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Espoo Statement
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Espoo Statement

The participants of the WMO Conference, cosponsored by FMI and IRI, on "Living with Climate Variability and Change", held in Espoo, Finland July 17-21 2006, being experts in natural disasters, public health, energy and the built environment, water resources, agriculture and food security, decision-related sciences, and policy and climate, declare as follows:

We recognise that every major social, economic and environmental sector is sensitive to climate variability and change, both of which are significant factors in each sector's sustainable development.

We agree that policy formulation and operational decision-making in climate sensitive sectors will be improved by more widespread use of climate knowledge and information in managing risks and exploiting opportunities (collectively referred to as climate-related risk management).

We recognise that the process of developing effective climate-related risk management works best if it is:

  • driven by the needs and requirements expressed by relevant decision sectors
  • developed within real-world decision contexts
  • enabled through facilitating institutions and policies
  • based on environmental, sectoral and socioeconomic data
  • based on tailored climate information
  • supported by local capacity
  • included in planning strategies that incorporate incentives
  • supported by sector-specific services from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and related institutions.
We note that climate-related risk management requires multidisciplinary collaborations and the cross-disciplinary exchange of information, such as can be achieved through interfacing institutes and processes.

We believe that on-going collaboration at national and regional scales between sectoral partners and climate information providers will benefit all parties.
We note further that the practice of climate-related risk management is not widespread within many sectors and that there is a lack of awareness of climate-related risk management opportunities among numerous communities that would benefit.

We recognise the need for efforts to assemble disparate knowledge, to identify good practice, and to assess the value of and give visibility to climate-related risk management.

We recommend that collaborative mechanisms be developed that facilitate needs and requirements driven activities in climate-related risk management, and that they be used to improve the quality of climate-related risk management to the benefit of all.

These mechanisms could promote:

  • evaluation of current climate-related risk management in all relevant sectors
  • better assessments of the value of climate-related risk management
  • establishment of data sets necessary to inform decision making
  • research to improve climate-related risk management
  • development of decision-support tools
  • capacity building in climate-related risk management
  • on-going evaluation of outcomes
  • the use of suitable financial mechanisms in support climate-related risk management.
We request that these recommendations be considered by WMO, other UN System organisations, and sectoral and development organisations operating at national, regional and international levels.