David Rogers, International Advisors for SAHF

    Moderated Discussion on Prioritizing Regional Collaboration

    This session will include a panel discussion among the representatives from agencies providing weather, water and climate services. This session is focused on hearing voices from the different countries, with a view to elicit discussion on information sharing, mechanisms for collaboration and specific country needs.

          Panel Discussion (90 mins)

    • Mr. Sayed Reza Mousawi, Director, Meteorological Department, Afghanistan
    • Mr. Shamsuddin Ahmed, Director, Meteorological Department, Bangladesh
    • Mr. Karma Dupchu, Director, National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology, Bhutan
    • Dr. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director General, IMD
    • Mr. Abdul Muhsin Ramiz, Director, Meteorological Services, Maldives
    • Mr. Saraju Kumar Baidya, Director, Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Nepal
    • Dr. Muhammad Hanif, Chief Meteorologist and Project Director, Meteorological Department, Pakistan
    • Ms. Dulari Gangani Fernando, Deputy Director, Department of Meteorology, Sri Lanka



    Collaboration on extreme weather:

    • Information sharing needs and mechanisms
    • Products and information that can be shared
    • Operational aspects during severe weather
    • Training needs (regional, sub-regional)


    Reception and Dinner 6.30 pm: Corridor and Garden outside Regency Hall 

    November 20, 2019, Day 2 – Hyatt Kathmandu Regency Hall

    Session 4: 9.00 – 10.45 am

    Chairs: Dr. Mrityunjay Mohapatra, Director General, India Meteorological Department, IMD;

    Mr. Shamsuddin Ahmed, Director, Bangladesh Meteorological Department, BMD



    Advances and Solutions for Service Delivery – using data, technologies and remote sensing for forecasting    

    This session will highlight innovative approaches to forecasting and decision support.



    • Advancing Global NWP through collaboration
    • Innovations and lessons on Hydromet –IWMI experience
    • Global streamflow forecasting
    • Flood Forecasting using remote sensing


    Coffee/Tea Break 10.45 – 11.00 am: Corridor outside Regency Hall

    Session 5: 11.00 am – 12.30 pm

    Chairs: Mr. Imran Jamil Shami, Joint Secretary, Pakistan Aviation Division;

    Mr. Karma Dupchu, Director, National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology, Bhutan


    Reaching Users – Linking Communities and Sectors with Specialized Services

    This session will discuss the good practices and innovative initiatives in the delivery of hydromet and climate services in various sectors with a focus on reaching communities and users including early warning, agriculture and transport.

    • TN SMART:  Multi-Hazard Decision Support System for preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation measures
    • Delivering advisories and early warning to farmers in Bangladesh for resilience
    • Weather and Water induced Landslides: Case studies



    • Private Sector Services
    Networking Activity 12.30-1.00pm: Regency Hall
    Lunch 1.00 – 2.00 pm: Garden Area outside Regency Hall

    Session 6: 2.00 – 3.00 pm

    Moderators: Arati Belle, WB; Abdoulaye Harou, WMO

    Bringing it together for Regional Collaboration – SAR on action planning

    This session will follow the discussion from Session 3 toward an agreed upon action plan that identifies pathways and priorities for regional collaboration

    • Senior Representatives of Meteorological, Hydrological and User Sector Agencies
    • Dr. A.R. Subbiah, Director, RIMES Program Unit
    • Action planning for areas of regional collaboration and modalities to enhance communication among SAHF
    • SAHF Regional Initiative Next Steps
    Coffee/Tea Break 3.00 – 3.15pm: Corridor outside Regency Hall

    Session 7: 3.15 – 4.15 pm

    Chair: Markus Repnik, Director WMO; Vladimir Tsirkunov, Lead Specialist, WB

    Bringing it Together for Regional Collaboration – How can Development Partners Help?

    This session will allow for an exchange of views with development partners engaged with SAR countries on using SAHF to better align hydromet and climate services-related support.

    • Archana Shukla (DFID); David Corbelli (UKMO); Michael Ernst (USAID); Donna Lagdameo (Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Center); Ram Prasad Bhandari (JICA); Mandira Shrestha (ICIMOD); Moctar Aboubaca (WFP); and Joseph Intsiful (GCF)


    • Discussion to align and build on ongoing and planned Development Partners’ activities, particularly on training and capacity development

    Session 8: 4.15 – 5.00 pm

    Chair: Er. Rabindra Nath Shrestha, Secretary of Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Government of Nepal;

    Faris H. Hadad-Zervos, Country Manager, World Bank


    • Forum Voices (open mic)
    • Closing Remarks, Director General of DHM, GoN
    • Vote of Thanks, Arati Belle, World Bank

    November 21, 2019, Day 3 – Nepal Hydromet Visits

    9.00 am

    • Congregate for transport at the Hyatt Parking Lot outside the Main Entrance
    • Travel to Sites

    10:00 am – 10:45 am

    • NARC Main Building: Presentation on Agro-Advisory Bulletins (AABs) and Agriculture Management Information 

    10:45 am – 11:15 am

    • Q/A Session and Discussions (30 mins)

    11:15 am

    • Leave for DHM, Babarmahal, Kathmandu

    12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

    • Arrive for Lunch at DHM 

    1:00 pm – 2:00 pm 

    • Presentation by DHM on Hydromet Modernization in Nepal (30 mins)
    • Q/A Session and Discussions (30 mins)
    2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    • Tour of the DHM Building
    3:00 pm
    • Return back to Hyatt




    Last Updated: Nov 29, 2019

  • Location: Day 1 and 2: Kathmandu Hyatt; Day 3: Khumaltar, Agronomy Department, NARC      

    Logistics Note 2019 PDF                   


    SAHF II will continue to target the heads of the National Meteorological and Hydrological agencies and user-sector representatives from weather, water and climate-dependent sectors from the 8 South Asian countries. In addition, it would include representatives from the World Bank, WMO as well as invited development partners, academia and the private sector organizations.

    Organizing team and Logistical Information

    The World Bank’s SAHF Event 2 team (Arati Belle, TTL, WB’s SAR Hydromet, Early Warning and Climate Services Program; Haris Khan, TTL Building Resilience to Climate Related Hazards, BRCH, Nepal and other colleagues) will be responsible for the organization of the SAHF conference. The World Bank will support the conference related logistics and will work in coordination with the Focal Point of the Govt of Nepal and the WMO to ensure that the SAHF Event 2 builds on the previous work and contributes to the declared objectives of regional collaboration.

    Acknowledgement Note


  • Co-Hosts: The World Bank Group and the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal in partnership with the World Meteorological Organization
  • With support from: The European Union and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery

South Asia Hydromet Forum 2018 - 2019