The chairman of the panel for the Pacific Islands Education, Training and Research, one of six panels under the auspice of the Pacific Meteorological council, Ngari says that following on from the conference, plans are being put in place for an accreditation mechanism that will ensure high quality staff and response systems into the future.
The conference looked at a variety of weather-related issues including water security on islands around the Pacific and how each island can become resilient in times of draught or flooding.
Ngari says they discussed alternative sources of water and ways to implement those. The Marshall Islands, for example have suffered drought and the lower groundwater is contaminated, so tapping into the ground water to a safe level, and managing this, is a positive option.
Another topic discussed at the conference was disaster management, relating to weather related events and funding assistance.
Four people from Rarotonga and one from Aitutaki travelled to the meeting.
Ngari says the Met Service hold a wealth of data that has been collected for over 100 years, enough for thorough research on such things as the pros and cons of La Nina and El Nino weather patterns.
“There’s enough for research into lessons that have been learned from past events (and) ways to move forward.”