El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the main driver of climate variability in the Pacific and will likely to continue to influence the weather and climate of the Pacific well into the future.

Sectoral impacts from hazards such as droughts, flooding, heat wave and crop loss observed across the Pacific are in most cases associated with climate variability influenced by ENSO.  A warmer world under climate change could exacerbate and amplify observed impacts of ENSO episodes in the region.

To reduce damages from extreme climate events through disaster risk management, seasonal climate prediction services play a critical role in utilising advanced climate prediction  such as early warning outlooks,  to understand the causes, impacts and necessary provisions to prepare for anticipated extreme climate events.

In the past month, the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (NMGD) staff received a demonstration and short training on the use of a new online Climate Prediction tool known as “Climate Information Toolkit for the Pacific” (or CLIKP).

The in-country training was to enhance the capacity of the VMGD in accessing the dynamical seasonal prediction system based at SPREP to provide tailored climate forecasts for ni-Vanuatu communities. Through this, Vanuatu will be able to better inform their decision making regarding climate risk reduction and adaptation.

Philip Malsale, Climate Manager, VMGD said -  “The VMGD Climate Division sees the benefits of the CLIKP and we will continue to work with SPREP to ensure that CLIKP is operationalised into our daily work”.

“It is beneficial to get several dynamical climate models into a platform where probabilistic and deterministic forecast can be generated. This will benefit our different clients now and into the future. VMDG is working to incorporate dynamical and statistical forecasts, including downscaling to provide a more accurate seasonal rain forecast. The demonstration training was timely and very appropriate. With officers now well versed with CLIKP VMDG will use it as part of the seasonal forecasting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)” said Mr. Malsale.

The CLIKP online tool provides more reliable climate forecasts for Vanuatu due to the multi model approach adopted. VMGD now the capacity to generate a climate forecast that is probabilistic or deterministic in nature depending on user’s specifications.

“CLIKP also provides opportunity for VMGD staff to look at a range of climate prediction models from the top global climate centres to help tailor Vanuatu specific forecasts for the coming three month period," said Mr. Sunny Seuseu, Project Manager of the Korea-Pacific islands Climate Prediction Project.

ROK-PI CLIPS project is supported with funding from the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) through the ROK-PIF Cooperation Fund (the RPCF) that is administered by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS). ROK-PI CLiPS has a total budget of $1,500,000 to be used over three years.