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50th Met Council Coming

Published 22nd October 2010, 4:40 pm

Grand Cayman will be the venue for the 50th session of the Caribbean Meteorological Council and associated meetings this November 18 to 23.

Ministers of Government and officials responsible for meteorological services in 16 Caribbean territories will join executives of the Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO) and the CARICOM Secretariat at the meeting in the Grand Cayman Marriott Hotel.

As host, Deputy Premier and Minister of District Administration the Hon. Juliana O'Connor-Connolly, J.P., who has responsibility for local met services, will be designated this year's Caribbean Meteorological Council Chairperson.

The Council is the supreme body of the CMO, which in turn is the region's specialised agency that coordinates joint scientific and technical activities in weather, climate and water-related sciences in 16 Caribbean territories. The Council meets annually.

"The Cayman Islands Government is delighted to host this prestigious event. While we had already hosted two CMC meetings more than a decade ago, being selected to host the 50th anniversary meeting is a major achievement," said Minister O'Connor-Connolly.

She further noted that staging this meeting indicates Cayman's growing significance and influence in regional meteorology.

Through the Cayman Islands National Weather Service (CINWS), the Ministry of District Administration will coordinate the event. CINWS Director-General Fred Sambula explained that the theme is "Towards a global framework for climate services".

He explained that global weather services are now focusing more seriously on predicting long-term weather conditions; forecasts that can assist governments in national development and planning.

"At the third World Climate Conference held in Geneva in 2009, United Nations and World Meteorological Organization officials joined Heads of State and Governments and scientists from 160 countries in agreeing that weather services around the globe need to focus more on providing society with user-friendly climate services, including regionally-oriented long-term climate predictions.

"This shift will be of more value to governments, as forecasting weather and climate over the next 10 to 15 years and beyond will enable governments to determine in which areas of the economy to invest and how to spend national resources," Mr. Sambula continued.

He explained that the CMC50 meeting will look at how each territory, and the region as a whole, can contribute to the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).

For this purpose, the Council will be joined by the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, Mr. Michel Jarraud of France, and a member of the High-Level Taskforce on the GFCS.

The Council will also examine the progress made by Meteorological Services in the region to adapt to stricter international standards for service to the aviation community; improvements in the regional hurricane warning system, and disaster preparedness and other projects.

CMC 50 will begin with a closed door session of Board of Governors of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology on 18 and 19 November. Directors of the Meteorological Services will meet on Saturday, 20 September in another closed session.

The official opening of the Caribbean Meteorological Council's 50th session will take place on Monday, 22 November and the sitting of the 50th session will run until Tuesday, 23 November.