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Met directors hail the work of PMC

Secretariat

By Matthew Vari of South Pacific Post (Post Courier)

17 August, 2017, Honiara, Solomon Islands, PMC-4 – THE Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC) has made huge strides since its transition from the regional meeting of Meteorological (MET) Service Directors (RMSD) in 2011.

As a regional organisation, Pacific Island meteorology directors highlighted the momentum PMC has gained for weather services in the region, its political influence, and its organisational capacity through SPREP, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.

Tonga’s Meteorology Services Director ‘Ofa Fa'anunu said the progress achieved by the PMC has been one that has shifted from a need basis to a performance one.

He said the current needs have been narrowed down to specific areas centred around training and other needs that can be strengthened over time.

"A few years ago we would come to this meeting and we would all sit here and talk about our needs," Mr Fa'anunu said.

"If you listen carefully to the country reports that were given on the first day of PMC, what you heard was totally different from what we used to hear in previous meetings. People were reporting on what they were actually doing, so that tells me that we have come a long way."

"That tells me that a lot of activities are happening in each of the PMC members. Of course there is still the need to train here and there."

Fa'anunu said support from donors and development partners have also increased under the new PMC format.

Support has also been offered by governments in the region. Samoa’s MET Service Assistant CEO, Mulipola Ausetalia Titimaea said government support for PMC is evident in the high number of ministers that would be attending the meteorological ministers meeting to be held here on Friday.

"As a person that has started off with the regional meteorological service directors meeting we have come a long way in trying to get our political leaders to have a look at us," Mr Titimaea said.

"To look into the national plans and see where met services we can have increasing budgets. If you listen to the reports, nearly most of the MET services have had increases in their budget and visibility."

In addition to the good number of ministers, Mr Titimaea said the deputy Prime Ministers from Tonga and Samoa would also be in attendance.

"Two deputy Prime Ministers would be here so that shows the interest of the political leaders in this area of work," Mr Titimaea said.

"They know how valuable a service MET offers not only to matters like early warning systems but in our contribution to national development. Climate data is with the MET Services, you do not get it anywhere else in the current machinery of government."

Papua New Guinea National Weather Service director, Samuel Maiha, described the meteorology sector as an advanced one, attributing this to the work of the PMC.

“My personal opinion is that the weather and climate institutes throughout the Pacific are the most advanced of any government departments.This PMC has become a powerful body and donors now listen to what PMC says.”

“I have never seen a more organised regional organisation,” added Mr Maiha. – #PMC4 #PacificMet

 

The Fourth Pacific Meteorological Council is being held in Honiara, Solomon Islands from the 14 – 17 August co-hosted by the government of Solomon Islands, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO). This will followed by the Second Pacific Meteorological Ministers Meeting (PMMM) on the 18 of August.

The PMC and PMMM is supported by the Government of Solomon Islands, SPREP, WMO, Government of Australia through the Climate and Oceans Support Programme (COSPPac) and Pacific Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning Programme (PACCSAP), Government of Finland, National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United Nations Development Programme through the Resilience in the Pacific (SIDS) project.

The PMC consists of members of the Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological Services supported by its technical partners, regional organisations, non-government organisations and private sectors.

This article was developed by a Pacific Media Team of Reporters currently providing coverage on the Fourth Pacific Meteorological Council in Solomon Islands. This activity coordinated by SPREP is supported by a partnership between the Government of Solomon Islands, SPREP, Australia funded project (Climate and Oceans Support Program (COSPPac) and UNDP Disaster for Pacific SIDS (RESPAC) project.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) or the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)both of which provided funding for generating media articles.

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