IT Training Aims To Build Capacity Of Pacific Met Services

As originally published on sprep.org

28 October 2019, Apia, Samoa – Building the capacity of Pacific National Meteorological Service staff to effectively use and sustain new Information Technology tools is at the core of a week-long training workshop being held at the newly opened Pacific Climate Change Centre at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). 

The training, facilitated by SPREP and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) with funding support from the Climate Risk Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Initiative and Climate Change Canada, brings together Met officers from Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa and Tuvalu.

They will be provided with hands-on training in the relevant Information Technology (IT) programmes associated with the operation of various tools and software relevant to their work. 

The WMO Project Officer for the CREWS Project, Ms Cecilia Amosa, said, “The main focus of the CREWS Project is to strengthen and build the capacity of National Meteorological Services (NMS) in the region. Moreover, it aims to provide support in strengthening multi-hazard predictions for our national Met Services.”

SPREP has provided training to NMS in the area of IT for the last four years to help enhance their work. This year SPREP is working with WMO to deliver the training.

“The work done by our NMSs is very important, especially for our region which is quite vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as severe weather and natural disasters,” said SPREP’s IT Manager, Mr Christian Slaven.

“A lot of the tools used to carry out this important work is based on IT, which is why it is very important for SPREP to support and assist you by providing background training in order for you to effectively use and sustain these tools.” 

Throughout the week, trainers from the SPREP IT team, as well as officers from WMO with support from Pacific Met Desk Partnership officers, will be covering tools such as the Seasonal Climate Outlooks in Pacific Island Countries (SCOPIC), Traditional Knowledge Databases (TKDB), and other tools which are currently being used by the NMS. 

“I implore you to make use of this week to learn as much as you can about these technologies so that you will be able to maintain them upon the completion of this training,” Mr Slaven added. 

Mr Salesa Nihmei, Meteorology and Climatology Adviser, who coordinate the CREWS activities at SPREP reiterated the importance of the training to the work done by NMSs.

“There are more and more new technologies being introduced to Met services and there has been a trend of new technologies being introduced and then once projects conclude, staff have not been able to maintain them. SPREP has introduced a few technologies so the importance of this training is to help build the capacities of Met service staff to support these technologies themselves,” said Mr Nihmei.

“In addition, this training will also provide them with basic web developing skills. This will enable them to maintain their own websites for their respective Met service offices. 

Some of the participants will be staying on after the training workshop on attachments to the IT team for another week to further their understanding on identified priority IT topics and technologies. 

The IT Training is being conducted from 28 October – 1 November 2019. Another regional IT training will be organised in 2020 and will bring NMHSs from the remaining Pacific Island Countries.

For more information please contact Mr. Salesa Nihmei at salesan@sprep.org or Mr. Christian Slaven at christians@sprep.org

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