HMEI participates in WMO SOFF forum and calls for member participation

Published 30 Jun 2021


HMEI (The Hydrometeorological Industry Association) was invited to attend the second funders’ forum of the World Meteorological Organization’s Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) on June 28.  


The event, which was held virtually, advanced discussions on the value proposition of the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF), looked at the proposed institutional and operational design and respective arrangements, examined the timeline and status of preparations, and set to define the expectations for the subsequent meetings. 


SOFF will support countries to generate and exchange basic observational data to contribute to the Global Basic Observing Network (GBON) for improved weather forecasts and climate services. It will provide technical and financial assistance in new ways to guide investments, using data exchange as a measure of success, and creating local benefits while delivering on a global public good.  


The creation of SOFF is spearheaded by the WMO in collaboration with a wide range of international organizations, including the members of the Alliance for Hydromet Development.  


WMO hopes to announce the creation of SOFF at COP26 and to be “open for business” by mid-2022. The financing mechanism requires US$400m of financing over an initial 5-year implementation period to progressively achieve and sustain GBON compliance in all 67 SIDS and LDCs and offer readiness phase support to other OECD ODA eligible countries. 


After the initial five-year implementation period, sustaining GBON in SIDS and LDCs and its international data exchange over time is expected to require US$50m per year. 

“We call upon governments, as well as multilateral climate and environment financing institutions to fund this exciting and beneficial initiative. Achieving our climate goals under the Paris Agreement is possible only if all nations developed and developing work together,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa


HMEI has been asked to provide input of private industry perspectives on best practices, keys for success and risk factors related to the development and operation of observing networks in the developing world. As the SOFF implementation moves forward, HMEI will serve on advisory committees within the SOFF program. We invite our members to engage with HMEI to provide their input in the financing facility, to help ensure its success.

“The SOFF initiative could have a significant impact on the availability of mission critical weather and climate observations. The private sector has a lot of detailed experience and subject matter expertise that can help ensure success of the SOFF. We look forward to engaging with the entire weather enterprise on this important initiative, and we call on our members to support it,” said Jim Anderson, HMEI Chair. 


If any member would like to propose ideas or input, or simply engage with HMEI with regards to SOFF, please contact: executive secretary, Dr Alexander Karpov: 


Presentations from the Second Funder’s Forum can be found here: 


For more information on SOFF, please click here: