NOAA, World Bank to Help Manage Coastal Resources

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the World Bank recently signed an agreement to work together to help developing nations manage water resources, combat drought, and measure changes in climate.

 Future projects are expected to take place initially in the Latin American region, notably in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, while other projects could be launched in other parts of the world.

 The scope and scale of many coastal problems require international alliances and solutions. This new partnership will allow NOAA scientists and resource managers and the World Bank to more readily assist global communities in building resilience to climate extremes. Specifically, the assistance can help establish end-to-end early warning systems, enhance and protect local ecosystems, and realize the benefits of an integrated earth observing system.

"This initiative enables us to marry financial resources and technical resources – bringing them together for sustainable development," said William J. Brennan, NOAA's deputy assistant secretary for international affairs. "This helps us realize our mutual goals to decrease suffering from natural disasters and bolster economies while sustaining our environment. Together these efforts seek to improve livelihoods and reduce global poverty."

"We have always believed that good development is based on solid partnerships," said Katherine Sierra, World Bank vice president of sustainable development. "Today's agreement allows us to work more easily with an important partner in development and to bring the complementary strengths of our two organizations together for this common cause."


The new Memorandum of Understanding will serve as an umbrella for future projects like the one NOAA's National Weather Service is discussing with the city of Medellin, Colombia, to install a reliable flash flood guidance system.

Other projects under discussion include:

• establishing high altitude mountain climate surface observing stations in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

• developing water resources and drought management projects in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.

• expanding marine environment ecosystem observations in the Caribbean to see how climate change affects small pelagic fish.

• using extreme climate adaptation expertise to adjust climate models to smaller scales.

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