The Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO) has delivered two major milestones in the Climate Risk and Early Warning System (CREWS) Initiative’s Caribbean Project:
(i) Model Meteorological Legislation and Policy
(ii) Strategic Plans and National Frameworks for Weather, Water and Climate Services for eight Member States
Both milestones were the result of several months of consultation and collaboration; supported by an Implementing Arrangement between the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the CMO, Building Resilience to High-Impact Hydro-meteorological Events through Strengthening Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which is funded by CREWS and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).
National consultations on the Strategic Plans and National Frameworks for Weather, Water, and Climate Services included each National Meteorological and Hydrometeorological Service (NMHS) and their stakeholders. The consultations were organized by the project’s National Focal Points and CMO Headquarters. The consultations also benefited from contributions by the WMO sub-regional office in Costa Rica and experts from the WMO Regional Climate Centre at the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) – the technical organ of CMO. While the Model Meteorological Legislation and Policy is the fruit of a collaborative effort between WMO, CMO, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, with review by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Office of General Counsel.
Subsequent to the endorsement of the Model Meteorological Legislation and Policy by CMO Member States in June, the model legislation was adapted for national circumstances and national meteorological legislation were developed for Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. To date, the bill for Belize has been submitted to Cabinet and the remaining draft bills have been accepted by the parent Ministries of each National Meteorological Services. Plans are underway for two more national meteorological legislation to be drafted by February 2022.
In August, six of the eight National Strategic Plans and Frameworks were endorsed (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St Vincent and the Grenadines). The National Strategic Plan and Framework for Dominica was accepted In October, while Guyana accepted theirs in December. The beneficiary Member States have committed to implementation of their respective plans for the period 2021-2025; except Guyana, which intends to implement between the period 2022-2026. National Focal Point for Grenada, Ms Cécil Mitchell, noted that the Strategic Plan “is a dynamic tool which will spur greater operational efficiency, support capacity building, strengthen the linkages with stakeholders; thus, improving our service delivery”.
Meteorological Legislation and Policy and the National Strategic Plans and Frameworks are foundational to strengthening the hydro-meteorological services of CMO Member States. They help NMHSs to accomplish appropriate legal mandates with well-defined roles, responsibilities and adequate resources to support their national economies, better predict high-impact hydro-meteorological events and correlated hazards, and deliver user-oriented services. Project Coordinator, Dr Arlene Laing, noted the tremendous importance of clear legal mandates in the Caribbean, where most National Meteorological Services have been operating in the absence of specific legislation. Additionally, the Strategic Plans, some of which are already being incorporated in national development plans, give development partners a better understanding of priority needs for weather, water, climate, and related environmental fields in the Caribbean.
See CMO story here