DDG Latu's Opening Speech at the 2nd Pacific Meteorological Council Meeting, Nadi, Fiji
• Reverend Savenaca Nakeke,
• Honorable Timoci Lesikivatukoula Natuva, Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities,
• Mr Malakai Tadulala, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities,
• Mr. Reginald White, Current Chairman of the Pacific Meteorological Council,
• Dr Chung Kyu Park, Director Regional Office for Asia and South West Pacific (WMO)
• Directors, Heads, and Seniors Officials from the National Meteorological Services,
• Development Partners,
• Members of the Diplomatic Corp,
• Ladies and gentlemen,
Bula and greetings to you all! On behalf of the Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (Mr David Sheppard), I would like to extend to you all a warm welcome to the Second Meeting of the Pacific Meteorological Council.
Thank you for joining us this morning at this official opening of the Second Meeting of the Pacific Meteorological Council.
At the outset, it is fitting that we acknowledge the Government of Fiji's continued support to the development of meteorological services in the Pacific region. This is the fourth regional gathering of Directors, Heads and senior officials of National Meteorological Services from the Pacific region, hosted by Fiji. The other meetings were held in 1995, in 2002 and in 2009, all under the auspices of the Regional Meteorological Services Directors meeting.
Furthermore, the Government of Fiji, through the Fiji Meteorological Service continues to provide critical meteorological services including warnings to the Pacific Island Countries and Territories, in its capacity as the World Meteorological Organization designated Regional Specialized Meteorological Center in Nadi – Tropical Cyclone Centre, and as the International Civil Aviation Organization designated Tropical Cyclones Advisory Center and Meteorological Watch Office.
The Government of Fiji meets all the Fiji Meteorological Service operation costs for these services and continues to provide services beyond that of the normal functions of a Regional Specialized Meteorological Center, a Tropical Cyclone Advisory Center and a Meteorological Watch Office for the region.
I would also like thank the current PMC Chair – Mr Reginald White, Director of RMI National Weather Service Office for your diligent guidance on activities of the Pacific Meteorological Council from 2011 to date. Under your leadership and active involvement as the First Chair of the PMC, the Pacific Islands Meteorological Strategy (PIMS) was developed and approved. I also would like to acknowledge your role as a member of the steering committee that helped guide the preparation of the second meeting of the Pacific Meteorological Council.
Members of the Pacific Meteorological Council,
It is nearly 24 months since the Pacific Meteorological Council's first meeting in Majuro, Republic of Marshall Islands, in August 2011, and I would like to say that a lot of progress and achievements have been made. The 2011, the SPREP Meeting approved the TOR and the working arrangements, including SPREP's Partners of the Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership to service the needs of PMC.
In 2008, Pacific Leaders mandated a review of the meteorological services in the region. A key recommendation of that review was the establishment of a Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership. The Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership now serves as the regional meteorological services coordination mechanism managed by the SPREP Secretariat to deliver regionally coordinated efforts to service SPREP members' needs in the area of meteorological services. The Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership comprises of two components, namely the Apia Secretariat component which is made of the Apia-based Secretariats of SPREP and the WMO. The other component is the partners' component. SPREP is happy to report that since 2011, the Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership is staffed by 4 personnel: PI-GOOS, Meteorological and Climate Adviser, Meteorological and Climate Officer and a Technical support officer. We acknowledge the support given by NOAA, IOC and Western Australia Government, Commonwealth Secretariat and the Government of Australia through AusAID for funding these positions. There is one vacancy - the PI-GCOS (Global Climate Observing System) which SPREP needs to recruit, and is interested to discuss this position with interested donors.
The objective of the Second Meeting the Pacific Meteorological Council is to further facilitate coordination and networking among members of the Pacific Meteorological Council, development partners, the Council of Regional Organization in the Pacific, relating to meteorological services in support of development agendas, contributing to the strengthening communities' resilience.
The second meeting of the Pacific Meteorological Council has made an effort to have joint meetings with the Directors of the National Disaster Management Offices and also participate in the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable and some of you will stay on for the joint meeting of the roundtable and the disaster platform. I trust that during this week and the course of the joint meeting next week, you will have the opportunity to advocate and link the Pacific Island Meteorological Strategy 2012-2021 and the important role the meteorological community play in sustainable development in the region and the incorporation of these priorities in the next Regional Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our development partners for their continued assistance to support the Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership as the regional meteorological services coordination mechanism to deliver regionally coordinated efforts to service SPREP members' needs in the areas of meteorological services.
Convening this meeting has always been a challenge every second year, and so I would like to thank the Government of Fiji, Australian Aid; Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Research, and Tertiary Education, and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, World Meteorological Organisation, Finnish Meteorological Institute, CSIRO, GIZ, and US Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for their financial support and to make the Second Meeting of the Pacific Meteorological Council possible.
Specifically, SPREP would like to acknowledge with gratitude the WMO office, co-located with SPREP. The Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership has benefited significantly from the co-location arrangement by way for joint planning, joint delivery and the preparation for this PMC.
Ladies and gentlemen, you have a full week ahead of you to discuss very critical and emerging issues and priorities relating to meteorological services in the Pacific region. The Apia-based Secretariats of SPREP and the WMO will continue to provide assistance and advice during your deliberations during the week.
With these remarks, I wish you all a fruitful and successful PMC.