15 August 2023, Nadi Fiji - The sixth Meeting of the Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC-6) and related meetings is an opportunity to call for further support from governments, development partners and donors to ensure that National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in the Pacific have the necessary capacity to support sustainable and resilient development.
The point was made by the Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Mr Sefanaia Nawadra, during a welcoming reception for all delegates attending the Pacific Met Week in Denarau Fiji.
PMC-6, where officials have gathered to discuss and explore opportunities to strengthen weather, climate, water, ocean and related development services, opened at Sofitel Denarau on Monday. The PMC-6 precedes the first Development Partners and Donors Engagement Meeting (DPDEM-1) and the third Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Meteorology (PMMM-3) from 14 – 18 August 2023, hosted by the Government of Fiji through the Fiji Meteorological Service.
Referencing the aspirations of the Honiara Ministerial Declaration, SPREP’s Director General Mr Nawadra said: “Effective climate services rely on close collaboration between the providers and users of climate information. The PMC-6 and associated meetings taking place in Fiji create a space specifically for Pacific people to have open discussions about challenges, and collectively look for solutions, which are crucial to sustaining livelihoods, supporting economic growth and saving lives.”
The meetings attended by Government Ministers, members of the PMC, officials from SPREP member countries and territories, development partners, Council of the Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP), United Nations’ agencies, collaborating organisations and institutions are guided by the theme: “Sustaining Weather, Climate, Water and Ocean Services for a Resilient Blue Pacific.”
The welcoming reception was hosted by the PMC Secretariat, SPREP and WMO, through the GCF funded Vanuatu Climate Information Services for Resilient Development Planning (VanKIRAP) project, which aims to use science to better prepare Vanuatu’s policy makers and local communities for a changing climate.
Vanuatu is among the most vulnerable countries on earth to the increasing impacts of climate change, including climate-related natural disasters and the effects of slow-onset events such as sea-level rise and ocean acidification.
As the effects of global warming manifest and the hazards of climate change arise at accelerating rates, there is a need to shift the paradigm towards the standardised and mainstreamed use of science based climate information, at multiple timescales, to support resilient development pathways. The project supports this paradigm shift through the strengthening and application of Climate Information Services in five targeted development sectors: tourism; agriculture; infrastructure; water and fisheries.
More specifically, the project builds the technical capacity in Vanuatu to harness and manage climate data; develop and deliver practical CIS tools and resources; support enhanced coordination and dissemination of tailored information; enhance CIS information and technology infrastructure; and support the application of relevant CIS through real-time development processes, for more resilient outcomes.
*This story was developed by Sonia Dick and Tiffany Baldwin of the Vanuatu Broadcasting Corporation (VBTC) currently undertaking a work attachment with the Communications and Outreach Unit of SPREP, funded by VanKIRAP.