The Office of Te Beretitenti (OB) through the Kiribati Meteorological Service (KMS) in partnership with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) through Climate and Ocean Support Program for Pacific (COSPPac) held a Kiribati Climate and Communication Workshop from November 18-22.
Together with the KMS climate section, the team delivered climate services stakeholder workshops and staff skills trainings. These sessions aimed to:
- Raise awareness about and improve understanding of KMS climate services products among media and key government stakeholders;
- Solicit feedback from stakeholders about their needs and how to improve the products; and
- Enhance KMS staff members’ climate knowledge and applied technical skills.
The objective of the stakeholder workshops was to train representatives from the media and from key government sectors in the interpretation of the climate outlooks, as well as eliciting suggestions from them participants on ways to improve these products or to generate new products that better suit their needs.
“The Kiribati Climate outlook is a monthly bulletin issued from the KMS climate section which consist of information on the season climate condition and rainfall outlook for the next three months in Kiribati. The ultimate aim for this bulletin is to let the people of Kiribati (through media) and government sectors know such information for their planning and decision making,” Mr. Ueneta Toorua, Climate Officer said.
“Since the information is very technical it also very difficult for KMS to know if everyone understands and uses this product,” he said.
The KMS climate service products (including information and forecasts on high tides, seasonal rainfall, and ENSO phases) have the potential to help government sectors better prepare for tidal inundation and drought. If these products are not properly understood or if they are misinterpreted, however, they are usually ignored or can even have a negative effect.
Evaluations rated the workshops very highly, noting that they have helped to raise awareness about ENSO’s effects on Kiribati, about the climate products coming out of the KMS, as well as the interpretation and uses of these products.
As a result of the one week workshop, government sector and media stakeholders benefitted from more targeted, understandable, and relevant climate products and services as a result of the feedback. In turn, the people of Kiribati will benefit from improved awareness and thus improved preparedness for seasonal climate variability.