EU Donates Weather Stations to National Met Service
The ramifications of climate change can be disastrous to any nation without adequate early warning systems for natural disasters. Today Belize received an evapo-transpiration station from the European Union to complement our existing weather tracking system. News Five’s Marion Ali was in Central Farm for the handing-over ceremony.
Marion Ali, Reporting
The ET weather station is one of three that the European Union is gifting to Belize as part of a larger regional project that benefits sixteen countries. Located in Central Farm, Toledo and Orange Walk, the three pieces of equipment serve to enhance Belize’s ability to detect natural disasters before they can threaten lives and property.
Dr. Colin Young, Executive Director, CCCCC
“The overall objective of the program is to reduce risks and vulnerabilities from climate change to human-made and natural assets in Caribbean/CariForum countries. This reduction in risks and vulnerabilities will benefit directly and indirectly the more than thirty-five million people who live in the Cariforum member states via the provision of improved forecasting and predictions emanating from the observational and monitoring networks being installed across the region.”
Altogether across the region, there are forty-one of the weather stations that the EU has donated at a cost of around forty thousand Belize dollars each. EU Ambassador to Jamaica, Belize, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and Cayman Islands, Marianne Van Steen spoke about their use.
Marianne Van Steen, EU Ambassador to Belize
“What do weather stations do? They provide valuable information on weather forecasts on what’s going to be the weather today, tomorrow and next week, but they do a lot more. The information they provide is also valuable to monitor on climate viability and climate change over longer periods and that information can therefore be extremely important for planning and decision-making for development. The Caribbean region is facing water and food insecurity due to climate change and the European Union’s program is therefore aimed at strengthening how climate-related information can be used to plan better and to make better decisions to tackle those challenges.”
Belize’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster
Risk Management, Orlando Habet, pledged that the government will ensure the weather stations are maintained to minimize threats to our food security and other losses.
Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change
“Acknowledging that adequate monitoring of the weather and climate is a fundamental component in a climate-resilient society, the Government of Belize, through this Ministry, is committed to providing the support that will be necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of this project. This includes ensuring that these stations as well as all others in the national meteorological services network of stations are properly maintained and that the appropriate infrastructure is in place to adequately store, analyze and disseminate the information derived in a user-friendly and effective manner.”
In tandem with this effort, Minister Habet said that the National Met Service is working on rolling out a mobile app that will be designed to make data from the weather stations readily available to people in the agriculture sector. Marion Ali reporting for News Five.