GFCS Consultation Reviews Status of Climate Services in the Pacific

gfcs4 April 2014: The Regional Consultation on Climate Services for Pacific Small Island States and Related Meetings met with the aim of improving weather and climate services in small island developing States (SIDS) and ensuring that implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) meets their needs.

The meeting, held from 31 March to 4 April in Rarotongo, the Cook Islands, brought together over 60 experts from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), regional organizations and research institutions, as well as policymakers, and experts on agriculture and food security, water, health and disaster risk reduction (DRR). The first three days focused on the GFCS consultation, while the last two addressed ongoing Pacific regional meteorological projects and initiatives.

During the meeting, GFCS Office Director Felipe Lucio said that “climate services make it possible to incorporate science-based climate information and prediction into planning and policy to achieve real benefits for society.”

Participants at the consultation, inter alia: reviewed existing regional climate services and assessed specific needs in the initial four priority areas (agriculture and food security, water, health, and DRR) at the regional, national and local levels; strengthened dialogue between providers and users to ensure climate services are accessible and relevant; identified regional capacity building needs, in terms of mandates, infrastructure and human resources, and the necessary institutional arrangements to implement the GFCS in the Pacific region; recommended better arrangements for national observation networks, enhanced research and analysis of national and local climate issues; discussed linkages of existing programmes to strengthen regional climate services in the region; and further developed the document ‘Partnership for Weather and Climate Services in SIDs' to be presented at the Third International Conference on SIDS in September 2014.

The consultation, sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and other key partners, was one of a number of initiatives being undertaken within the framework of the GFCS to increase climate resilience, and in preparation for the Third International Conference on SIDS in September 2014.

The WMO-led GFCS focuses on user-driven climate services, such as seasonal forecasts, and supports effective climate risk management and adaptation to climate variability and change. [Consultation Website] [WMO Press Release] [SPREP Press Release]