Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Several key stakeholders from the Meteorology and Water Services Departments in St. Kitts and Nevis are currently gathered at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort for a four-day (June 13-16) climate services workshop aimed at improving the capacity in climate forecasting in the Federation.
“This workshop is part of a larger project that is looking at improving the capacity of certain national institutions, such as the Meteorological (MET) Services, in order to assist the Federation in meeting its climate change targets,” said Auren Manners, Director of Economic Affairs & PSIP, Ministry of Sustainable Development. “We are here today, not only with the MET Services, but also the Water Services to examine the nexus between climate change and our hydrological conditions, and how climate forecasting can help us to mitigate the impact of drought and the impact on water supply.”
Mr. Manners reflected on the project dubbed “Capacity building to support Accreditation, Planning, Programming and Implementation of GCF-funded activities in St. Kitts and Nevis.”
“When developing this project, it was noted that there is limited climate change capacity at the agency, sector and national level which results in delays or lack of implementation of critical, climate change activities, which are important, not only in meeting international targets, but also at the local level to protect our citizens, especially when looking at issues such as sea-level rise, threats to coastal communities, saltwater intrusion on the aquifer, the impacts of more severe storms, and, an issue that has been on our minds recently, drought,” he said.
According to Mr. Manners, the Project recognizes that entities such as the MET Services, and Water Services, must be strengthened to provide the relevant data collection and other services needed to advance climate change adaptation. These agencies are a critical part of the country’s Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems (MHEWS) and their mandates must be broadened if the Federation is to effectively address climate change and increase resilience.
Adrian Trotman, Chief of Applied Meteorology and Climatology at the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) said that stakeholders are being trained in the art of climate services provision and climate forecasting.
“When we talk about climate services we are talking about being able to prepare, produce and deliver climate information related to monitoring the climate from month to month. “The monitoring and forecasting information together, as we look at the recent past and we look forward into the next three (3) to six (6) months, would be able to provide critical decision-making information for climate-sensitive sectors in St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Mr. Trotman indicated that the workshop falls under phase one (1) of the project, while phase two (2) is expected to commence with the engagement process between the climate services providers and climate-sensitive sectors to enhance decision-making.