SYDNEY, 3 to 7 DECEMBER 2001

RA-V-PIW-3/Doc. 4(4)






Submitted by the Secretariat,
WMO Subregional Office for the South-West Pacific



National Meteorological Services (NMSs) play a fundamental role in sustainable development in the Pacific region, through the implementation of many regional and international programmes and activities. The success of these programmes is often critically dependent on the capability of NMSs. They are also required to undertake a number of national responsibilities, or to contribute to national obligations under international agreements and conventions.


At the 5th Meeting of Regional Meteorological Service Directors (5RMSD), held in Honolulu, in Hawaii Islands, in November 19981 the importance of providing an integrated programme of forecast and information services in the Pacific region was recognized. In this regards, the meeting urged SPREP to develop a long-term strategic plan for the Pacific region taking into the WMO Fifth Long Term Plan (5LTP) and the priority areas agreed to at the 13th session of WMO Regional Association V (South-West Pacific) in Bali, Indonesia, in September 19982; hence a regional strategic approach is required for NMSs to fulfill their responsibilities and contributes to sustainable development.

Strategic Action Plan for the Development of Meteorology in the Pacific Region – SDMP (2000-2009)

In early 1999, in response to the recommendation from 5RMSD, SPREP began drafting the Strategic Action Plan for the Development of Meteorology in the Pacific region – SDMP(2000-2009) with the assistance from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the WMO Subregional Office for the South-West Pacific. The draft SDMP(2000-2009) was presented for review and endorsement to the 6th Meeting of Regional Meteorological Service Directors (6RMSD) held in Tahiti, French Polynesia, in July 1999. The 6RMSD endorsed the concept of preparing an integrated regional strategy as outlined in the draft SDMP(2000-2009) forming the basis for the Plan.

SDMP(2000-2009) is the collective result of inputs from SPREP member countries, NMSs, regional and international organizations and donors over the past 6 years; endorsed by the Ministers for Environment during their meeting in Guam, October 20003.

SDMP(2000-2009) calls for a significant needs analysis to be undertaken under the auspices of WMO in cooperation with SPREP. In response to this, SPREP commissioned a report on the needs of the Pacific region. The Pacific Meteorological Services Needs Analysis Project (PMSNAP), made possible through the financial assistance of Australia through AusAID, was a team effort involving WMO, Meteo France, Bureau of Meteorology of Australia, New Zealand Met Service Ltd, and US NOAA NWS, Fiji Meteorological Service and all NMHSs, and has provided a region-wide framework for provision of assistance.

Needs Analysis

Throughout the consultations, two consistent issues emerged. Firstly, the majority of NMSs in the Pacific region are struggling, and often failing to provide the basic services for the citizens and industries of their countries. Secondly, the position of most countries regarding development programmes is that they must be sustainable within the approved in-country NMS budgets, and the assistance may be required with on-going costs.

The Needs Analysis report emerged in three parts, namely; i) the context of meteorology in the Pacific region, ii) a country by country description of capability and needs, and iii) development project proposals4. The proposed projects represent the minimum level required to effect noticeable short term improvements in weather and climate services in the Pacific region. At the same time, these projects will lay the foundation for sustainable and longer term commitments by governments and development partners alike to meet the needs and aspiration of NMSs, as set out in SDMP(2000-2009). The projects are packaged as regional projects and several projects have packaged together in each of the main regional projects. These small component subprojects may be implemented without affecting other projects.

Follow-up Actions

At the Pacific Islands Conference on Climate Change, Climate Variability and Sea Level Rise, held in Rarotonga, in Cook Islands, April 1999, participants endorsed the Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change, Climate Variability and Sea Level Rise, and the SDMP(2000-2009) and proposed projects in the Needs Analysis report are part of the framework.

At the 11th SPREP Official Meeting, held in Guam, October 2000, the participants endorsed the SDMP(2000-2009) and the proposed projects in the Needs Analysis report.

At the 31st Pacific Islands Forum, held in Nauru, October 2000, Leaders of the Pacific region welcomed and endorsed the Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change, Climate Variability and Sea Level Rise.

In March 2001, during the Informal Planning Meeting on the Voluntary Cooperation Programme and related Technical Cooperation Programmes (IMP/VCP-2001), AusAID and SPREP presented the report of the Needs Analysis. SPREP encouraged WMO VCP and its donors to use the Needs Analysis in allocating resources for use in the Pacific region. AusAID indicated that Australia is keen to be further involved in the results of the Needs Analysis and is planning to take up one of the development projects outlined in the report.

In August 2000, AusAID contracted the Bureau of Meteorology of Australia to prepare full project proposal for one of the proposed projects, particularly Project 4.4 " Expanding and enhancing the prudent use of climate prediction". The full project proposal has been completed and is currently with AusAID for consideration.

In September 2000, the Japanese Government and the Government of Fiji jointly supported a Meteorology Level II training course for the Pacific Island Countries, and this training contributed to meeting the objective of Project 1.4 as proposed in the Needs Analysis report.

Conclusions and Recommendations

This working group may wish to advice or recommend to the 13th session of RA V on how best for WMO and its Members to proceed with implementing the proposed projects related to WWW.

1. SPREP Meeting of Regional Meteorological Service Directors (5th: 1999: Honolulu, Hawaii)
2. WMO No. 890, WMO Regional Association V (South-West Pacific) 12th Session, Denpasar, 14-22 September 1998.
3. 11th SPREP Officials Meeting/Environment Ministers’ Forum Report, Guam, October 2000
4. Pacific Meteorological Services: Meeting the Challenges, An AusAID funded Project