Stakeholders meet to develop Regional Strategy for Pacific Island Climate Change Science and Services

The development of a regional strategy for Pacific Island Climate Change Science and Services is the main objective of a regional planning workshop being held this week in Apia, convened by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

The workshop, entitled Pacific Climate Change Science and Services: Strategic Approach to Research Capacity Development, Delivery and Application, brings together a broad range of key stakeholders, including representatives from Pacific Island National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), regional organisations and key Development and Delivery Partners, to facilitate the development of the regional strategy.

Mr Kosi Latu, Director General of SPREP in his opening speech, remarked that "this workshop is very timely and very important in terms of the work that we do in the region."

P1190299Participants of the regional research strategy development workshop at Taumeasina Island Resort, Samoa. Photo: SPREP

"I believe this regional research strategy is going to provide a critical and very important platform that will feed into other thematic connected areas such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the work of the Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC) and the Met services and the regional roadmap for Met Services that the PMC have been working on to name a few."

He also went on to stress the importance of this research work in terms of the vulnerability of the Pacific region to the adverse impacts of climate change.
"Our leaders have identified climate change as the principal concern for this region. Our islands are vulnerable not only in that they are low lying and isolated but vulnerable in terms of disasters and from the adverse impacts of climate change which threaten our sustainable development and livelihoods."

Mr Latu went on to acknowledge the support of CSIRO, a very important partner not only for SPREP but also for all who work in the field of climate change science in the region.

Dr Geoff Gooley, CSIRO Climate Science Centre Program Manager said, "We are very much looking forward to the next few days and the outcomes which will come from this meeting. We will be engaging with other stakeholders across the Pacific who could not make it to this particular workshop but would also like to input into the development of this strategy."

P1190278Dr Geoff Gooley, Program Manager, CSIRO Climate Science Centre. Photo: SPREP

Mr Arona Ngari, Director of Cook Island Meteorological Services, spoke on his years of experience working in Meteorological Services, and said that this regional strategy should enable the investment in capacity development in the region.

"The development of this strategy for the Pacific on climate change science is timely as it is the first of many steps to bridging the gap in research on climate change science for the Pacific. Throughout the course of this week, we will hear more about the Pacific's experiences, challenges, gaps and opportunities and we look forward to some fruitful discussions," said Mr Ngari.

The workshop will run from 16 – 20 April 2018 at Taumeasina Island Resort in Apia, Samoa and is made possible through funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Government of Australia.

For more information, please contact Ms Tagaloa Cooper, Director, Climate Change Resilience Programme of SPREP at tagaloac@sprep.org.
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