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Jan 28, 2008

Regional weather experts gather to discuss climate change

Story PictureToday Caribbean and Central American weather experts gathered in Belize City in an effort to ensure that climate change is being effectively monitored in the region. Jointly coordinated by the Secretariat of the Global Climate Observation System and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, over the next three days meteorologists will evaluate existing systems and improve the ways the state of the atmosphere, ocean and land are being evaluated. According to Deputy Director Carlos Fuller, the plan is to determine the current status of observing networks and prioritise areas that need development.

Carlos Fuller, Deputy Director, Caribbean Climate Change Centre
“The observing systems have deteriorated over the past ten, twenty years because of a lack of funding, both from the international community and also from our national institutions, as other pressing issues of government took resources elsewhere. That has significantly impacted our ability to monitor weather and climate which we feed into the various sectors, which is agriculture, tourism, health and so on. So those products that we have used the data on have suffered. Some people say we have made up for it through space monitoring. Yet space monitoring is looking at things from afar however, you need in city verify what the satellites are saying so that is where we need to provide more support at the ground level for these monitoring programs.”

“As part of GCOS, there are regional action plans and the regional action plan for Central America and the Caribbean was established back in 2003 and some of the projects in the plan had been implemented but many of them have not, have fallen by the wayside. And the idea of this meeting is to bring the executing agencies of the region and the major funding agencies for them both to look at the plan and see how we can move the process forward.”

Fuller says the reports from this week’s meeting will be presented to Central American leaders at the Presidential summit on Climate Change and the Environment scheduled to be held in San Pedro Sula Honduras at the end of May. Caribbean governments are expected to react to the conference findings at the next meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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