ECO Regional Center for Risk Management of natural disasters (ECO-RCRM)

 History of ECO-RCRM

With reference to ECO secretariat’s note no. AIH/0141/2004/0862, dated May 11, 2004, and AIH/0141/2004/1521, dated August 8, 2004, Kyrgys Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Turkey and Republic of Turkmenistan expressed their support to the proposal of the Meteorological Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran on establishing a “Regional Center for Risk Management of Natural Disasters” at National Center of Climatology in Mashad, I. R. of Iran. Since climate change has resulted in severe droughts in the world during the last 3 years (2000-2003), especially in some ECO Member States, the necessity of establishing a Regional Center for Risk Management of Natural Disasters was approved by the 1st ECO Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture in July 26-28, Tehran, and the I.R. of Iran. It was agreed to establish such a center in National Climatology Center (Mashad) based on the proposal submitted by the  I.R of Iran Meteorological Organization to the 2nd ECO Ministerial Meeting (December 6-7, Antaly, Turkey.).

 In the 16th Meeting of the Regional Planning Council (RPC) held in January, 2006, in Tehran, the Council agreed on ECO feasibility funds of 50,000USD to establishment of a Regional Center for Risk Management of Natural Disasters from ECO Feasibility Funds. The Council appreciated the efforts made by the concerned authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran for establishing a Regional Center for Risk Management of Natural Disasters (ECO – RCRM) in Mashad noting that the Center would be inaugurated during the first Meeting of the ECO Heads of Meteorological Organizations in September, 2007.

View, Objectives and functions

2.1. Rergarding to the draft statute of the ECO Regional centre for Risk Management of natural disasters which was finalized by ECO Sectretariat working group, the view of the Centre is the promoting cooperation among member states for effective natural disasters risk management.

2.2. The objectives of the Center shall be with a view to promoting cooperation among member states for effective natural disasters risk management especially the risks of hydro-meteorological and climatic disasters:

  1. Establishing an efficient information management system

  2. Short and Long Term Forecasting/Predictions

  3. Disaster Risk Assessment/Analysis

  4. Disaster Monitoring and Early Warning System

  5. Capacity Building (Education and Training, etc)

2.3. In order to achieve the objectives, as defined in Article III, the Center shall, inter alia, have the following functions and responsibilities:

  1. To promote regional disasters surveillance and provision of early warning system through:

  2. Establishing regional standards and protocols for data quality control and assurance

  3. Facilitating exchange of data, information and products

  4. Providing seasonal and long-term climate forecasting, modeling and early warning system

  5. To strengthen national capacities through holding seminars, workshops and training courses

  6. To provide member states with technical assistance in research, applying new technologies, especially using satellite and radar for meteorological purposes and applying community-based approaches

  7. To exchange information, knowledge and best practices as well experts, instructors and trainers

  8. To develop cooperation with relevant international bodies/institutions for technical and financial assistance

  9. To facilitate policy dialogue as well as national and regional strategy development for and disaster management risk reduction.

  1. The thorough update of the activities undertaken since the last COM in 2013

 ECO-RCRM has made some activities Since COM2013 up to December 2016, regarding to its responsibility.

3.1. The ECO-RCRM workshop entitled “Climate Modeling and Natural Disasters in ECO region” was held on 5-6 June in Tehran and 7 June 2013 in Mashhad in cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran Meteorological Organization (IRIMO) with participation of ECO Member Countries. The Workshop was attended by the delegates from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkey. The ECO Secretariat also participated in the workshop.

3.2. Continuation of seasonal forecasts over ECO region countries in cooperation with I. R. of Iran National Center for Climatology. In this regard, an English seasonal forecast newsletter is issued every months and launch on the ECO-RCRM website.

3.3. The first phase of project of “Seasonal forecast over ECO region using post-processing of dynamical seasonal forecast model” has started in July 2013. In this phase monthly precipitation, temperature and humidity over all ECO countries are needed.

