Raising awareness on the importance of Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) and sharing ideas on how to achieve this in the important work that is done by Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) was at the core of a series of trainings which continues last week.  

The series of trainings will integrate gender perspectives into climate change and development priorities, which is vital for addressing underlying inequalities between men, women, youth, and people with disabilities. 

The first training was held virtually on last week and took participants through the core concepts of GESI, how and why it is relevant to NMHSs and allowed participants to engage in identifying organisational opportunities and barriers to social inclusion. 

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme’s (SPREP) Climate Change Resilience Programme Director, Ms Tagaloa Cooper , said, “This training is part of a chain of activities that connects us to the ultimate goal of helping Pacific island countries to make informed decisions in times of disasters. Particularly enhancing service delivery of the Pacific NMHSs to all peoples including women, men, youth, people with disabilities and marginalised groups,” 

“On 8 March the world celebrated International Women’s Day on the theme “Choose to Challenge”. In keeping with this theme, we celebrate and honour women in the Pacific with our own theme, “Pacific Women Weathering Together”, meaning that our journey to tackle climate change is all-encompassing to include women, men, youth, people with disabilities, and marginalised groups,” she added. 

According to Ms Cooper , the overarching principle of the Pacific Island Meteorological Strategy is “supporting empowerment of women, young boys and girls, people living with disabilities and vulnerable groups.” 

She recognised the training as a great opportunity for the participants to share their ideas on how to achieve greater gender equality and social inclusion in the work and across all development sectors, as for some of the NMHSs, this is a priority in your strategic plan or policies

“We are fortunate to partner with the Australia-Pacific Climate Partnership and the Climate and Oceans Support Programme in the Pacific 2 (COSPPac 2) project to strengthen GESI in Pacific NMHSs by way of delivering GESI training, helping to raise awareness of the importance of GESI consideration in meteorological and hydrological services, and working with the Talanoa consulting firm to develop GESI decision-making support tools that can be shared widely for quick use,” Ms Cooper concluded as saying.  

GESI is a concept that addresses unequal power relations experienced by people on the grounds of gender, wealth, ability, location, ethnicity, language and an agency, or a combination of these dimensions. It focuses on the need for action to rebalance these power relations, reduce disparities and ensure equal rights, opportunities and respect for all individuals regardless of their social identity. 

The initiative is part of the Australia-Pacific Climate Partnership (APCP) in collaboration with the Climate and Oceans Support Programme in the Pacific 2 (COSPPac 2), SPREP and Talanoa Consulting, funded by the Government of Australia through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

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