The students are attending a week of climate change programmes organised by Climate Change Cook Islands. The programmes are designed to help students increase their awareness of climate change, the importance of marine areas and the various environmental issues involved in the proposed Ridge to Reef project.
Yesterday the students visited the Cook Islands Meteorological Service office where director Arona Ngari showed them various devices used to produce weather forecasts. They also took a close look at weather tracking maps and how to read them.
Met Office staff managed to answer numerous questions raised by the students and two were selected to appear on Cook Islands TV news to read last night’s weather report.
Mauke student Exceive Papa, 14, said she had learned plenty from the programme and now fully understood that climate change really is happening.
“I joined the programme because I want to help my people. Climate change is happening and can be seen in the Pacific and I want my people to be prepared. It is real.”
She said it was important to know how climate change was occurring and what could be done to make small island nations more resilient in coping with the changes.
Celine Dyer of Climate Change Cook Islands said the Climate Change Ridge to Reef programme was an opportunity to encourage students to share their views.
“The students are enjoying it. They are learning a lot and it is also a way of exposing them to areas where they can see a career.”
The movie Happy Feet was also aired last night at the national auditorium, after students presented their ideas and thoughts about the workshop and how they would implement the ideas that had come from it.
The students also visited the Coastal Protection Unit yesterday.