The Pacific and Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are susceptible to many hydro-meteorological and other hazards, namely tropical storms and hurricanes, thunderstorms or lightning, coastal storm surges, floods, flash floods, coastal flooding, river flooding, tsunamis, drought, strong winds, heat waves, and dust or haze. These hazards have the potential to cause coastal erosion, landslides, mudslides, epidemics, and the movement and spread of toxic substances and volcanic material.
The phenomenon of global climate change features prominently in the discussion on disaster risk management in the Pacific and Caribbean. Climate change increases disaster risks in two ways. First, climate change will likely increase the frequency and severity of weather and climate hazards. Second, climate change will simultaneously increase communities’ vulnerability to natural hazards due to the combined effects of ecosystem degradation, reduced availability of water for ecosystems and agriculture, and changes in peoples’ livelihoods.
Currently, most SIDS have little or no climate services. Existing services are often focused on weather and aviation services but not on climate. The potential benefits from climate services, however, are very substantial.
This project provides training to the national hydro-meteorological services of the SIDS and other regional institutions with the aim to understand the needs, design, implementation, operation, maintenance and communication of climate services. Particular focus is on vulnerable coastal communities, agriculture, water, and health sectors. The training delivers the knowledge and tools that national organizations need to implement relevant and sustainable climate services that fit the needs of users in the respective country.
Assessing strategies for adaptation require a sound understanding of the current and historic climate system and its impacts on socio-economic sectors such as agriculture, energy, water resource management, transport, infrastructure development and tourism. A key component of the project therefore addresses the task of maintaining and enhancing historical climate data records through so-called data rescue efforts.
These activities strengthen the partnership between national hydro-meteorological services and other communities. It is the national organizations that will continue to provide climate and weather services for users on national and community levels. These partnerships are the critical building block to ensure sustainability of the project’s outcomes.
This project is part of the programme for Implementing the Global Framework for Climate Services at Regional and National Scales