National Climate Outlook Forum Concludes in Honiara

National Climate Outlook Forum Concludes in Honiara

A National Climate Outlook Forum (NCOF) based around the theme ‘Building Resilient Infrastructures to Climate Change and Disasters’ concluded in Honiara last week.

The forum brought together around 100 participants from government, state owned enterprises, private sector, donors and non governmental organisations to produce and communicate national climate outlooks based on the input from the Thirteenth Pacific Islands Climate Outlook Forum (PICOF-13) Regional Statement, and assess the likely implications of the outlooks on the most pertinent socio-economic sectors in the Solomon Islands. 

The NCOF also provides an opportunity for understanding the risks and opportunities linked to past, current and future climate, as well as for receiving user feedback and improving the usability and applicability of climate products.

Support for the three days forum came from the Climate and Ocean Supports Program in the Pacific (COSPPac (BoM and SPREP)), UNDRR and UNDP – IDRM Project and the Solomon Islands Infrastructure Program (SIIP) Hub.

The Solomon Islands Meteorological Service (SIMS) uses this forum to communicate climate and climate change information and services to support decision-making in various sectors and level in Solomon Islands.

Speaking at the opening of the forum, supervising Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Environment Climate Change Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM) Mr Karl Kuper said that going by previous experiences on damages to infrastructures during disasters, the statistics have spoken. He said according to a World Bank report, Solomon Islands ranks second in the world as the most vulnerable country in terms of disasters such as cyclones, droughts, floods and storm surges.  

“These events cause a lot damage to our infrastructures such as roads, bridges, water supply and electricity, all of which are important for the country’s socio-economic development. In 2014 April floods alone damages mostly to infrastructure amounted to USD108 million, about 9 percent of the country’s GDP,” he said. 

Mr Kuper added that given those experiences he is pleased that this forum will give the opportunity to take a paradigm shift through exchange of information and knowledge between all stakeholders through the government, NGOs, private sector, academia and donor partners.
He concluded by reminding all stakeholders that the provision and use of effective weather and climate information can enhance climate smart decisions that will be beneficial to building safe and resilient infrastructure in the country.

The objective of the NCOF is to facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge and enhance government and industry understanding of the latest climate change science and projections, impact-based forecasting and other climate and ocean outlook products from SIMS and demonstrate how to use these tools.

Experts from Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), United Nation Disaster Risk, and Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP)  were also present and provided support to the NCOF. 

For more information, please contact the Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership at [email protected]

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