Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM) Honorable Dickson Mua Panakatasi has urged all who depend on the Ocean for transport, Livelihood, and economic activities to adhere to alerts, warnings and advisories issued by the Solomon Islands Meteorological Service (SIMS) and other relevant authorities.
He made the statement in his remarks to open a-three-day workshop on sustainable Ocean and Marine Weather Services for a Safe and Resilient Solomon Islands in Honiara yesterday.
The workshop aims to bring together all responsible agencies, stakeholders and communities and reach out to them through awareness on ocean services provided by SIMS as an early warning and to discuss proposed plans for the safety of local sea travelers.
“The ocean covers more than 1.5 million square kilometers of our country, and we depend on it for food, transport, recreation, economic activities and it provides other important physical and ecological functions, and we are part of it,
“The ocean defines who we are as a people, our ancestors have dwelled, sailed and fished the ocean over the centuries and survived because of their local knowledge and understanding of the ocean” Minister Mua said.
He further stated that: “We are carrying on from the knowledge of our ancestors under newer physical and socioeconomic situations but with the benefit of modern science and technology to support our endeavors in the ocean. Our dependence on the ocean requires accurate, timely and appropriate scientific weather ocean services including alerts, advisories and warnings, which should be adhered to at all times by users. Failing to take heed can result in negative impacts which can also be fatal.”
Recognizing the need to improve ocean and weather services the Minister said the MECDM through the SIMS has established climate and ocean services. He adds the integration of ocean services to the work of SIMS in an innovation for everyone.
“The new undertaking goes in line with the current Governments policy statement as well as other related policies such as the National Development Strategy and Solomon Islands National Ocean Policy,” he stated.
Minister Mua on behalf of the Ministry and the Government thanked the Government of Canada, World Meteorological Organization, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, the Climate Risk Early warning (CREWS) Project and the Irish Government through the IRISH Fund for supporting the workshop
The workshop was facilitated by national and regional experts on face-to-face and virtual basis, and attended by representatives from Communities, Government Ministries, Private Sector, NGOs and Civil Society Organizations, Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration and the Solomon Islands National University.