Crafting of El Niño strategies pushed
United Nations agencies are calling for the crafting of long-term development strategies to address El Niño, a recurring weather phenomenon with devastating effects that are felt across wide areas of the world.
The United Nations Economic and Social Council (Ecosoc) said the international community must boost efforts to build capacity for disaster risk management and readiness to prevent El Niño weather extremes from causing humanitarian crises in affected countries and impeding their development.
“We must remember that El Niño is not a one-off event but recurring global phenomena that we must address for future generations,” Ecosoc president Oh Joon said in a statement.
“All partners—the United Nations, international and regional organizations, civil society, the private sector and the scientific community—need to take coordinated and fortified action to tackle El Niño risks,” Oh said.
He said extreme weather conditions had become more frequent with climate change, bringing droughts, fire, destruction of agricultural production, poor health and diseases, and displacement of people all over the world.
“These conditions also affect commodity prices and the prospects for sustainable development,” he added.
Also, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said that while the scientific understanding of El Niño had increased greatly in recent years, the current El Niño and future events are entering “uncharted territories.”
“This naturally occurring El Niño event and human induced climate change may interact and modify each other in ways, which we have never before experienced,” said Elena Manaenkova, WMO assistant secretary general.