By Pita Ligaiula of Pacific Island News Association (PINA)
15 August, 2017, Honiara, Solomon Islands, PMC-4 – The tiny nation of Niue’s long term goal is for the island nation’s meteorological service to operate on a 24 hour basis.
Presenting Niue's Country Report at the 4th Pacific Meteorology Council (PMC) in Honiara Director of Niue’s Meteorological Service, Rossylyn Mitiepo said currently, Niue Met Service is implementing its work through its updated Corporate Plan from 2015 to 2019, which is designed to demonstrate its alignment and contributions to the Niue National Strategic Plan (NNSP) from 2015 to 2025.
“There are two priorities within our Corporate Plan, which is to enhance staff capability and capacity as well as climate proofing the infrastructure of the Met Service. Our long term goal is to enable Niue Met Service to operate a 24 hour service.
“For the next two years our proposed activities will revolve around ensuring our human resource development plan and communication strategy is in place to support the development of a sector-specific climate information and services for Fisheries, Agriculture, Health and Tourism. Building verified linkages between science and traditional knowledge and communicating science in a local context.
“It is also our interest to implement a Climate Early Warning System provided there is funding availability. Most importantly to reach out to the most vulnerable communities, the elders, the women, the youth and children to ensure a resilient and prosperous Niue,” Rossylyn said.
She said the Strategic plan has enabled the Niue Met Service to ensure that weather and climate services is captured at the executive level and to renew its outlook.
“Our Vision: A prime driver of weather and climate Services and our mission is to provide credible and timely weather and climate services and warnings for all stakeholders.
“Holistically, these plans embrace those at regional level such as the Pacific Island Meteorological Strategy with a focus to meet the objectives of the Pacific Key Outcomes (PKO),” she explained.
Rossylyn said the Niue Met Service’s progress has been reflected in the following developments;
- The launching of the new Tide Gauge and Real Time Data Display to the Met Service, installation of a piloted Sea State Camera, upgrade of the Climate Data of the Environment (CLIDE) Database, Traditional Knowledge Project and upgrade of the database, a Flexible fund component to fund the upgrade of outdated computers and ongoing technical support.
Niue applauds the great work by the scientists and technicians and acknowledges the Government of Australia through the COSPPAC project including technical advice and support throughout the transition period by SPREP and SPC.
- The Installation of the Istar Automatic Weather Station (AWS) at the Met Service with another display at the Airport Tower of Civil Aviation, funded by the Government of Finland through the FINPAC project at SPREP and work contracted by NZ Met Service.
- The basic meteorology training for technicians at the Fiji Meteorological Service with the support of JICA. Recalling our report at the last PMC, we highlighted these kinds of trainings as a future need, which is now being met and we would support its continuation.
- Met Service also fulfils the Climate Change reporting component of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). We have launched the Second National Communication report and we look forward to taking on the Third National Communication once the formalities is finalised. Niue also completed its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) report with support by UNDP and signed the Paris Agreement alongside our Pacific countries.
The Director said these projects has elevated the way Niue Met Service provides its services to meet the needs at all levels, international, regional and national right down to the community level.
“We are happy to know and be part of some of the new upcoming projects and look forward to it as well as appreciate the assistance for the current projects,” said Rossylyn. - #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.