28 February 2022, Nadi, Fiji – Meteorological Services from around the Pacific have gathered in Nadi, Fiji for the Joint Regional Training for the Republic of Korea-Pacific Islands Climate Prediction Services Project (ROK PI CliPS) Phase 2 and GCF- UNEP FP147 Project, from 28 February – 2 March 2023.
The workshop is co-hosted by the Fiji Meteorological Services, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Pohang University of Science Technology (POSTECH) through the support of ROK PI CLiPS Project Phase 2 and the APEC Climate Centre (APCC) through the GCF-UNEP Project FP147. The workshop is attended by 20 National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) officers, where 8 participants are female (40%) from 14 countries around the Pacific. Welcoming remarks were delivered by Mr. Bipen Prakash, Acting Director of the Fiji Meteorological Service, on behalf of the Government of Fiji.
“We are gathered here today in the backdrop of Cyclone Judy passing through Vanuatu, as we speak. While I believe no one in this rooms needs to be convinced of the vulnerability of Pacific Island countries to climate variability and change, Tropical Cyclone Judy re-emphasises our work here as we try to improve our climate service to inform planning and decision making”.
Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), Dr Filimon Manoni in his keynote address, highlights the need for enhanced climate prediction and information services, “there is a clear need to invest in Early Warning System capacities at the regional, national, provincial, local and community level” He further says, “In the domain of climate and disaster risk financing there is an increasing trend to invest in anticipatory action and anticipatory financing. The underlying concept is, to act before it happens, but the key to knowing when to act and where to focus action and preparatory interventions is getting the right information”.
ROK PI CliPS Phase 2 is a continuation of Phase 1, which was aimed at strengthening the adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities to climate risks in seasonal timescale and resulted in two important tools. – the Climate Information Toolkit for the Pacific (CLIK-P) and the Pacific Islands Countries Advanced Seasonal Outlook (PICASO). Phase 2 will include the introduction of an integrated forecast function named the Consensus of Climate Outlooks (CoCO). The CoCO platform provides the opportunity for NMHS to compare different models and utilise those that perform better for their country specific seasonal forecast. This is something that has never been done before using a single platform. This is a breakthrough and this milestone will help NMHS’s spend more time devoted to develop quality, relevant and timely seasonal forecast. The workshop consists of lectures and hands-on practical exercise. The focus will be on the use of the developed tools and the CoCO to further support prediction services in the region.
The workshop and tools developed are part of Korea’s commitment to enhancing climate resilience in the Pacific. His Excellency, Ambassador Mr Young-kyu Park from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Fiji says, “as the Pacific Island leaders have adopted the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific continent, which presents a long term vision for the prosperity of the region. Korea recognizes its importance and strives to incorporate our development cooperation in line with this vital strategy.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions, the joint workshop is the first face-to-face regional training for Phase 2 of the project. The workshop coincides with SPREP 30th Anniversary celebrations and is part of the SPREP Climate Change Resilience Programme (CCR) activities to commemorate this important milestone.
The workshop will build and strengthen the capacity of Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to contribute to community resiliency and national development planning through high skilled timely and relevant climate information. National Meteorological Services (NMS) will further their awareness and understanding on the use and limitations of predictions and downscaling to enhance their climate prediction services. Services that will become increasingly important for the Pacific Region for critical decision making.
The GCF-UNEP Project on Enhancing climate information and knowledge services for resilience (FP147) aims to support climate beneficiaries in Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Niue, Palau and Tuvalu.
The ROK-PI CliPs Phase 2 Project is funded by the Government of the Republic of Korea through the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, and is being implemented by the Pohang University of Science and Technology(POSTECH) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), with support from the APEC Climate Centre (APCC).
For more information on ROK-PI CLiPs Phase 2, please contact Mr Tile Tofaeono, Climate Prediction Services Coordinator at [email protected] or Mr Philip Malsale, COSPPac Climatology Officer, at [email protected].