The Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC), the specialised subsidiary body of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) established to facilitate and coordinate the scientific and technical programmes and activities of regional meteorological services, is this year celebrating ten years of service to the Pacific region. 

The PMC was established at the Fourteenth Regional Meteorological Services Directors Meeting in Majuro, Republic of Marshall Islands in 2011 to strengthen the capacity of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), thus contributing to the safety, well-being, and development aspirations of the people of the Pacific during the provision of weather, climate, and related development services. 

The virtual celebration was attended by Directors and staff of Pacific NMHSs, PMC technical partners and donors, as well as representatives of various government ministries, private sectors, and non-governmental organisations around the Pacific. The new PMC logo, designed specifically to commemorate 10 years since its establishment, was also launched during the celebration. 

According to the Deputy Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology of the Government of Solomon Islands and also the current chair of the Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Meteorology (PMMM), meteorological services is the strong pillar that strengthens the fight against climate change in the Pacific region.  

He commended the meteorological directors, SPREP, WMO and its partners for the vision and foresight in instigating the setup of the PMC, and said, “I understand that since its establishment in 2011, we have seen the growth in recognition, projects, partners, investments, training, and capacity development in NMHSs across the region. It is indeed a milestone and a decade of hard work in protecting our people and communities.”

He also urged PMC members to continue the good fight and expand their support to sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, tourism, and aviation, and to Pacific communities, as the information they provide will help them make better informed decisions, and ultimately save lives. 

The Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organizaton, Professor Petteri Taalas, was also given the opportunity to address the gathering, congratulating the PMC on ten years of driving collaboration in the Pacific. 

“The cooperation between the Pacific countries is excellent, from the ministerial level to the Pacific NMHSs, and I have often been using that as an example for the rest of the world,” Professor Taalas said. 

“The Pacific is also very much affected by the impacts of climate change and disasters and there’s a very good reason to collaborate and of course with the limited resources by joining forces you can be much stronger,” he added.

Ms Frances Brown-Reupena, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Samoa and current Chair of the PMC mentioned that the success of the establishment of the PMC, PMMM, the Pacific Islands Meteorological Strategy, and the Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership has seen the weather, climate, hydrological and ocean services area become an attractive area for investment for donors and partners interested in supporting development around strengthening early warning systems, building climate change and disaster resilience, among others. 

“The weather, climate, hydrological and ocean services provided by NMHSs are essential to the safety and well-being of Pacific people and communities including women, children, boys and girls, youth, people with disabilities and most vulnerable groups,” said Ms Brown-Reupena.

“While we have come a long way, there is still much work to be done to harmonise programmes that are needs-based and result-oriented for PMC members,” she concluded by saying. 

The virtual celebration concluded with a virtual cake-cutting ceremony, joined by all Pacific island NMHSs from their respective bases in their home countries. 

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