The Pacific Met Week, comprising of the Sixth Pacific Meteorological Council Meeting (PMC-6), the First Development Partners and Donors Engagement Meeting and the Third Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Meteorology (PMMM-3) in Nadi Fiji, has ended with Government Ministers reaffirming their commitment to strengthen weather, climate, water, ocean and related development services in the Pacific.
The aspirations of Pacific Ministers are captured in the Namaka Declaration*, which highlights political will to continue to support the mission of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to provide weather, climate, water, ocean and related environmental services in partnership and collaboration with civil society, private sector, and other government agencies to protect lives in Pacific communities.
The meeting was closed by PMMM-3 Chair and Fiji’s Minister for Public Works, Communications, Transport and Meteorological Services, Ro Filipe Tuisawau.
“On behalf of the Government of Fiji, I would like to thank you all for choosing our country as the host of this meeting. We’ve had a very fruitful week where we have engaged in meaningful conversations about how we can improve the delivery of met services for our people and our communities,” Tuisawau said.
A key part of this effort, which is highlighted in the Namaka Declaration, focusses on the Weather Ready Pacific (WRP) programme, which is a 10-year programme to strengthen the Pacific region’s ability to anticipate, plan for, and respond to high impact and extreme weather, water, and ocean events.
“We commend the foresight of the Pacific Meteorological Council to design the Weather Ready Pacific Programme and we commit to support people-centred end-to-end multi-hazard early warning for all Pacific Island Countries and Territories in the implementation of the Weather Ready Pacific Programme in collaboration with our national, regional and global partners to protect communities and livelihoods and contribute to economic and social development in the Pacific,” the Namaka Declaration reads, acknowledging the Weather Ready Pacific Programme as the vehicle to deliver the United Nations’ Early Warnings for All initiative in the Pacific.
WRP was developed as a result of a call by the Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC). With the support of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), and the Government of Australia, the Weather Ready Pacific Decadal Programme was officially endorsed by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in 2021.
WRP has a goal of USD$167 million for 10 years to implement the work, with the Government of Australia providing initial funding support of AUD$30 million. The Third Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Meteorology welcomed Australia’s initial funding contribution and invited other partners and donors to invest in WRP.
“I remind you that the closing of our meeting today is not the end, we’ve just begun, our communities are watching and waiting for what we do from here,” Tuisawau said. “We need robust early warning systems and the Weather Ready Pacific will be a key part to our efforts. I assure you of Fiji’s full support for your endeavours.”
The Namaka Declaration will be presented to the 2023 Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme Ministerial Meeting and the 52nd Pacific Island Leaders Forum.
PMMM-3 was attended by delegations from American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United States of America and Vanuatu.
PMC-6 and the First Development Partners and Donors Engagement Meeting brought together members of the PMC, officials from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) member countries and territories, development partners, Council of the Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP), United Nations’ agencies, collaborating organisations and institutions to discuss and explore opportunities to strengthen weather, climate, water, ocean and related development services.
The meetings were guided by .the theme: “Sustaining Weather, Climate, Water and Ocean Services for a Resilient Blue Pacific.”
The next PMC Meeting will in Vanuatu in 2024.
*The Declaration is called Namaka in reference to where the Fiji Met Office in Nadi, Fiji, is located.