The “Small Islands, Weather Together” partnership is designed to show how the small island nations of the world are working together to improve their vital weather and climate services. This initiative has been developed by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in support of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States which was held in Apia, Samoa, from 1-4 September, 2014.
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What's the problem?
Because of climate change many of the world’s small island nations face an increase in the devastating impacts of extreme weather events such as cyclones and flash floods.
Many National Meteorological Services in small island nations still lack the basic infrastructure, technology and expertise they need to serve their vulnerable communities. So we know that investing in stronger weather and climate services could greatly help small island nations to prepare for extreme weather events and make important decisions about issues such as food security and infrastructure planning.
What do the leader's think?
In September 2014 leaders, donors and experts gathered at the third United Nations Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa to discuss how to strengthen weather and climate services for small island nations. The World Meteorological Organisation hosted two special events to discuss how partners can best work together to strengthen weather and climate services for all small island nations. These televised events were moderated by the BBC World presenter Mr David Eades as part of the "Small Islands Weather Together" campaign.
Watch here as MORE key leaders discuss how small island nations are working to improve vital weather and climate services.
Watch Storm Islands
Storm Islands examines how small island nations can work together to try and reduce the impacts of extreme weather on their vulnerable communities.
In the lead up to the Conference, Digicel Pacific kindly gave away 6 smartphones and a bunch of other goodies to those who entered two different competitions here on the site. The first competition was a quiz which gave us some really useful data on local perceptions of the need for Government action. The second was a photo caption competition, where we recieved some fantastic entries! You can see them below.
View the entries:
"Using phones is important especially when I am away from home when there is climate change before/during and after. If there is a disaster I would let my family know where I am, and how I am also let them know that whether I am safe or not." - Theresa, Samoa
"I saw on TV that a storm was coming so I called my family. They all got home in time & stayed safe" - George, Tonga
"I take photos or videos of the strong wind over the trees or the heavy rain then send to my loved ones asking them to be aware of the coming hours or days and ask them to stay alert and to keep watch on the news or radio. I also would ask them to charge their phones at that instant in case the power cuts off. " - Annie, Fiji
"With my mobile phone I can send text messages to families and friends about weather updates, how to prepare yourself before the bad weather approach. 1 text message to one of my families and friends to prepare themselves can bring are big change to our community and country. " - Prescilla
Picture attached is one excellent example how I would get confirmation of approaching cyclone then distribute it amongst my circle of friends through Whatsapp and Viber. I would also use my phone to collect credible information on extreme weather events and updates then relay messages to my friends and families via Facebook and texts." - Depazzy
"Mobile devices such as mobile phones is an easier way of communicating to inform family members of natural disasters such as earthquakes or severe flooding and to have an evacuation plan and be prepared for when it does happen especially with my family members living in low lying areas in Nausori near the Rewa Bridge on the Rewa Delta. " - Filimoni
"Flood warnings were plastered all over the television. Unfortunately my grandparents did not own a television set. I began to worry that they might not hear about the flood warnings. I used my mobile phone to call my grandparents and alert them about the flood. They in turn were able to preserve all their important documents when the flood hit. " - Brittney, Trinidad and Tobago
"This is a picture taken after Cyclone Evan passed through Apia on December, 2012. I used my mobile to contact my friends and relatives to check if they were okay and to warn them of the dangers of flash floods. Many homes were damaged and left many cars hung up on trees. Mobile phones helped warn people of the flood so they could evacuate early. " - Matthew, Samoa
"Your phone will be of no use to you in an emergency if the battery is dead. It is a good habit to charge your cell phone every night before going to bed so you always start the day with a fully charged phone battery. It would also be beneficial to invest in a phone charger for your car." - Lina, Samoa
"I took this photo just before risking my life to run across the Mataniko bridge faced with high waters. The bridge is just close to the Mataniko River mouth. After taking this photo, I ran across to the other side and had it uploaded to my FB timeline, tagging and warning family members and friends at home not take any risks by coming down to town." - Gary