On 12 to 19 December 2017, a pilot project on Multi-Hazards Risk Assessment and Early Warning System has took place in Solomon Islands Meteorological Services in Honiara, Solomon Islands. This project is funded by the Government of Japan and implemented under the close collaboration of Indonesia Agency for Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP). The main aim of this project is to improve the capacity of the forecaster in the provision of multihazard risk assessment and early warning system in Solomon Islands as the backbone phase of flood early warning system.
As we are all aware, the Pacific region is known to be one of the most exposed region to a wide variety of natural hazards in the world. Some of these hazards will be exacerbated by climate change. Average ocean and land temperatures are increasing, and the seasonality and duration of rainfall is changing. It demonstrated the need for countries across the Pacific and in the Indian Ocean to be better prepared on 24 x 7 basis at all levels of government. GivenGiven the extensive socio-economic impacts associated with hydrometeorological and tsunami related hazards, availability of information relating to these factors is critical for risk assessment which is the foundation for development of strategies for risk reduction strategies, policies and planning.
In this respect, a multi-hazards approach in the risk assessment could result in enhanced operational effectiveness, cost effectiveness and sustainability of early waning systems through building on and complementing existing early warning systems capacities, infrastructures and activities of various stakeholders and strengthening cooperation among agencies involved in different stages of early warning systems to ensure that the country has access to warnings for different hazards posing risk and can take appropriate actions. With this view in mind, the role of NMHSs and Ministries of Climate Change, Environment and Disaster Management become central.
Recognizing this crucial issue in the Pacific region, BMKG and UN ESCAP have synergize efforts and conducted gaps and needs assessment of the institutional and technical capacities in the Pacific region which resulted with a recommendation that a training should be held to support the Pacific region countries in terms of enhancing knowledge and capacity on multi-hazards early warning system by using geospatial technology and data. As we formulate it, there is a conceptual framework of multi-hazards early warning system and strategic actions and practices to be elaborated and discussed, facilitated by experts from BMKG. the objective of this training is aligned with the Sendai Framework's Seventh Global target which is 'Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030'.
The training served as the synergetic effort toward strengthened national plans for multi-hazards early warning systems in the Pacific region, particularly for the three countries selected as the pilot project, one of which is in Solomon Islands, where the Solomon Islands Meteorological Services has developed a Work Plan on Flood Early Warning System in Solomon Islands.
During the week of the implementation of the pilot project in this country on 12 – 19 December 2017 attended by around 14 forecaster, researcher, and senior managers of SIMS, BMKG experts work closely with the Services to install the high resolution weather and ocean wave modeling and build the capacity of forecaster and researcher in the Service to customize the end result to match with stakeholders' need. The model that were installed are the Weather Research Forecasting and Wavewatch 3 with the domain of the whole region of Solomon Islands and resolution up to 7-km. The warning has come with the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) as required by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and registered to the Filter Alert Hub. With these new tools in hands, SIMS has the modality to work in harmony with the SI Disaster Management Division and SI Hydrology Office to build the Flood Early Warning System in the next 5 years and provide better services and information to the public as the outcome. In addition, a conceptual model framework has also been introduced to equip the workforce on communicating their information to the public.