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Deputy Prime Minister opens third Pacific Meteorological Council meeting

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20 July 2015 There is an urgent need to improve infrastructure and human resources to enable National Meteorology and Hydrological Services in the Pacific to improve weather, climate, water and related environmental services as the Tonga Deputy Prime Minister,Hon Siaosi Sovaleni, told the Third Pacific Meteorological Council meeting in Nuku’alofa today.

 

Hon Siaosi Sovaleni, whose ministry also covers Climate Change and Meteorology, told the delegates and participants that their deliberation over the next four days is critical for the Pacific.

“Our capacity to manage natural hazard impacts and bounce back and improve our development pathways through timely and accurate weather, climate and water services makes it necessary to improve the capacities of National Meteorology and Hydrological Services in the Pacific region,” Hon Sovaleni said.

“There is an urgent need to improve infrastructure and human resources to enable National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to make the most of advances in science and technology to improve weather, climate water and related environmental services.”

Hon Sovaleni opened the meeting at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre, where 100 Pacific Met Directors, partners and stakeholders have gathered to discuss areas which can strengthen the path ahead for Pacific Meteorology under the theme - “Sustainable Weather and Climate Services for a Resilient Pacific.”

In his opening address Hon Sovaleni said 90 percent of natural hazards globally are caused by weather, climate change and water-related hazards,with cyclones amounting to 76 per cent of reported disasters from 1950 to 2004.

“We in Tonga know all too well the devastation that severe weather events can cause, as most of you, our Pacific brothers and sisters,” he said.

“We have been on the receiving end of cyclones, droughts and floods. Our Pacific people have lost homes, lives and livelihoods.”

He said National Meteorological and Hydrological Servuices (NMHSs) are fundamental in safeguarding against such devastation.

Hon Sovaleni said it was important that Small Island Developing States work together in a systematic manner.

The council meeting will be followed by the first-ever Pacific Ministers Meeting on Meteorology, which will be held on Friday.

Hon Sovaleni told the council delegates that their discussions will help form recommendations and action strategies for Ministers when they meet after the council meeting.

The aim of the PMC is to help coordinate facilitation of meterological services in support of development agendas, contributing to the strengthening of community resilience.  It will also discuss ways to continue to implement the Pacific Island Meteorological Strategy.

This is the third meeting of Pacific Met Directors (PMC-3) and partners under the auspices of the PMC, prior to this the biannual gathering was held under the Regional Meteorological Services Directors Meeting which first began in Vanuatu in 1993.  The last event hosted by Tonga was the 9th RMSD in Neiafu, Vavau in 2003.

The last PMC was held in Fiji in 2013.

ENDS

Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communication

Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 July 2015 10:37 )  

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