Arona Ngari, director of the Cook Islands Meteorological Service. PHOTO: AL WILLIAMS/22030718
Director of the Cook Islands Meteorological Service, Arona Ngari, is encouraging Pacific Governments and donor partners to invest in the future of Meteorological Services to ensure communities continue to be protected from all hazards.
who is one of the elder statesmen of the Pacific Met Council (PMC), was among
Pacific Meteorological directors gathering at Denarau, Fiji, for the Sixth
Pacific Meteorological Meeting (PMC-6) this week.
is where countries express their concerns about the shortage of qualified Met
professionals, among other challenges they face in the delivery of services.
40 years ago, Ngari started in the Cook Islands Met Service, a job he thought
would only be a two-year-term.
62 years old today, and often referred to as the “father of the PMC”, Ngari is
passionate about paving the way forward to ensure the work continues.
wants more Pacific people to become qualified Met Service professionals, and he
gladly shares his passion for the job.
love my job, I really enjoy it,” he said. “For me it’s about being able to help
our communities and give them a better chance of surviving weather events we
are confronted with.
job has taken me all over the world and the chance to be here in meetings like
this expressing my country’s concerns and aspirations is the most satisfying
part. I enjoy the opportunity to be able to share the challenges we encounter,
talk about our vulnerabilities, and promoting our talents, our awareness and
our skills as Pacific people.”
a passion he hopes would rub off on younger people. In Denarau this week, Ngari
says the PMC has come a long way.
is the baby that grew out of the Regional Met Services Meeting many years ago.
I’m indebted to Fiji for putting their hand up to host this PMC meeting. It’s
been wonderful to see everyone again after Covid-19,” he said.
nice to see the issue of gender being addressed where we now have a few Met
Directors who are female. We are looking at sustainable development from the
lens of the Met Services. In a region where we have diverse culture, we need to
capture our traditional knowledge as well as our cultural values and reflect
them in the work that we do.
also very pleased that education, communication and other critical issues are
being captured in the discussions so it has been a very good meeting.”
precedes the first Development Partners and Donors Engagement Meeting (DPDEM-1)
and the third Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Meteorology (PMMM-3) from 14 – 18
by the Fiji Government through the Fiji Meteorological Service, the meetings
attended by government ministers, members of the PMC, officials from the
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (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.”
Ready Pacific (WRP) is one of the key items on the agenda and for the Cook
Islands, Ngari said this is one of the most important issues for them.
Ready is where we’ll try and find the means to upgrade our facilities to
provide information to our people in the community. Weather Ready identifies
some of the gaps that we can capitalise in ensuring the quality and quantity of
the operation are kept within the requirement of WMO,” he said.
looking at basic Met parameters such as temperature, wind speed, rainfall and
pressure. So this allows us to ensure there is a collective of these not only
in the Cook Islands but right across the Pacific, let alone the globe so that
forecasts can be based on that. If you give them quality data, the chance are
you will also get quality forecast.
essential that any deficiency in the platform of collection for monitoring the
weather should be bridged right across the Pacific. We are indebted to
Australia for supporting this initiative and this week we have an opportunity
to identify the next steps and run with it for the next ten or twenty years.”
Weather Ready Pacific Decadal Programme of Investment was developed as a result
of a call by the Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC). With the support of the
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), World
Meteorological Organisation (WMO), and the Government of Australia through the
Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) the Weather Ready Pacific Decadal
Programme was officially endorsed by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting
has a goal of USD 167 million (NZ$282m) for 10 years to implement the work,
with the Government of Australia providing initial funding support of AUD30