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Meteorology/Climatology Adviser, Secretariat of the Pacific Environmental Programme

Commonwealth Secretariat
Location: SPREP, Apia, Samoa
Last Date: August 31, 2011
Email: (Reference:

Meteorology/Climatology Adviser, Secretariat of the Pacific Environmental Programme
Reference: G/PAC/0407
Location: Apia, Samoa
Duration: Two years
Closing Date: 31 Aug 2011

At the Request of the Secretariat of the Pacific Environmental Programme (SPREP), the Commonwealth Secretariat has approved a project through the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC) to provide technical support for meteorological services to the Pacific island countries and territories. SPREP is a regional organization established by the governments and administrations of the Pacific region to look after its environment. It has grown from a small programme attached to the South Pacific Commission (SPC) in the 1980s into the Pacific region’s major intergovernmental organization charged with protecting and managing the environment and natural resources. It is based in Apia, Samoa, with about 60 staff.

SPREP operates a climate change programme under its recently revised strategic plan. A component of this programme deals with assistance to the region in matters of meteorology and climatology, carried out through technical and skills focused capacity building through management of a coordinated effort in the Pacific region through institutionalizing the “Pacific Desk”. This will be a regional coordination mechanism deployed and managed by the SPREP to provide technical support in strengthening the capacity of national meteorological services in response to a comprehensive review of the MET services in the region.

Pacific Island leaders supported this review of regional MET services through SPREP with a report submitted in May 2010. The report recommends among other things strengthening of MET services to be able to deal with increased climate change risks. It calls for recruiting and retaining skilled and experienced staff; staying updated with technology and equipment, while strengthening regional co-ordination mechanisms and information dissemination. As part of their recommendations on how to take this forward, establishment of the Pacific Desk in SPREP was identified.

The review summarizes the meteorological and climatological services that exist in the Pacific and the interdependencies of those with higher and lower capacities. Briefly, there are considered to be 3 levels of operating capacity across the region ranging from basic monitoring stations in Tuvalu/Kiribati/Niue, medium sized stations in PNG/Vanuatu/Solomon Islands/Samoa/Tonga to the sole regional fully fledged service in Fiji. Despite these levels, weather and climate vulnerabilities of these countries are high and demand for accurate information is increasing against a slow development situation for National Meteorological Services (NMS). Adequate resources will therefore be mobilised to ensure full implementation of this report.

There is already a concerted effort to bring donors to this sector together which will constitute the donor consortium - primarily made up of NZ (NZMET), Australia (ABM) USA (NOAA) and Finland (FMI) and WMO and especially in terms of long term sustainability. All of these partners have been invited to a donor roundtable to be held later in the year and there is a positive response. It’s expected that the recruited expert will play a role during project implementation.

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