Weather and climate data for resilience

A new way of financing surface-based observations

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ABOUT THE SYSTEMATIC OBSERVATIONS FINANCING FACILITY

The Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) is a financing mechanism that supports countries to close the basic weather and climate observations data gap.

SOFF works with countries with the most severe shortfalls in observations, prioritising the Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. By providing long-term financial and technical assistance, SOFF contributes towards a global public good.

SOFF aims to support and accelerate the sustained collection and international exchange of the most essential surface-based weather and climate observations in compliance with the internationally agreed Global Observing Basic Network.

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SOFF MISSION STATEMENT

In order to save lives and livelihoods as well as protect property across the whole globe, we must improve the availability of weather and climate observations from the most data sparse areas. These are vital for weather forecasts, early warning systems and climate information services.

The lack of such observations limits countries' capacity to adapt to climate change and build resilience.

Numerous global agreements recognize that successful action on climate mitigation, adaptation, resilience and poverty reduction depends on high-quality weather and climate services, and on the capacity to make informed decisions and take appropriate steps in light of that information.

SOFF funding is a foundational investment that underpins the effectiveness and sustainability of the investments of other development and climate funds in full complementarity.

SOFF UN MULTI-PARTNER TRUST FUND

SOFF is a United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund (UNMPTF) created by World Meteorological Organization (WMO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in 2021.

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EARLY WARNINGS FOR ALL

Warnings are only as good as the data they are built upon.
SOFF is a foundational element and delivery mechanism of the UN Secretary General’s Early Warning for All Initiative launched in 2022. The Initiative calls for the whole world to be covered by an early warning system by the end of 2027.

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THE GLOBAL BASIC
OBSERVING NETWORK
(GBON)

CLOSING DATA GAPS IN THE GLOBAL BASIC OBSERVING NETWORK

The current gaps in global surface-based data significantly impact the quality of weather and climate services locally, regionally, and globally.

In 2021, 193 members of the World Meteorological Organization agreed to a set of global standards, the landmark agreement Global Basic Observing Network (GBON).

SOFF was created to support the implementation of the GBON requirements by providing long-term financial and technical assistance to support the generation and international sharing of basic weather and climate observations.

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Today, less than 10% of the required basic weather and climate data are available from Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.

SOFF FUNDERS

Together, SOFF’s funders are committed to systematically and speedily closing the climate and weather data gaps, and working to provide a global public good. SOFF is very grateful for the pledges to date. All funders of the SOFF UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund (UNMPTF) are decision-making members of the SOFF Steering Committee.

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Belgium
Canada
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$79M
in donor pledges to the
SOFF UN Fund
12
Funders are supporting SOFF
60
Countries already got the
Readiness funding approved

HOW SOFF OPERATES

SOFF systematically addresses the persistent problems that cause missing observations by providing support through the combination of four key features:

1

Global approach for sustained high-quality international data exchange as a measure of success
2

Innovative, long-term finance for sustainable progress towards Global Basic Observing Network (GBON) compliance
3

Technical competencies enhanced through peer-to-peer advisory support
4

Leverage partners‘ resources for complementary and coordinated support across the meteorological value chain

Support to countries is provided in three phases: Readiness, investment and compliance. This is implemented through a close collaboration between beneficiary countries, implementing entities and peer advisors, consisting of advanced national meteorological services.

DOCUMENT LIBRARY

TERMS OF REFERENCE

SOFF Terms of Reference

This document define the purpose and structures of the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund (UN MPTF).
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SOFF OPERATIONS MANUAL

SOFF Operational Manual

This Manual contains the operational and governance policies, rules and procedures of SOFF. It builds on and complements the SOFF Terms of Reference.
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SOFF Consolidated Financial Report 2023

For the period 1 January to 31 December 2023. Published in May 2024 by UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (UNMPTF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), prepared by the Administrative Agent.
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