Australia reaffirms commitment to strengthening Pacific Island meteorological services
10 May 2017- Nadi, Fiji- The Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac) continues to build capacity of Pacific Island Meteorological Services to understand and apply climate, ocean and sea level information for the benefit of Pacific Island governments and communities. COSPPac also builds the capacity of the Pacific Lands and Survey Departments in supporting the Pacific sea level observation. [restrict]
Hosted by the Pacific Community (SPC), the Tenth Planning and Steering Committee Meeting convenes this week to discuss regional priorities and plans for the Pacific National Meteorological Services and Lands and Survey Departments while mapping out a plan for Australia’s continued support to the region.
COSPPac is managed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) in partnership with SPC, Geoscience Australia and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
First Secretary for the Australian High Commission in Suva, Raymond Bojczuk said the Australian Government values the strong collaboration between partners delivering the products and services.
“We strongly support COSPPac, recognising the need to ensure that good quality, relevant climate information is widely available for the benefit of governments, communities and businesses in the Pacific,” Mr Bojczuk said.
“With COSPPac funding extended to June 2018, we remain committed to support further development of Pacific Island Meteorological Services. DFAT committed approximately AUD40 million towards COSPPac over six years,” he added.
The meeting will evaluate the progress of the project components as most of it has transitioned to regional partners. Project components include COSPPac Management Unit, Capacity Development and Communications, Climate and Oceans Monitoring and Prediction, and Pacific Sea Level Monitoring. The meeting will also discuss finance and the annual work plan for the various components.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology will continue to support COSPPac with its extension for another year.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology Assistant Director for Climate Information Services, Neil Plummer said, “We will provide technical assistance and support to COSPPac and its partners to ensure continuity of its products and services that are contributing towards sustainable development”.
This meeting will be attended by members including representatives of Meteorological Services and Lands and Survey departments from 11 Pacific Island countries, including Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu, as well as its partners.
The Pacific Community’s Deputy Director-General (Suva), Dr Audrey Aumua said, “As a project partner, SPC will continue to assist member countries to fulfil their aspirations particularly when it comes to understanding climate, ocean and sea level information.
“Pacific countries through the COSPPac project have access to oceanic and sea level datasets, which are vital baseline information, required for any coastal planning and development. SPC would like to commend Australia on the decision to transition such COSPPac project components into the region,” Dr Aumua added.
The Tenth Planning and Steering Committee Meeting is being held from the 10- 12 May in Nadi. [/restrict]