The Meteorological (MET) Office of Jamaica and the rest of the world will be observing World Meteorological Day on March 23, under the theme: ‘Powering our future, with weather, climate and water’.
Head of the Climate Branch at the MET Office, Clifford Mahlung, informed that the MET Office will this year focus on educating the public about alternative energy sources, such as: wind, solar and water.
He also noted that the annual observance seeks to highlight climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies, to effectively address climate change in Jamaica.
Realising the onset of climate change, he pointed out that quality information on weather, climate and water is vital, which can help to build the country’s resilience against natural hazards.
With this in mind, he mentioned that the MET Office will be staging an exhibition to highlight World Meteorological Day (WMD), which will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, starting at 10:00.
“This exhibition will provide a platform for the MET Office, other government agencies, and entrepreneurs to effectively communicate information about present and potential impacts of climate change, as well as information on renewable energy sources for the benefit of the nation,” he told JIS News.
“We realise that providing adequate information about climate change is crucial, because if people don’t understand what is happening, then they are unable to react in the event (of a disaster),” Mr. Mahlung said.
He pointed out that over the years Jamaica has been severely affected by floods, storms, and other natural hazards. “With the observance of WMD, the MET Office will capitalise on the opportunity to sensitise the public about climate change resilience strategies, in an effort to strengthen the country’s capacity,” he added.
“We will be able to go beyond the forecast that people see on a normal basis. Also, the Jamaican public will learn more about the work of the MET Office, which include areas linked to climate change,” Mr. Mahlung said.
Among the organisations to take part in WMD activities are: Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change; Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM); Forestry Department; Wigton Windfarm; MET Office and the Private Sector.
March 23 has been observed internationally as World Meteorological Day since 1962.
By Jeneva Gordon, JIS PRO