Press release 19.8.2013

Finnish Meteorological Institute development co-operation project continues in Nepal

The Finnish Meteorological Institute will continue its successful co-operation with the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology of Nepal. The goal is to produce advanced weather services.
Photo: Irma Ylikangas

The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) is continuing its co-operation, which got off to an excellent start, with the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology of Nepal (DHM) in a new FNEP2 project. The goal of the project is to improve Nepalese meteorological expertise and preparedness for natural disasters, which climate change is expected to increase in the future. The three-year project is an ICI (Institutional Cooperation Instrument) funded by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The project agreements were signed in the spring and summer, with the project launch slated for autumn of 2013.

The project will continue development of DHM's meteorological data collection and quality control as well as train employees in several areas of meteorology. In addition, an effort is being made to provide new meteorological services by developing DHM's weather updates. The project will be realised through training, workshops and familiarisation visits in both Nepal and Finland. The project will be carried out in co-operation with a similar ICI project being run by the FMI in Bhutan.

Well-developed weather and climate services allow for the more effective management of adverse impacts on the Nepalese economy and population brought about by extreme weather phenomena. Based on several studies, Nepal is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Natural disasters claimed an average of 950 lives and caused approximately EUR 11.4 million in damage each year.

- "Nepal's Department of Hydrology and Meteorology is in its infancy, so steps have to be taken in every area of the department, starting with planning of a weather observation network, the collection of meteorological data and quality control. Once the observation network and data collection functions are in place, it will also be possible to develop new services. FMI's experience will be an outstanding resource in making this happen," explains Project Manager Irma Ylikangas.

FNEP2 project an extension of previous ICI project

The previous FNEP project, which ran from 2010-2012, focused on, for example, the updating of Nepalese weather stations and improving the expertise of DHM employees, such as in data management and technical maintenance of hardware. During the project, 48 people participated in training sessions, with a total of 260 training days logged. As part of the project, FMI also conducted a socioeconomic study, whose results speak for themselves: each euro invested in Nepal's weather and climate services saves 6-11 euros in social assets through a higher level of preparedness.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs Institutional Cooperation Instrument (ICI) promotes direct co-operation between governmental actors in Finland and partner countries toward enhancing the expertise of state agencies and departments in developing countries. The Finnish Meteorological Institute is currently running regional ICI projects with Caribbean island states as well as bilateral ICI projects in Central Asia, Columbia, Ecuador, Vietnam, Bhutan and Sudan. In addition to the ICI projects, there are major regional projects funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs being run in Pacific island states and the Andes region. The FMI is also involved in consulting projects in Latvia, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Macedonia, Kosovo, Russia and China.

Further information:

Head of Unit: Harri Pietarila, tel. +358 (0)50 337 8224, harri.pietarila@fmi.fiProject Manager Irma Ylikangas,

Institutional Cooperation Instrument (ICI):