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Pacific Agriculture Experts and Weather Specialists to Meet

Press Release – UNDP

Pacific Agriculture Experts and Weather Specialists to Meet on Climate Change Impact on Food ProductionPacific Agriculture Experts and Weather Specialists to Meet on Climate Change Impact on Food Production

29 April 2011
[Suva – April 29] Changing weather patterns can be observed around the world. In the Pacific this has manifested itself as wetter or drier weather in places, hotter or colder weather in others. All these changes have an impact on agricultural production, at times shifting harvesting times, changing yields or destroying crops and livestock, including through pest infestations and disease.

While Pacific agriculture experts and weather specialists are beginning to work together to translate what changing weather patterns would mean for farmers, their Caribbean counterparts have been doing this for some time now. Using special knowledge and techniques to determine the impact of weather pattern changes on crop and livestock production or agro-meteorology, has proved beneficial for the farming community in the Caribbean, a region which has many similarities with the Pacific.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its “South-South Cooperation between Pacific and Caribbean Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management” project is bringing together agro-meteorology trainers from the Caribbean and agriculture officers and weather specialists from around the Pacific and the Indian Ocean to learn how to predict changes in agricultural production from changing weather patterns.

The Workshop on Assessment of Climate Change Impacts in Agriculture will start in Nadi from May 2. It will be attended by 30 representatives from 12 Pacific Island countries – American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu; as well as representatives from East Timor and the Maldives.

The workshop, which is being organised by the UNDP Pacific Centre in coordination with the South Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, and with support from the Nadi Meteorology Service, will run for three weeks. It will cover areas like climate change scenarios, climate change impact assessments, weather and climate forecasts for agriculture and the models that determine crop production based on climate change.

The training will be delivered by Roger Eduardo Rivero Vega who has 50 years of professional experience and is one of the world’s leading experts in meteorology and Roger Rolando Rivero Jaspe who has more than 15 years of experience in climatology, hydrodynamics, agro-meteorology.
At the end of the training, the agricultural and meteorological officers will be equipped with skills to better apply and disseminate weather and climate information for the benefit of the farming community. When farmers are armed with the knowledge of changing weather patterns, they can better plan their planting, and protect themselves from weather related losses and pests and diseases.

This workshop is an activity of UNDP’s South South project which is funded by UNDP’s Special Unit for South-South Cooperation and the UNDP-Japan Partnership Fund, with in-kind contributions from UNDP Pacific Centre from where it is coordinated.

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