Thu, May 03, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan celebrates weather alliance

ADVANCING TOGETHER:On the first anniversary of a partnership with the Solomon Islands, the two nations’ weather bureaus reviewed what they have achieved

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan on Tuesday reaffirmed its commitment to assisting the Solomon Islands in improving its weather forecasting and earthquake detecting capabilities.

The Solomon Islands is one of Taiwan’s allies in Oceania. The two nations on April 28 last year signed a memorandum of understanding to advance climate and seismology research.

The Central Weather Bureau and the Solomon Islands Meteorological Services celebrated the first anniversary of the partnership on Tuesday in Taipei.

Solomon Islands Ambassador Joseph Pius Waleansia and Solomon Islands Meteorological Services Director David Hiba Hiriasia attended the event.

The two agencies reviewed the year’s achievements, which included the development of the Solomon Islands’ Synergistic Analysis for the Environment (SoSAFE), an early warning system for extreme weather events and earthquakes.

Despite being more than 5,000km apart, Taiwan and the Solomon Islands face threats from extreme weather and earthquakes, bureau Director-General Yeh Tien-chiang (葉天降) said.

Due to the partnership, the Solomon Islands now has multiple weather and earthquake observational facilities, Yeh said, adding that it is now able to issue early warnings for extremely heavy rainfall and earthquakes.

“The weather data collected through SoSAFE are also used to help the Solomon Islands issue dengue fever alerts, which has drawn the attention of the international community,” he said.

The SoSAFE system was presented last year at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, the bureau said, adding that International Institute for Sustainable Development also introduced it in one of its publications.

Hiriasia said that both nations have expressed a willingness for improved cooperation, but they still need to discuss details during this visit.

Taiwan should be thanked for the assistance it has offered over the years in seismology research, which has enabled both nations to face the challenges posed by climate change, Waleansia said.

The alliance began in October 2013, when Solomon Islands Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology officials met bureau officials in Taiwan.

The bureau later sent representatives to the Solomon Islands.

In 2016, the bureau, Academia Sinica, Chung Yuan Christian University and the Meteorological Society of the Republic of China-Taiwan proposed a three-year research project to build an early warning system for extreme weather and earthquakes in the Solomons, funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

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