The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) held a ceremony in Hanoi on March 20 to mark World Meteorological Day (March 23).

With the theme “Watching the weather to protect life and property”, this year’s event affirmed the humanitarian and political significance of timely and exact weather forecasts that can help protect human life and assets, as well as serve the sustainable development of all countries, said Le Cong Thanh, head of the ministry’s Department of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change.

Through this year’s theme, the World Meteorological Organisation wants to highlight great contributions made by national meteorological and gauging agencies during 24 hours per day and 365 days per year.

According to MoNRE, due to adverse impacts of climate change, natural disasters have increased in number and strength, causing great losses in human life and property, socio-economic and culture infrastructure, as well as negative impacts on the environment.

Between 2001 and 2010, natural disasters, including storms, floods, landslides, droughts and soil salinisation, left more than 9,500 people dead and missing and caused losses accounting for about 1.5 percent of the country’s GDP each year.

In an effort to limit the losses, the Government has assigned the ministry to work with relevant agencies and localities to implement measures to improve the capacity and quality of weather forecasts.

Tasks focus on developing legal documents on weather forecasts, modernising the observation network and raising the sense of responsibility among public in coping with natural disasters.

Following the ceremony, the MoNRE held a seminar to review the implementation of legal documents on meteorology and hydrology.-VNA