During last few decades it became evident that climate changes have adverse impacts on economy and population in many world’s regions, including Southeastern Europe (SEE). Studies of present climate and potential future climate change in SEE region show an increasing trend in air temperature and significant reduction in precipitation, especially in the warm half of the year. Such results clearly indicate that the development strategy of response and efficiency evaluation of measures to mitigate the consequences of climate change requires further systematic monitoring and climate research in regional and local scale. The increasing vulnerability to climate change and other natural disasters in countries of this region, caused the need to strengthen international technical and scientific cooperation in order to ensure efficient climate monitoring and forecasting, assessment of climate change impact on human health, numerous economic activities, and availability of natural resources as well as early identification of problems and adoption of measures and strategies for adaptation to changed climate conditions.
Following the call of the World Meteorological Organization to its member countries to take measures, in accordance with their respective capabilities, to strengthen international cooperation through appropriate national, subregional and regional climate centers, at the beginning of 2006, National Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia initiated an establishment of South East European Virtual Climate Change Center. This proposal is included in the priorities of subregional cooperation at the UNECE Sixth Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” (held from 10-12 October 2007 in Belgrade, Serbia) as Belgrade Initiative.
Realizing the importance of climate change for sustainable development and the eradication of poverty, and taking into account the fact that the projected climate change will worsen conditions in the SEE region which is already vulnerable to climate variability, reduce water availability, hydropower potential, summer tourism and crop yields, the UNECE Ministerial Conference gave full support to Belgrade Initiative adopting the final document and the Ministerial Declaration. Belgrade Initiative has also received support from the Government of the Republic of Serbia, national hydrometeorological services of the countries in SEE at a meeting of its directors (held in Dubrovnik, Croatia in 2006), World Meteorological Organization, as well as informal Seventh Conference of National Hydrometeorological Services of Southeastern Europe (held in Belgrade, from 11 – 12о October 2007).
Immediately after the adoption of the Belgrade Initiative, in 2008, South East European Virtual Climate Change Center (SEEVCCC) was established within the National Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia, with administrative head office in Belgrade.