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Foreign Aid: Improving Climate Prediction In The Pacific

The Australian government is to provide $2.2 million over three years to strengthen the capacity of Pacific Island countries in climate prediction.

The Prime Minister, John Howard, made the announcement today.

Text of statement released by the Prime Minister, John Howard.

I am pleased to announce an initiative by the Australian Government to assist Pacific island countries to cope with the impact of weather extremes and to better understand the threat of climate change.

Australia will fund a $2.2 million project over three years, expected to begin late 2002 or early 2003, to strengthen the capacity of Pacific island countries in climate prediction. The project aims to upgrade the National Meteorological Services (NMS) of participating island countries to enable them to provide better climate prediction support to industry, government and the people of the Pacific island region.

Better meteorological services will enable Pacific communities to deal more effectively with extreme weather events such as El Niño and droughts, and to anticipate the impact of climate change, climate variability, cyclones and storm surges.

This project responds to recent research by the South Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) and is funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).

It complements a suite of Australian funded climate-related activities in the Pacific including the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project Phase III, the Vulnerability and Adaptation Initiative and support for the Disaster Management Unit at the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission.

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