WMO Regional Training Center
IBIMET is leading the Regional Training Centre of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO-RTC) in Florence – Italy, since mid-nineties. The Italian Centre is part of the Global Network of the RTCs, established in 1958, on which the WMO Education and Training Programme framework is based.
The IBIMET experience in planning education and training started from the analysis of users needs of the African National Meteorological Services and Technical Organizations involved in “The Early Warning and Agricultural Production Forecast Project” (AP3A Project) financed by the Italian Cooperation through WMO.
In particular, the main purpose of RTC training programme was to develop capacity building in the target Countries, in order to mitigate the effects of extreme events such as drought, desertification and famine especially in semi-arid regions of North, West and East Africa.
In 2011, new collaborative research activities started in Mali, Senegal, and Niger; the involvement in initiatives such as COST, PresaNord and MedCOF have inspired new ideas and plans for the RTC. The focus of the training offered shifted towards climate change and variability and their effects on natural resources and agriculture, and on sub-seasonal to seasonal forecast/predictions as a tool for water and agriculture management.
WMO RTC Italy has also largely contributed during the years to a number of specific training activities and workshops in African Countries in the framework of international projects.
The courses offered by the RTC consist of short-term training courses (1 – 2 weeks) or workshops held in Florence or in other facilities selected for specific projects, in Italy and abroad, and in long-term stages (2 to 4 months) in the framework of long term projects and collaborations, such as the recent projects DIPLOMAZIA, ANADIA, PAPSEN. The activities of the RTC in Florence have been externally assessed in 2004, and the Executive Council, following Recommendation 1 (PAN-XXII), reconfirmed the status of the RMTC hosted by Italy as WMO-recognized RMTC during its 58th Session 11.
In the last three years, RTC participated to a work-table managed by the International Organization for Certification DEKRA for the development of a professional scheme for Meteorologist and Technical Meteorologist. The scheme, active in Italy, complies with the WMO n.1083 recommendations and to the UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17024 regulation.
In 2016, the RTC hosted the 27th session of the EC Panel of Experts of the World Meteorological Organization, and in November 2016 the 7th session of the Mediterranean Climate Outlook Forum (MedCOF 7) joint with the 16th session of the South East European Climate Outlook Forum (SEECOF 16) and the 10th session of the Northern African Climate Outlook Forum (PRESANORD 10).