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Submitted by Felix Bongjoh on

A well-conceived scheme of support to policy-oriented actions. Providing a solid framework for the sharing of meteorological information is an important step. Projects of this nature should strive for far-reaching results in terms of long-term actions that could mitigate weather hazards over long periods of time. Perhaps long-term schemes based on the probability of the future occurence of storms over periods of 5 to 10 years and even more could help goverments to mitigate some or most of it effects. The re-occurrence of storms leaving governments always embarrassed by untold amounts of destruction (loss of poverty, deaths) seems to be a fact to live with, as it could be argued that without an elaborate scheme of the nature provided by the project, matters could be worse - in fact disastrous.

Could meteorological schemes be more proactive in terms of making bold concrete recommendations for actions aimed at establishing physical environments along coastlines that could further mitigate the damage caused by storms in the long term? Perhaps time-series studies on the behavior of natural phenomena and patterns that lead to weather hazards could go a long way to influence respective policy measures on dealing with more effectively with storms and their consequences. In this regard, schemes should be worked out to foster collaboration between environmentalists and meterologists within a framework much broader than what currently exists so that governments are not always placed in the precarious situation of dealing with storms on a relatively short-term basis as they occur within the predictable limits of forecasts. Longer-term meteorological patterns as such could enable governments to come up with long-term policy measures and strategies to cope more effectively with weather hazards.

Of course, the proposed approach of forging a closer link between environmental and meteorological factors would be achieved at a greater financial cost. It would be up to experts to weigh in on how cost-effective strategies could result in more realistic interventions.

Although the project in question deals with Europe, we do not have to go far to learn from similar hazards in the US that have occurred one after the other within a short period, each time taking a significant toll on lives, property and the environment. This corroborates the need to come up with more radical meteorological schemes anchored on sound environmental practices as the basis for informing policy and decision-making with a view to long-term solutions.

In this regards, the continuous evaluation of projects as they are implemented could be helpful. More frequent and ad hoc regional meetings could also be source of invaluable inputs for ongoing projects. Data banks should be enriched, more widely disseminated and accessed by various actors at both regional and country levels. More extensive monitoring and communication schemes should accompany measures recommended to strengthen respective government policy guidelines.