Meteorology pact signed by Taiwan and Solomon Islands

The Republic of China (Taiwan) Ministry of Transportation and Communications signed a memorandum of understanding with the Solomon Islands Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology April 28 in Taipei City aimed at enhancing climate research and seismology collaboration between the diplomatic allies.

MOTC Minister Ho Chen Tan and MECDM Minister Samuel Manetoali inked the pact on behalf of their respective governments, with Solomon Islands Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga witnessing the signing.

According to Ho Chen, the Solomon Islands' location in the western Pacific makes it highly vulnerable to natural disasters similar to those faced by Taiwan including earthquakes, tropical cyclones and tsunamis. The pact is expected to strengthen research on early warning and rapid reporting systems while advancing climate adaptation and disaster mitigation strategies, he said.

Under the agreement, the two sides will plan and implement marine, seismological, surface, upper atmosphere and other climate observation systems. They will also share data sets such as forecasting products and advisory and warning reports.

Taiwan officials will help establish meteorological systems in the Solomon Islands in areas including forecasting, historical data digitalization, real-time data acquisition and early warnings for extreme weather events. In addition, the two sides will promote climate research and services with cross-sector applications in fields ranging from agriculture and fisheries to public health and water resources management.

The pact also seeks to advance human resources development through arranging joint personnel training programs and technical discussions. As part of these efforts, officials with the Central Weather Bureau under the MOTC may serve as consultants for the Meteorological Service Division of MECDM regarding its participation in international programs and activities, such as the World Meteorological Organization's Global Framework for Climate Services.

An archipelago nation with some 640,000 inhabitants, the Solomon Islands is the largest and most populous of the ROC's allies in the Pacific. Since establishing diplomatic ties in 1983, the countries have maintained close and friendly relations, with bilateral cooperation projects spanning such areas as agriculture, medical care and sustainable development.

Taiwan has been working to install meteorological and seismological observation equipment in the Solomon Islands as well as provide related technical training for the past five years. The new agreement is expected to significantly expand these efforts while further strengthening the friendship between the two sides, the MOTC said.

Source: Taiwan Today