The goal is to build the capacity of stakeholders to understand the Met Service’s climate products; demonstrate and review a news bulletin Cook Islands EAR that is created for a range of sectors such as disaster managers.
The workshop also aims to determine where the gaps exist in the current delivery of climate services, and strengthen partnerships.
The emphasis is to discuss the EAR – a bulletin that provides information for disaster managers and sectors to plan, prepare and respond to change in rainfall in the coming months.
The workshop also provides a platform to discuss the impacts of drought in each of the sectors as well as other valuable information.
Director of the Cook Islands Meteorological Service Arona Ngari said the purpose of the workshop is to introduce the Met Service and have a look at some of the services and products they provide pertaining to climate change.
“By showcasing what we can use and also have, with assistance by the Climate and Oceans Support Programme in the Pacific (COSPPac) team as well as New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA),” Ngari said.
“They are deriving some products for us to assist different sectors like agriculture, water, farmers, and pearl farmers to identify droughts and what are some of these concerns. We can tailor make some products pertaining to drought, but we would like to get feedback from the farmers and those involved, on what would be ideal for us to give to them - products to their needs.
“We are trying to find out how we can assist them best, how to get the information across to them.
“For farmers this will assist them with their planting such as preparing cash crops during the wetter months, and for the drier months – long term crops such as taro.”
Ngari said this workshop had been conducted on the island before, but internally, “the difference now is we have this funding agency from Australia to assist us in this workshop, they have also sponsored two representatives from Aitutaki (one from the water sector and one from agriculture), so we gain the attention from the Pa Enua.”
COSPPac capacity development officer, Azarel Maiai said, “we have been supporting the EAR initiative, it’s been replicated in five other countries – Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and now the Cook Islands is the sixth country”.
“We are here to attain feedback from the stakeholders on the draft, this EAR also provides the managers with a brief summary of recent rainfall and the forecast for the next coming months so they can plan and prepare.”
About 30 representatives from various sectors namely agriculture, water, fisheries, disaster managers, NGOs and selected members from the community attended yesterday’s meetings.
The Met Service will be launching its website tomorrow at its office in Nikao at 6.30pm.
The Climate and Oceans Support Programme in the Pacific (COSPPac2) annual programme performance review and planning meeting and steering committee meeting starts tomorrow and will run until Friday at the Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.