The Pacific Islands Education, Training and Research (PIETR) Panel commenced its one-day discussion on 24 August 2016 with the ultimate aim to improving education, training and research in the fields of meteorology, climatology, hydrology and related fields.
Mr. Arona Ngari from Cook Islands and Mr. Lloyd Tahani from Solomon Islands are the Chair and vice-Chair of the Pacific Islands Education, Training and Research Panel.
The Panel is part of the Pacific Meteorological Council, established to provide technical advice on telecommunication infrastructure, a follow up on decisions by the Third Meeting of the Pacific Meteorological Council and the First Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Meteorology, and both meetings were held in Tonga in July 2016.
The Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Meteorology expressed concern about inadequate infrastructure and limited human resources of PICTs’ NMHSs as factors that limit the effective uptake of scientific and technological advances to improve services of NMHSs; and requested Pacific Islands Education, Training and Research Panel to work with the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) NMHSs, USP, SPREP, SPC and other regional organizations, and WMO to address the education and training needs of NMHSs in PICTs with a possibility to establish a WMO Regional Training Center (RTC) and the development of regional research capacity.
The Pacific Meteorological Council:
- Requested that the PIETR Panel to explore the possibility of establishing a WMO Regional Training Centre (RTC) for the Pacific Islands region in consultation with WMO, taking into full consideration criteria established by WMO for becoming and designation as WMO recognized RTC;
- Requested that the PIETR Panel to explore the development of a Capacity Development Strategy for the Pacific within the context of the Pacific Islands Meteorological Strategy (PIMS) 2012-2021;
- Requested that USP to review curriculum development and course mapping in regards to weather, climate, hydrology and ocean services in PICTs, including a full tropical meteorology course;
- Encouraged the development of Pacific Islands’ research capacity and recognise the importance of academic and regional organization research partnerships;
- Noted the establishment of the Pacific Island University Research Network (PIURN) in supporting research capacity development;
- Requested that SPREP and NMHSs provide guidance and recommendations for specialised topics for in-country and follow-up training by the PITD;
- Requested that the NMHSs to nominate participants to attend future cohorts at PITD, particularly countries who have not previously submitted nominations nor participated in this training event;
- Requested that NMHSs to assist in updating the PITD database, a communication tool or system used by NMHSs; and
- Request that the University of Hawaii to work closely with the PIETR Panel to enable greater coordination and information sharing on courses including clarification on how they relate to the WMO requirements, classifications for meteorologists and competency standards.
The Pacific Islands Education, Training and Research Panel involved participants from the PICTs, regional organizations, United Nations agencies, NMHSs, , academic institutions, and research institutions
The Pacific Islands Education, Training and Research Panel’s discussion is supported by the Government of Solomon islands through the Ministry of Climate Change, Environment, Meteorology and Disaster Management, UCAR, US NOAA NWS, WMO, SPREP, ORSNET and University of Hawaii.