India training set to enhance climate early warning systems in the Pacific

SUVA, 16 JULY 2018 (UNDP) – Seventeen Pacific representatives travelled to Roorkee, India for a one-month intensive and specialized training as part of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Climate Early Warning Systems in Pacific Island Countries Project.

The Climate Early Warning Systems in Pacific Island Countries Project is an initiative funded by the UN-India Development Partnership Fund and implemented by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji with support from the Government of India. The India-UN Development Partnership Fund was launched by Minister of State for External Affairs of India M.J. Akbar in June 2017 in New York for supporting South-South Cooperation.

Because the Pacific is exposed to extreme weather events such as tropical storms/cyclones, droughts, floods and heat waves, the project supports the provision of technical equipment and training of hydrologists and meteorologists to enhance their ability to monitor and use meteorology and hydrology data, for quality analysis, early warning and climate information dissemination.

The International Training Course on Hydrology, Water Resources Management and Climate Change will focus on several specific issues such as the hydro-met processes, the hydrological cycle, ground water systems, soil-water interactions and aquifer recharge opportunities.

India’s High Commissioner to Fiji, Vishvas Sapkal said, “We are happy to be supporting the Pacific and sending 17 of its country representatives to India’s National Institute of Hydrology for one month and through this training, representatives will expand their knowledge in the field and bring that back to their respective countries.”

Participants, including five female representatives (two from Tonga and three from Kiribati), will also learn more about the modelling of sea water intrusion, geographic information systems (GIS) for hydrologists, investigation and extraction of water from surface and groundwater, the water quality measures needed for potable (drinking) water, hands-on laboratory testing and climate change and environment impacts on fresh water sources.

UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Country Director and Head of Regional Policy and Programme, Bakhodir Burkhanov said, “This is our very first partnership with the Government of India and this south-south cooperation provides a platform to learn from one another. The Pacific Island Countries will learn from India and vice-versa.”

Burkhanov added, “We extend our deep gratitude to the Government of India and the High Commissioner who from day one has been a very strong supporter of this initiative.”

Partnerships include the Pacific Island Governments’ partner agencies – the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, the National Institute for Hydrology in Roorkee, India, the Pacific Community (SPC), the UNDP India Country Office, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, the Pacific Meteorology Council and the World Meteorological Council.

The participants left on the 20 June 2018 and will return to their respective countries on the 20 July 2018. Countries represented include Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tonga.