Wednesday, 2 April 2014

CIMH receives $10M boost

The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) has secured over $10 million from the United States Government to assist in the upgrading of its building and teaching facilities, as well as to invest in the development of rainfall, drought and temperature forecasting products that will build the region’s resilience to climate change, and empower stakeholders across various sectors to make more informed decisions.

News of this came at the launch of the CIMH “Programme for building regional climate capacity in the Caribbean” which took place at its Husbands, St. James, Barbados location this weekend.

Present for the occasion were several past principals of the Institute, His Excellency Larry Palmer, US Ambassador to Barbados, Elsworth Ried, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Chairman of the CIMH Board of Directors, as well as representatives from US AID and the World Meteorological Organisation.

Work to be done

The investment, the largest received to date by CIMH, will be disbursed over a period of 3 years, according to its principal Dr. David Farrell.

Dr. Farrell, a Hydrologist by profession, said that the school welcomed the investments and would use it to build on projects which it had envisioned, and in some cases, already had begun to roll out. The programmes included developing climate and weather products that would cut down on the length of time it took to present forecasts. This, he said, would have positive implications for early warning systems. He also stated that some of the funds would also go towards the upgrading of CIMH’s facilities and to the training of persons, both professional and at the community level.

Dr. Farrell said that there was still considerable work to be done in the region with regards to preparedness ,and, using the example of droughts, said that in 2015 the region should not still be trying to figure out if a drought was occurring or not. He pointed to the period of 2009 to 2010 when the region “woke up one day and realised that we were in a severe drought... there is no reason for [that to occur again] and we are hoping that the investment will cover that,” he said.

He further noted that the institution would be pushing to enter into more collaborative efforts with US institutions to produce climatological products and services, including seasonal forecasting, which can be used in sectors such as agriculture and energy. (RS)

No comments:

Post a Comment