Climate change affects everyone but not all of us are up to date with information being release by experts due to various reason. Well, today a three day conference entitled, “National Consultation on a Framework for Climate Services in Belize” commenced at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. For those three days, relevant stakeholders and professionals will be creating a strategic plan on how to funnel down key information to the common man. Love News spoke to the Chief Meteorologist at the National Meteorological Service of Belize, Dennis Gonguez and the Head of the Global Framework for Climate Services Office in the World Meteorological Organization, Filipe Lucio.
“What we plan to do is we are looking to improving our climate service to different stakeholders in Belize. So, we are looking at how the meteorological service could provide better climate information.”
“How do you plan to trickle down the information to the common man?”
“Well that’s what we are looking at; we are looking at strategic ways we can communicate and that’s why we have this consultation here, so we can look at ways, so we could communicate that information down to the everyday person and that is what we are looking at over the next three days.”
“Tell us about the benefits that will come as a result of sharing this information to the nation.”
“Well, we know that weather and climate affects all aspects of our lives; so, there are benefits all across sectors of our communities by providing better climate services and so it will impact all sectors of our community. As part of CARICOM, we are part of both the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology and the Five Seas the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center and through them we share climate information with the other countries in the region. So, with that they deal with the regional aspect and we deal with the local aspects of climate services.”
“One priority of the frame work is to support the development of capacities at national level which will enable countries to better develop and apply climate information just to give you an example how can the four private areas plan six months ahead, one day ahead, two, three or four to five years ahead; that is because the science today allows us to reasonably well predict climate ahead of time and we want that information to be mainstreamed and informed decision making in climate services sector.”
“When it comes to the technological aspect of it with the implementation and the information being carried down to the common man, do you foresee a problem with other people who don’t know about computers or don’t know how to use the advanced technological devices that we have today?”
“Indeed, we have been piloting implementation of the global framework for climate services already in a couple of countries. In those countries there are a few things we are learning from and we have basically been able to identify 10 prerequisites in order to develop and apply effectively, climate services. A few of those were the need to improve the literacy of users so that they can better understand and interpret climate information that is provided and another important element is the communication aspect; how can information be packaged? How can information be communicated? And what language should be used so that the users downstream are able to understand and effectively interpret the information.”
The conference concludes on November 1.