State invests in climate monitoring system

TO prepare a weather-ready and climate smart nation, it is essential to strengthen climate change adaptation by investing in disaster early warning systems, says Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea.

He said this while addressing members of the public during the World Meteorological Day celebrations at Subrail Park in Labasa yesterday.

“Fiji, in the international forefront as the President of COP23, made history as the first small island developing state to preside over the Conference of the Parties last year in Bonn, Germany,” he said.

Mr Vocea said Government had invested significantly in recent years to a build weather-ready, climate smart society.

“Between 2012 and 2014, more than $2.6 million was allocated to upgrade the conventional radars at Labasa, Nadi and Nausori airports to Doppler type.

“A total of $0.7m was given to install automatic weather stations in the remote islands and data scarce locations between 2012 and 2015,” he said.

Mr Vocea said more than $1.2m was spent from 2013 to 2015 on the upgrading of national climate monitoring telemetric system in view of sustainable socioeconomic development.

“Approximately $1.0m was spent from 2013 to 2015 on the installation of water level and rainfall equipment,” he said.

“The Government continues to modernise the Fiji Meteorological and Hydrological Services with significant capital grants allocated in the 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018/2019 National Budgets.”

Mr Vocea said the best way to adapt to long-term climate change was to build resilience to current climate variability.

“To this effect, the Government through the Fiji Meteorological and Hydrological Services is working with World Meteorological Organisation and key partners to not only improve climate services, but also provide capacity building training,” he said.

“The training is to help develop the understanding and knowledge of professionals in the region which is one step in creating climate smart society.”

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