The Pacific Islands Climate Services (PICS) Panel
The Pacific Islands Climate Services (PICS) Panel is an advisory group to the Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC). The PICS Panel was endorsed by the PMC in Nadi, Fiji in July 2013 and established in April 2014 at a Special Session of the PMC, in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
According to the Terms of Reference, the PICS Panel aims to:
‘Improve coordination, continuity and integration of projects, programmes and initiatives that support climate services at national, regional and global levels; strengthen the basic and core functions and capabilities of NMHSs for robust and sustained data collection and management, analysis of data and quality assurance, production and dissemination of products, research and modelling; and enhance avenues and modes of multi-way communication and feedback between climate services providers and users to enhance the uptake and use of relevant and tailored climate services down to the communities and individuals.’
The first PICS Panel meeting was hosted by the Fiji Meteorological Service in August 2014. The Panel discussed a range of key issues to progress climate information and services in the Pacific. These discussions culminated in the development of a PICS Panel Action Plan and a list of Priority Actions and Recommendations, to assist the Panel in providing advice to the PMC on climate services development in the region.
The second PICS Panel meeting was held in May 2015 at SPREP, Samoa. The Panel reported on progress on the Priority Actions, and received updates on other activities and funding opportunities in the region, and discussed plans for reporting back to the PMC at the upcoming meeting in July 2015 in Tonga.
PICS Panel Reports
PICS Panel Reports were finalised:
- PICS Panel Report no. 1: Climate Services in the Pacific Islands Region – A Gap Analysis
- PICS Panel Report no. 2: Review of the Structure, Maintenance and Use of the SPREP Pacific Climate Change Portal (PCCP) Projects Database
- PICS Panel Report no. 3. WMO Regional Climate Centres (RCCs): Key Concepts
The following ongoing actions were agreed to at the second PICS Panel meeting. The PICS Panel will:
- Recommend 5-6 key criteria for describing projects/programmes to be included in national and regional project databases, and pass this information onto SPREP;
- Convene a sea level early warning 'experts group' meeting, linked to the WMO Coastal Inundation Forecasting Demonstration Project (CIFDP);
- Continue to identify and support initiatives for obtaining funding to establish a Regional Training Centre (RTC), noting that there is strong support from PI countries;
- Send the Regional Climate Centre (RCC) capabilities survey to regional partners, review the combined survey results, and draft a first cut PI RCC node/consortia structure;
- Further revise the draft PI Climate Outlook Forum (PICOF) concept note, led by SPREP and WMO, and continue to plan the first PICOF meeting, to be held at the University of the South Pacific, Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji, 12-16 October 2015;
- Continue to share the experiences and successes of the National Climate Outlook Forum (NCOF) in Papua New Guinea, and help guide other countries with their NCOFs (e.g. Tonga and Kiribati); and
- Follow up on potential funding opportunities associated with the Regional Expert Roundtable on Climate Services for Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security meeting report.
The Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership at SPREP provides the secretariat support for the panel.
For more information, please contact: Sunny Seuseu (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Phillip Malsale (email@example.com).