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Weather experts meet to improve climate services

Wednesday April 02, 2014 Written by Published in Weather
Prime Minister Henry Puna shakes hands with Filipe Lucio, Head of Framework for Climate Services at the World Meteorological Organization. 14033107 Prime Minister Henry Puna shakes hands with Filipe Lucio, Head of Framework for Climate Services at the World Meteorological Organization. 14033107

Weather experts from small island developing states in the Pacific have gathered in Rarotonga this week to look at improving climate services in the region. 

The World Meteorological Service, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and key partners, is running a regional consultation on Climate Services at the Rarotongan Beach Resort.

In attendance are representatives of meteorological and hydro services from Pacific small island developing states (SIDs), including Cook Islands Met Service director Arona Ngari.
Discussions will centre on the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), established in 2009 to guide the development of climate services worldwide.
Prime Minister Henry Puna welcomed delegates and said since the Cook Islands endorsed the establishment of GFCS, the country has undergone tremendous development change, alongside significant shifts in population movements and investment patterns. 

“The vulnerabilities and constraints however, have remained constant. Risk management, adaptation, and preparedness have grown more important than ever, as has the need for our cooperative frameworks to be strengthened,” he said.
“So our thanks go to the World Meteorological Service and Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme for leading this joint effort to bring our key meteorological and hydro services together in the context of sustainable economic planning and development in the Pacific.”  

Filipe Lucio, Head of GFCS at the World Meteorological Organization, said low-lying SIDS are particularly challenged by the impacts of climate change and variability, such as sea level rise, heavy storms, and more frequent and devastating typhoons.

“Thus, today the need to adapt to seasonal, annual and multi-decadal climate variations is critical for the very existence and sustainability of small islands. Fortunately, our understanding of the climate system continues to improve, allowing us to anticipate and even predict future climate. It is therefore possible, now, to provide information that governments, organizations and individuals can use to manage climate risks and opportunities.”

Lucio said this week’s workshop will look at the current status of climate services in the region.
Another main aim is to review the way climate services providers and users interact and to identify major areas for improvement.