HE Secretary General delivers opening remarks at the  “South-South and Triangular Essential Training Program on Provision Climate Information for Sectors”

A Virtual Training Programme was held from 15th to 26th August 2022 titled “South-South and Triangular Essential Training Program on Provision Climate Information for Sectors” under the theme, “Building of Climate Change and Food Security Resilience through the Climate Field School for Agriculture”,  in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and The Colombo Plan. With the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG), as implementing partner, a total of 25 government officials from  nine Colombo Plan member countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Lao PDR,  Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea , Sri Lanka,  and Vietnam) participated in the training programme. The capacity-building activity aimed to improve information dissemination and enhance meteorological services of government agencies to mitigate issues brought about by climate change.

HE Dr.  Benjamin P. Reyes  delivered the following opening remarks at the Inauguration ceremony on 22nd August 2022

I feel honored and happy to participate in the opening ceremony of the “South-South and Triangular Essential Training Programme on Provision of Climate Information for Sectors” under the theme: Building of Climate Change and Food Security Resilience through Provision Climate Information organized for the Colombo Plan Member Countries. This training session is facilitated  in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) and the Colombo Plan Secretariat

On behalf of the Colombo Plan members governments and the Colombo Plan Secretariat, I wish to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to the Government of Indonesia for its commitment in the South-South and Triangular Cooperation Programmes and its sustainability. These training programmes are carried out as a part of the “Arrangement” signed between the Government of Indonesia and the Colombo Plan Secretariat last May 2021. Indonesia has been providing training programmes since 2016 and close to 360 participants from Colombo Plan member governments have benefited through these training programmes.  Those who have attended the training sessions previously, are already contributing to the development of their own respective country policy and programs by sharing the knowledge and best practices gained in attending these training sessions.

As most of the participants in this training represent the member countries of the Colombo Plan, understand that I admire your commitment and interest in  the scope of this training’s activities. The Colombo Plan with its history of 71 years is one of the oldest regional intergovernmental organizations that dates far back to 1950, when the idea was first conceived to enhance economic and social development of the countries of the region. The Colombo Plan was established on 1st July 1951 by Australia, Canada, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom and currently it has expanded to 28 member countries including non-Commonwealth countries and countries belonging to regional groupings such as South-East Asia, South Asia and the Asia-Pacific. It is based on the partnership concept for self-help and mutual help in achieving development with focus on human resource capacity-enhancement and south-south cooperation. While recognizing the need for physical capital to provide the lever for growth, the Colombo Plan also emphasize the need to raise the skill level to assimilate and utilize the physical capital more efficiently.  

 Colombo Plan endeavors to enhance Human Resource Development initiatives in the member countries through its Capacity Building Programmes and Programme for Environment. This training session is carried out under its program on Environment, and  was originally launched in 2005 as part of the Program for Public Administration.  Subsequently, it was recognized as an independent programme and re-named it as the Program for Environment and Climate Change (ECC) at the  45th Consultative Committee Meeting held in Fiji in 2016.  

Today, climate condition is an important factor affecting societies and livelihood of people.   The global climate situation is changing at an unprecedented rate. Needless to say,  global warming is believed to be affecting human activities.   A United Nations article on climate adaptation (Climate adaptation,  United Nations)  emphasizes on gearing up for big changes.  It suggests that countries should gear up on a greater scale adaptation which means, our economies and societies will need to be better prepared and more resilient to climate impacts.    The governments will require large-scale efforts put in place. Infrastructures must be adapted to withstand higher temperatures and more powerful storms. Some cities on coastlines may have to establish systems to prevent flooding in streets and underground transport.  It is important that our business and major industries concentrate and plan around climate risks.

Of course, these large-scale efforts will be challenging for poor and developing countries that are battling to raise enough resources for basic requirements such as healthcare and education.  Which leaves us with the option to also investigate what we can do as individuals to mitigate climate issues at our level.  Simple measures, like planting or preserving trees around our homes will help to keep temperatures cooler inside of our homes. Environmental awareness and concern must be cultivated in our communities and families to effect change.

It is vital that proper information on this concern must be disseminated to stakeholders.   Climate services, and collective efforts of national meteorological services and their counterparts aimed to provide a targeted impact-based analyses, forecasts, and customized services for specific users, must be sustained.

I sincerely hope that you benefit from this training programme and improve your knowledge of climate information to support your respective sectoral activities. Kindly take these learning to your respective countries to support sectoral climate resilience and cultivate concern for the environment.

Finally, once again, I would like to express my deep appreciation and gratitude on behalf of the member countries and the Colombo Plan Secretariat, to the Government of Indonesia for a very timely initiative in providing this training programme virtually for the member countries of the Colombo Plan. Hopefully we can have this activity on a face-to-face basis soon.

I wish you all success in the programme.

Thank you!

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