By Repeka Nasiko of Fiji Times
15 August, 2017, Honiara, Solomon Islands, PMC-4 – Twelve member countries of the Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC) have complied with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
Presenting the progress of the Pacific Island Marine and Ocean Services (PIMOS) Panel before the PMC, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program Pacific Islands Global Ocean Observing System officer Dr Tommy Moore said remaining member states needed to comply with the Convention.
Dr Moore said the member countries that had complied with the convention are Cook Islands, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Niue, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
There are nine member countries that have yet to comply with the convention, and of these Nauru and Tokelau are new members to the PMC.
“There are plans in place for all member countries to comply with the SOLAS Convention,” he said.
He said that the difficulties faced by the remaining countries to comply with the convention were different from one country to another.
“Some of the countries have been a need for institutional building capacities within each country while others need institutional support and prioritisation of certain areas.
“Marine and oceans weather observation is one area that needs to be prioritised.”
Dr Moore explained the consequences of failing to comply with the convention. “Basically, the failure to comply with the Convention can lead to commercial vessels no longer coming to your ports.
“So it’s very important for member countries to comply with the SOLAS Convention in terms of the entry of tourism cruise ships and for maritime transport in general.”
He said meteorological services also played an important role in ensuring countries complied with the international maritime convention.
“The major areas of interests for met services are Chapter 5 (Safety of Navigation), Regulations 5 (Meteorological Services and Warnings) and Regulation 9 (Hydrographic Services).
Dr Moore said these areas provide and promote meteorological services to circulate information and warnings to ships.
“These also make sure that tide tables are available and to make sure that maritime information is provided to all mariners by met services.”
Dr Moore said there was also a need to audit the 12 PMC member countries who complied with the convention.
“The audit should be more in-depth and enable us to track the progress of the countries who have complied with the Convention.
“There is definitely some work being done to get the other countries to comply and meet these requirements.”
Dr Moore is the former chair of the Pacific Islands Marine Oceans Services Panel, which is now being co-chaired by Fiji and Niue. - #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.