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“Science to services for a resilient Pacific” is the theme of the Fifth Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC-5) opening this week in Apia, Samoa. The meeting will bring together Pacific Met Directors, partners and stakeholders to strengthen climate and weather services in the Pacific region.

“Samoa is pleased to be able to host our Pacific family on this very important occasion.  It is the opportunity for Samoa to showcase the critical role of Meteorology and hydrology services in informing actions and policies to address some of the most pressing issues of our time Climate Change, Natural Disasters , Green Growth  and Sustainable Development,” said Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), Mr Ulu Bismark Crawley.

“The engagement strategy provides the platform to build partnership with private sector, public sector, communities and development partners ensuring clear focus on role and responsibilities at the regional and national level as well as promoting evidence based outcomes and outputs that encourage synergies through sector plans linking back to relevant national policy statements. The work of our Pacific meteorological and hydrological services is crucial to the everyday lives of our Pacific communities. Everything that we can do to be better at our job will ultimately help strengthen our resilience.”

The aim of the PMC is to help coordinate facilitation of meteorological services in support of development agendas, contributing to the strengthening of community resilience.  It will also discuss ways to continue to implement the Pacific Island Meteorological Strategy (2012-2021).

“The meeting of the Pacific Met Council is of great importance not only for Pacific National Meteorological Services (NMS), but also for Pacific communities and people, as weather events continue to become more frequent or severe due to the increased vulnerability of our islands as a result of climate change,” said Ms Tagaloa Cooper Halo, Director of Climate Change Resilience of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

“The priorities set by the Pacific Met Council will guide the World Meteorological Organizations in its implementation of projects in the region. WMO aims for greater integration and participation of the Pacific Islands in its work,” said Ms Mary Power, Director of Development and Regional Associations at World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

“This in turn makes the involvement, partnership and collaboration of all partners present at this meeting, vital in ensuring effective, relevant and resilient services being provided for our Pacific is-lands.”

Globally, 90 per cent of natural disasters are caused by weather, climate and water-related hazards, and the majority of these hazards will occur in the Asia and Pacific region.

“The PMC provides an open forum for members to discuss and collaborate on issues related to the advancement of meteorological and hydrological services in the Pacific,” said Mr Henry Taiki, WMO Representative for the South West Pacific.

“By building on mutual and complementary strengths, we can develop innovative approaches to help sustain national and regional development goals prioritised by Pacific countries.”

 

BACKGROUND

The PMC meeting started in 1993 as the Regional Meteorological Services Directors (RMSD).  They first met in Port Vila, Vanuatu, to discuss how National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of the Pacific can be better supported to help strengthen the resilience and security of Pacific people and communities to the impacts of climate change.

After fourteen RMSD meetings, in 2011, the First Pacific Meteorological Council Meeting was held in Majuro, Republic of Marshall Islands, and endorsed the Pacific Islands Meteorological Strategy (PIMS) 2012-2021 and the Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership (PMDP).  This is hosted and based within the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). This continued the tradition of close collaboration and partnership for Pacific NMHSs to work together to build their capacity and improve their climate and weather services for Pacific communities.

The Fifth Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC-5) follows a range of pre-PMC meetings which were held in Apia, Samoa from 29 July - 6 August, 2019. The PMC-5 is supported by a strong partnership between the following:  The Government of Samoa, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Government of Australia through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government of Canada, Government of Korea, Climate Risk Early Warning Systems (CREWS), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), IMPACT Project, Varysian, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Climate and Oceans Support Programme in the Pacific (COSPPac), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

For more information on the PMC-5 please visit the Pacific Met Desk website https://www.pacificmet.net/pmc/meetings/pmc-5 or email Salesa Nihmei salesan@sprep.org  or Azarel Mariner-Maiai azarelm@sprep.org

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