3.4. Updating website of the center ( Website of ECO-RCRM has been launched on 2010 prior to the second ECO heads of Meteorological Organization meeting in Turkey. The contents of the website cover all of ECO activities related to the natural disasters especially climatic and hydrology disasters. All of documents of ECO-RCRM and newsletter are available in the website.

3.5. Attending at 7th International Conference of ECO National Disaster Risk Management (4, 5 May 2014) that to be hold in Azerbaijan.

3.6. Establish a PC server and create a climatic regional data bank and natural disasters for ECO countries.

3.7. Preparing to organize a workshop title” Drought monitoring and Prediction over ECO countries” and sending its draft demand to ECO secretariat (but it doesn’t to be held because of Unresponsiveness ECO Members).

  1. Status of implementation of the decisions/recommendations of the previous meetings

 4.1. Regarding the approval of 23rd RPC and final report of “Climate Modeling and Natural Disasters in ECO Region” workshop which was held in 2013 in Tehran and Mashhad, ECO-RCRM has started the first phase of the project entitled “Seasonal forecast over ECO region using post-processing of dynamical seasonal forecast model “. For calibration of the project, monthly precipitation, temperature and humidity data over all weather stations of the Member Countries are needed.

4.2. ECO-RCRM is organizing the workshop of “Flood forecasting using coupled meteorology and hydrology models”. In this regard, proposal of the Workshop has been sent to ECO Secretariat and the Center is in contact with Secretariat for holding the Workshop. The cost of the Workshop is jointly financed by ECO-FGPF for establishment of the ECO Regional Center for Risk Management of Natural Disasters and IRIMO international cooperation program.

4.3. Some of ECO-RCRM facilities include dormitory, climate change modeling laboratory, and seasonal forecast division and computer center. In this regard, the Center urges the experts of  Member countries to attend in  ECO-RCRM  reseasch and operational activities and projects in Mashad.

4.4. Establishing the Regular Seasonal meetings between members of the national Working Group and regular monthly meetings between members of ECO Regional Center (in Mashhad)

4.5. Having the Regular communication and joint meetings with the North East of the Foreign Affairs Department

4.6. Having regular communication and joint meetings with the Foreign Affairs Departments of ECO

4.7. Corresponding with the ECO Secretariat to coordinate with Member States to nominate a representative to participate in Center programs

4.8. Having Regular communication with the member states through their representative to receive regular information on natural hazards occurred

4.9. Creating a database and map data related to natural hazards between the Member States

4.10. Providing related research results to the central site and the ECO Secretariat

4.11. Connecting to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Publications and the Cultural Center of the ECO to prepare Atlas natural disasters for the member countries

4.12. Providing proposed research project aims to identify the historical events related to natural disasters in the Member countries

4.13. Following-up to create a science and research journal with ISC / ISI indexed

4.14. Following-up to receive satellite data to monitor drought in ECO member countries

4.15. Providing the WRF draft project related to the weather forecast for ECO member countries with support from the Islamic republic of Iran Meteorological Organization (IRIMO)

  1. Expectations

6.1. ECO-RCRM requests the Member State to accelerate completing the 3 questionnaires regarding to the understanding and assessment of disaster risk management. The key objectives of questionnaires are to :

1) Reach a better understanding of the disaster risk profile and disaster risk reduction system in the country.

2) Assess the NDMO’s capacity to use weather and climate information in disaster risk reduction

3) Identify the gaps and needs with respect to applying weather and climate information in disaster risk reduction.

6.2. Regarding the role of meteorological data in preparing updated drought monitoring, calibration of drought prediction system and natural climate-related technical reports and in the context of the Agreement between ECO Heads of Meteorological Organizations, in the first stage ECO-RCRM needs to access to the monthly precipitation, maximum temperature, minimum temperature and humidity data of all meteorological stations of the ECO Countries. Period of data must be from 1971 up to now.

6.3. To accelerate process of finalizaing ECO-RCRM statute.

This post is also available in: Persian