Prior to the closure of official work for the year 2017, the Government of Tokelau was the recipient of meteorological assistance from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). The Honourable Minister for the Tokelau Department of Economic Development, Natural Resources and Environment (EDNRE) and the Tokelau Climate Change Agency, Mr. Kelisiano Kalolo had the pleasure of receiving the Meteorological equipment which was presented by the Director General of Secretariat of SPREP, Mr. Kosi Latu. The joyous occasion took place at 9.00 a.m. on Tuesday 19th December 2017, at the Tokelau Apia Liaison Office, Apia, Samoa.
The assistance package consist of; 10-year supply of MET801 Field books for Weather Observations, 10-year supply of MET303 Field books for Climatological Observations, 3 units of Daily Manual Rain gauge, 3 units Rain gauge Measuring cylinders, 1-unit METSPEC Met 06 Stevenson Screen including stand and thermometer mounts, 1-unit Intellisense Wet bulb/Dry bulb/Maximum/Minimum temperature Module. 1-unit Intellisense Soil Temperature Module (installed at multiple depths – 10cm, 20cm, 30cm and 1m). The equipment will assist with efforts to strengthen Tokelau Meteorological Services through the provision of accurate and up-to-date basic weather forecasting information on a timely basis for the people of Tokelau.
In his remarks, the SPREP Director General commended the leadership and great foresight of the Minister for initiating this significant activity and making this possible through institutional arrangements and support for capacity development for Tokelau Met staff who will man the new Met Service. He further stated that “this signifies ongoing commitment to follow through on the Outcomes of the Honiara Ministerial Statement for sustainable weather, climate and ocean services agreed by yourself and other Ministers at the Second Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Meteorology (PMMM-2) in the Solomon Islands in August this year”. He also made emphasis that the new Strategic Plan of SPREP, 2017-2026 recognises the need to “Enhance National Meteorological and Hydrological services capacity in weather forecasting, early warning systems, long-term projections, and improved climate services to support Members decision-making and coordination through the Pacific Meteorological Council.
The Honourable Minister in response, pointed out the close linkage of the assistance received to Tokelau’s climate change vision to adapt and to build capacity in the area of Met Services as noted in the ‘Living with Change’ (LivC) Strategy : An Integrated National Strategy for Enhancing the Resilience of Tokelau to Climate Change and Related Hazards, 2017-2030’. He also emphasised that it closely fits under the Climate Resilient Investment Pathway 2 (CRIP 2) as Adaptation to strengthened integrated risk reduction and adaptation to enhance climate change and disaster resilience. The assistance is also in line with CRIP 3 as Human Development to build capacity, education and public awareness which also outlined in Tokelau Environment Policy under our Meteorological Activities. Therefore, the assistance is highly valued and is a key stepping stone to achieving Tokelau’s goal in providing vital climatic information.
In his address, Hon. Kelisiano Kalolo acknowledged that people in Tokelau are highly vulnerable to impact of climate change and natural disaster due to the lack of awareness, lack of information and unavailability of proper infrastructure in place. As such, he hopes there is further opportunity for Tokelau to partner with SPREP in developing a disaster management communication strategy to ensure that vital climatic information is effectively communicated to the communities.
Mr. Kosi Latu assured the Minister of SPREPs commitment to assisting Tokelau as one of its members and will continue to offer support where resources allow. Over the years SPREP has provided training and capacity building to the staff of Tokelau MET and will continue to assist Tokelau apart from other assistance at hand.
This momentous occasion was attended and witnessed by senior staff of Tokelau Apia Liaison Office (TALO), the General Manager for OCOG office, Mr. Aleta Seiulu, Tokelau Senior Legal Advisor, Ms. Lise Suveinaikama, Director of Fisheries, Feleti Tulafono, Manager of Health, Lisa Lui, National Disaster Management Officer, Luke Paeniu, Deputy Director for Education, Fulitusi Alovaka, Tokelau Student Councillor Seitiale Aloisio, staff of the Environment Division and SPREP’s Climate Prediction Services Coordinator, Mr. Sunny Seuseu.