Communication of weather and climate information is important for people from all sectors and communities to plan their daily activities and seasonal work, and can be critical during natural disasters to protect lives and property. The training will also consider the review of communication products for medium to long term climate projection and its impacts on communities and the environment.
The Climate and Ocean Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac) Second Regional Communication Training for Climate Officers opens this week in Nadi, with Met Service staff from 11 Pacific countries.
Having expressed the need to share not just quality forecasts but also ways for their communities to understand and use weather and climate information, the Pacific Met participants look forward to the days ahead.
"Our commitment towards helping our Pacific Met Services better communicate their information is ongoing," said Ms Azarel Mariner, the COSPPac Capacity Development Officer of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
"This is one of a number of different communications workshops we have held across the region, having learnt that one training session does not fix all. In order for us to make progress it's a partnership – we provide the ongoing support and at the national level the Met Services implement what is learnt."
With the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) in the region, the meteorological services face a shift in focus from simple delivery of products like forecasts to tailoring climate information to sector requirements and helping everyday people to understand, prepare and respond to weather and climate news.
The establishment of the Pacific Islands Communications and Infrastructure (PICI) Panel and Pacific Island Education, Training and Research Panel by the Pacific Islands Meteorological Council is a realisation that communication is critical in the work of the meteorological community.
Stakeholders, local councils and communities need a strong foundation to understand the importance and usefulness of weather tools and bulletins that are now available. This workshop aims to train National Meteorological Services' officers to help their stakeholders and communities build that foundation.
"The workshop includes creation of communications strategies, along with media and communication training to support the delivery of climate and weather services. Participants will test their skills using information from the ENSO status update, a critical topic for this coming year with possibly another El Niño on the way," said Ms Mariner.
The COSPPac Second Regional Communication Training is funded by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through COSPPac and the Pacific Australia Climate Change Science Adaptation Project (PACCSAP), and delivered by SPREP in collaboration with Pacific Community (SPC), Econnect Communication and the Australia Bureau of Meteorology and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
For more information, please contact Ms Azarel Mariner at [email protected] or Ms Nanette Woonton at [email protected].