Papua New Guinea National Weather Service Walking the Talk

25 August 2016, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea - Differences in the meanings behind meteorological terms such as ‘isolated showers’, ‘scattered showers’ and ‘brief showers’ were discussed when forming a glossary for use by the Papua New Guinea National Weather Service (PNGNWS) at a training this week.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with the PNGNWS coordinated a two day training to enhance the communication skills of staff when sharing information through the media.

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The training was one of many different activities carried out across the region under the Finnish-Pacific Project, also known as FINPAC, a four year project which comes to an end this year. FINPAC aims to reduce the vulnerability of the livelihoods of Pacific islanders to the impacts of climate change through strengthening the Meteorological Services for which clear and effective communications plays a key role.

“Media is very crucial to the work of the national weather services, so many of our people are in rural areas, media is very important in reaching them so we need to make sure the work we do is translated in the manner appropriate and is heard or read by those that need it the most,” said Mr Samuel Maiha the Director of the Papua New Guinea Weather Service.

Over the period of two days staff of the PNGNWS came together with members of the PNG national media and the Red Cross Society to help build their confidence in working with the media while ensuring communication is clear and understood by relevant audiences.

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The training ended with the development of a glossary of meteorological terms often used by the Papua New Guinea Weather Service to help all audiences understand their meaning and their impacts. These terms will be finalised and used by PNGNWS staff to help their audiences prepare where required, for the weather and climate events.

“This is a start to help the Papua New Guinea National Weather Service to share their information so both media and their audiences understand,” said Ms Christina Leala-Gale, the FINPAC Project Manager at SPREP.

“There is still much to be done, we acknowledge that this is just the start of further work to come from the PNGNWS and we look forward to the outcomes of this and the positive impact of this work. We are really pleased with what was achieved during the training and stand ready to provide further support where required.”

Papua New Guinea is one of 11 countries to undergo the media and communications component of the FINPAC project. The training was held from 23 – 24 August, 2016 in Port Moresby.
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