The PNG National Weather Service (NWS) has launched its 2019-2023 Strategic Plan in Port Moresby. The Strategy sets out a 5-year plan to improve weather services throughout the country.
The development of the Strategy was supported by the Australian Government and is part of the Papua New Guinea Capacity Development Program (PNGCDP) established in 2017, an arrangement under the PNGAustralia Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation to the transport sector.
The PNG NWS operates within the Technical Services Division of the PNG Department of Transport & Infrastructure. Department Secretary, Mr Roy Mumu, commended the supporting partners and transport agencies involved in the completion of the Strategy.
“We acknowledge that meteorological services are fundamentally an international activity requiring national and international cooperation and data information sharing,” said Mr Mumu.
“This Strategy will assist the NWS, the Department of Transport and the PNG Government to prioritise investments and capability development of meteorological infrastructure and institutional strengthening. The Strategy will also focus on skilled and qualified personnel to direct the sustainability of the NWS,” he explained.
The NWS operates within a highly challenging physical and social environment, providing critical warning, weather and climate services to a diverse community of maritime, aviation and road transport users, emergency service organisations, farmers and the general public.
A highly functioning weather service is essential to the transport sector in any country. It allows transport agencies in air traffic management, maritime regulation and search & rescue to provide a reliable industry and public service.
“The severity of high impact weather events and climate change provides us more than enough motivation to ensure that our National Weather Service continues to grow in providing time-critical and relevant data and information services to the public,” said NWS Director Sam Maiha.
Over the past decade, NWS has developed and improved capacity, however, it still faces issues with capacity, technology, and communication of its products and services. As a result, there is a great need to enhance PNG weather and climate services.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) are working in partnership with the NWS in a number of key capacity development areas including providing immediate support to implement the NWS Strategic Plan, technical capacity building of NWS forecasters and the restoration of the existing NWS observational network.
The initiative is being delivered by the governments of PNG and Australia through the PNG-Australia Partnership.