Weather and climate play a major role in impacting not only the safety of our Pacific people from natural hazards and extreme events such as tropical cyclones, floods and droughts; but also the potential health and economic risks they may face, such as increased vector-borne diseases during periods of heavy rainfall and damage to cash crop during a tropical cyclone event.
Today the Fourth Pacific Islands Climate Outlook Forum (PICOF-4) opens in Nadi, Fiji, bringing together Pacific regional meteorological services and technical partners from around the world to discuss, plan and prepare for the upcoming cyclone season. As the technical experts on climate and weather services, Pacific met services play an important role in deciphering the scientific information and providing it back to our communities and sectors for decision making.
“Climate change has significantly altered our weather and climate patterns, as well as our cyclone season, yet we are still learning and discovering just how much of an impact it has,” said Ms Tagaloa Cooper-Halo, Director of Climate Change Resilience of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
“This Forum and the regional outcome statement therefore, are extremely important information for our local people and Pacific governments so that we can prepare and better respond to the implications of such dangerous forces of nature.
“SPREP also takes this opportunity to acknowledge our donor partners the government of Russia, Government of Australia, Government of Canada for funding the forum as well as our supporting technical partners from Bureau of Meteorology, National Institute of Water and Atmosphere, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Meteo-France, APEC Climate Center, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UNDP, Pacific Community, Pacific Media and our Pacific National Meteorological Services.”
The PICOF-4 Technical Meeting is where the Pacific meteorological services will come together to discuss and determine the outlook for the whole Pacific region to provide our governments and local communities with the information they need to plan ahead for the Cyclone Season.
At the end of the Forum, a regional outcome statement will be issued to all the Pacific governments to allow them to implement actions in preparation of the expected climate and tropical cyclone forecast for the season. It is this statement that determines the response of Pacific island countries to the threats of perceived cyclones ahead.
The PICOF-4 Technical Meeting is being held in Nadi, Fiji from 10 to 12 October, and is coordinated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) with its Technical Partners, made possible with funding by RESPAC Project through UNDP, COSPPac Project through SPREP & BOM and CREWS Project through WMO and Canada. At the conclusion of this meeting a Using Social & Digital Media Workshop, funded by SPREP with assistance from PACMAS, will be held for participants to assist national Meteorological Offices to better engage and communicate with domestic audiences.
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