Information day for Western Balkan region on transition to MTG

On 13-14 March 2019, EUMETSAT is holding an information day for the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) of the Western Balkan region in Skopje, North Macedonia.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

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The aim of the meeting is to enable the NMHS to maximise the benefits from the operational use of the data and products supplied by EUMETSAT from its own satellites and those of the EU's Copernicus Programme and to prepare for the next generation of European meteorological satellites. The observations made by these satellites are an important source of information for the Western Balkan countries to better forecast the weather, to measure the climate and to monitor the environment.

During the opening ceremony, EUMETSAT's Director of Operations Livio Mastroddi said, "In the coming years we need to prepare for the access to and use of the next generation of Meteosat satellites: the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) which will provide, as of 2022, an unprecedented amount of meteorological observations from space.

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"They will have a significant impact on weather forecasting. The cooperation between EUMETSAT and the Western Balkan's NMHS, which has been well established since 2009, should allow us to plan for this new generation timely and efficiently, while continuing to exploit the data made available operationally from the 11 satellites that we currently operate."

Mr. Ljupco Nikolovski, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy added: "Investment in hydro-meteorological services is important to mitigate risks related to climate change and severe weather events, which have adverse effects on agricultural production and other socio-economic sectors in the Republic of North Macedonia and in the Western Balkan region This investment includes efforts to increase the usage of satellite data and the cooperation with EUMETSAT is a key enabler for this."

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During the information day, the NMHS also reported on their current use of the satellite data. Discussion then focused on the upgrading of NMHS' EUMETCast reception stations, installed in previous years as part of the Data Access for Western Balkan and Eastern Europe (DAWBEE), to ensure continuous operational access to satellite data and information, as well as on the training activities that are organised yearly in the South-East European region.

This event, co-organised by the National Hydrometeorological Service, under the North Macedonia Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, is part of EUMETSAT's regular dialogue with users of its data from the region's NMHS. Representatives from the NMHS of Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo* and Bosnia-Herzegovina are attending the meeting. The EUMETSAT delegation is led by Livio Mastroddi and representatives include Training Officer Vesa Nietosvaara, MTG & EPS SG Applications & User Support Officer Stephan Bojinski and International Relations Officer EU Vincent Gabaglio.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

The EUMETSAT Information Days for the Western Balkans have been organised on a biennial basis since 2009. The main objectives are to inform the National Meteorological Services in the region about the status of EUMETSAT programmes and planned activities, notably data access and training and to gather feedback from the users that are resulting in the planning of joint actions to improve access to and use of satellite data in the countries of this region.

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