Nadi, Fiji – The Fiji Meteorological Office’s daily tasks to provide accurate and timely weather and climate information received a boost with the official handover of equipment that will ensure that the country’s Automated Weather Systems (AWS) are well maintained.
The handover of a consignment of spare parts, funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Russian-funded Disaster Resilience for Pacific SIDS (RESPAC) project, was officiated during a visit on Tuesday to the Fiji Meteorological Service office in Nadi by the United Nations Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director for Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Haoliang Xu.
Following Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016, a number of Automated Weather Systems were malfunctioning or not sending correct information affecting the reporting capacity. The RESPAC project supported the repair of 14 out of the 22 AWS in Fiji, which are now fully functional.
“The Fiji Meteorological Service will be able to tackle the challenges of keeping up to-date weather data and generate timely information for use by the public and other important sectors such as aviation and maritime,” said Director of Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS), Mr. Ravin Kumar.
He also acknowledged the support of UNDP and the Russian Federation which included the training of staff from the National Institute of Weather and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).
“The training strengthened the in-house capacity for the maintenance of the AWS to ensure access to uninterrupted data on climate information such as rainfall, windspeed and wind direction, relative humidity and soil temperature.”
UNDP re-affirmed its support for capacity development of the meteorological and hydrological services, highlighting the FMS’s key role as a regional service provider and training center for Pacific Small Island Developing States.
“In the battle against climate change, it is imperative that we have the latest technology on our side and we are pleased that the Fiji Meteorological Service is making good use of the funding support from the Russian Federation,” said UN Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Haoliang Xu.
The RESPAC project is implemented by UNDP and funded by the Russian Federation across ten Pacific Small Island Developing States. The project strengthens early warning systems, climate reporting and services; preparedness/planning mechanisms and tools to manage disaster recovery processes; and supports the increased use of financial instruments to manage and share disaster related risk and fund post disaster recovery efforts.
Merana Kitione, Communications Officer, Resilience and Sustainable Development Programme, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, tel: 3227 579; email: email@example.com;
Setaita Tavanabola, Communications Associate, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji; tel: (679) 3227 523; email: firstname.lastname@example.org;