Between 1970 and 2019, 79% of disasters worldwide involved weather, water, and climate-related hazards. These disasters accounted for 56% of deaths and 75% of economic losses from disasters associated with natural hazards reported during that period. As climate change continues to threaten human lives, ecosystems and economies, risk information and early warning systems (EWS) are increasingly seen as key for reducing these impacts. The majority of countries, including 88% of least developed countries and small island states, that submitted their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to UNFCCC have identified EWS as a “top priority”.

This report identifies where and how governments can invest in effective EWS to strengthen countries’ resilience to multiple weather, water and climate-related hazards. Being prepared and able to react at the right time, in the right place, can save many lives and protect the livelihoods of communities everywhere.

Key Recommendations:

  1. Invest to fill the EWS capacity gaps, particularly in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), in Africa and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
  2. Focus investment on turning early warning information into early action, through improved communication and preparedness planning.
  3. Ensure sustainable financing of the global observing system that underpins early warnings, and ensure that financing covers all segments of the EWS value chain.
  4. Track finance flows to improve understanding of where resources are being allocated in relation to EWS implementation needs.
  5. Develop more consistency in monitoring and evaluation to better determine EWS effectiveness.
  6. Fill the data gaps particularly from SIDS, by improving countries’ reporting on climate information and EWS capacity.
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