The following is a Q&A series on SPREP staff. In this series, we will be introducing you to members of our SPREP team, giving you the chance to learn more about what we do.
Mr Tile Tofaeono is the Climate Prediction Service Coordinator with the Climate Change Resilience programme at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
The environmental challenge he addresses at SPREP is the building of Pacific island resilience to climate change through strengthening the capacity of National Meteorological Services (NMSs), which in turn contribute to local community resilience and national development planning.
Q: How do you work with our Members to undertake your work?
A: We provide current information and tools. For example, from the first phase of the Republic of Korea – Pacific Islands Climate Prediction Services Project (ROK PI CliPS) that ended in 2017, two products were developed: the Climate Information Toolkit for the Pacific (CLIK-P), and the Pacific Island Countries Advanced Seasonal Outlook (PICASO). These products allow Pacific meteorological officers to use climate models from 4 different global meteorology centers. Such models enable them to develop regional climate predictions at three-monthly periods, and generate their own localised predictions and seasonal outlooks. We also conduct trainings (Regional, Sub-regional and In-country) to build the capacity of NMSs to provide seasonal forecasts on a monthly basis to support their own national climate forecasting.
Q: What are your three biggest achievements with SPREP for our Members?
A: My three biggest achievements thus far have been the launching of the ROK PI CliPS Phase 2 in 2019; cooordinating the first Regional Workshop in Noumea, New Caledonia, also in 2019 and; the delivery of the Vanuatu Meteorological and Geo-Hazard Department In-country workshop.
Q. What is your biggest highlight from working at SPREP?
A. The biggest highlight has been witnessing the opening of the Pacific Climate Change Center (PCCC) at SPREP, the first of its kind in the Region. The new center indicates, we have ushered in the future for the Pacific Island Countries in ensuring they build resilient Communities to mitigate the effects of Climate Change.
Q. Where have you seen your work make a positive difference?
A: I've seen it make a positive difference in NMSs of countries we work with. By providing appropriate information and the necessary tools for NMSs, we empower their sectors and their communities to develop plans to improve their resilience to Climate Change.
Q: What words of advice do you have for people to make our environment a better one?
A: Climate change is real; its impacts on small Island States will be severe therefore, we need to be proactive in building into our “lives” measures to account for its effects. Our stakeholders in Agriculture, Health, Water, Disaster Management, Tourism, Energy will need to wisely utilise the climate information we provide in their planning, to help them mitigate the impacts of climate change. Successful integration of the information and tools will improve their preparedness as we head into an uncertain future with Climate Change.
Q: What words of advice do you have for people that would like to work at SPREP?
A: SPREP has an excellent, professional working environment. The opportunities to progress are available and there are opportunities to further develop skills, meet new people, see new cultures, but most important of all, save our environment.