By EDDIE OSIFELO
SOLOMON Islands has joined other Pacific Islands countries to celebrate the signing of $66.6 million ($9 million EURO) Pacific Climate Information Services and Application (ClimSA) project and launching of the Pacific Meteorological Council 10th Year Anniversary in Honiara yesterday.
The event was hosted through a blended platform-face to face and virtual (via zoom) for participants outside of Samoa.
Deputy Secretary Corporate, Karl Kuper in the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology, said as he reflected on the role and services of National Meteorology and Hydrological Services in our communities and countries, one must recognize that Met Services is the strong pillar that strengthens our fight against climate change, as weather and climate impacts us every day”.
Kuper, also current chair of Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Meteorology, said one of their fundamental roles is the collection of hydro-meteorological data observations, and share and exchanges these data regionally and worldwide.
He said all monitoring and prediction of weather and climate start from observations – these data provide the only source of knowledge about the atmosphere and the climate system.
“Weather and climate are inherently global, and to understand and predict them anywhere, observations even from the farthest reaches of the globe need to be made available to the global monitoring and prediction model systems.
“The first three links of the hydro-meteorology value chain -observations, data exchange, and global numerical prediction – are of global significance,” he said.
Kuper said failure in delivering these links severely affects the quality of global weather and climate prediction and limits the ability of all countries to adapt to climate change and promote resilient development.
He said the World Bank assessment on climate change and disaster risk in the Pacific identified in the last 60 years – more than 2,400 tropical cyclones was experienced and since 1950 extreme events have affected approximately 9.2 million people.
Kuper said the estimate damages of about $3.2 billion.
“These are astounding figures for our Pacific peoples to cope with when it comes to extreme events and changing climate.
“I therefore want to comment the meteorological directors, SPREP, WMO and its partners for the vision and foresight in instigating the setup of the Pacific Meteorological Council,” he said.
According to SPREP Director General, Kosi Latu, Pacific National Meteorological Services are the pillar of weather, climate and climate change science to predict and forecast weather, climate, ocean and water related hazards in our countries.
The Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC) was first established in 2011 as a subsidiary body of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
Since then, PMC has increased in number of partners and members as the demand for weather and climate information increases with climate change.