SPREP hosts 9th COSPPac Planning and Steering Committee Meeting

The Climate and Ocean Services Program in the Pacific (COSPPac) held the 9th Planning and Steering Committee Meeting at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) campus in Samoa from 03-05 October 2016.

The discussions were primarily focused on the transition of tools and products from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia to regional organisations as well as the continued implementation of activities under the project.

COSPPac was designed to address the needs of 14 National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, Land and Survey Departments as well as other important in-country stakeholders. COSPPac works with Pacific island stakeholders to analyse and interpret climate, oceans and tidal data to produce valuable services for island communities.

This information helps island communities to prepare for, and mitigate the impacts of severe climate, weather and oceanographic events. COSPPac is providing assistance in the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Launched in 2012 and scheduled to close in 2018, the Climate and Ocean Services Programme for the Pacific (COSPPac) is a 39 million AUD program funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). COSPPac is being implemented by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) in partnership with the SPREP, the Pacific Community (SPC), the University of the South Pacific (USP), and Geoscience Australia.

Mr Raymond Bojczuk, First Secretary for DFAT in Suva, Fiji pronounced that "the Government of Australia is committed to continuing its assistance to climate and ocean services in the Pacific as well continuing its support to the COSPPac project. The Government of Australia has also committed 300 million USD between 2016-2020 to climate services and disaster risk management in the region as well as 200 million USD to the Green Climate Fund."

IMG 7879Participants of the 9th Planning and Steering Committee meeting of the Climate and Ocean Services Programme in the Pacific (COSPPac). Photo: SPREP

Weather, climate, geospatial and ocean services have a fundamental role in helping Pacific island countries with disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation. Since its inception in 2012, the COSPPac project has successfully built the capacity of Pacific Islands National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and Land and Survey Departments to allow for services to be established and the broader goals met.

The main topics discussed during the COSPPac Planning Meeting included the COSPPac transition process, COSPPac Management Unit, Capacity Development and Communication Progress Report and Traditional Knowledge implementation and transition, the Climate and Oceans Monitoring and Prediction (SCOPIC and Oceans Portal transition), Pacific Sea Level Monitoring, CliDE progress and transition. In addition, the meeting reviewed the outcomes of COSPPac products and services, the proposal for the extension year 2017-2018, and activities for the 2017-2018 year.

The BoM is committed to continuing its participation and support to the COSPPac project in the region going forward and contributing to the sustainability and success of COSPPac in the future," stated Mr Neil Plummer, Assistant Director for Climate Information Service at BoM.

The COSPPac meeting assembled representatives from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the Pacific Community, University of the South Pacific, Geoscience Australia, representatives from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, representatives from National Lands and Survey Departments, and SPREP staff.

Mr Kosi Latu, Director General of SPREP, acknowledged the important role that DFAT and the BoM have provided as partners for the region with COSPPac and its climate and ocean services. Mr Latu also stated that "SPREP and its partners must continue to ensure the proper facilitation and transfer of tools for COSPPac and the sustainability of the project after the transition. The transition of the COSPPac products must be aligned with the priorities of the member countries and partners and the Pacific Meteorological Council will ensure that COSPPac provides the necessary support services needed in the region."

For further information please contact Ms. Azarel Mariner at azarelm@sprep.org, Mr. Salesa Nihmei at salesan@sprep.org or Ms. Molly Powers-Tora at mollyp@spc.int
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