Minister of Tourism & Economic De Weever says Sint Maarten has to be weather-ready and climate smart

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POND ISLAND – Friday, March 23 marks the annual global observance of World Meteorological Day (WMD) under the theme, “Weather-ready, climate smart.”

Acting Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) Cornelius de Weever, on the eve of WMD, says that Sint Maarten has to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season where its weather-ready, by making smart preparations and building back better.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend those working in the meteorological field at the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten.  The Management and Staff did a great job during the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, and with the upcoming season approaching, I call on the nation to start preparing smart as our nation continues to move to build back better.

“Our country is in the process of building back better, and this must take into consideration global climate change and therefore we have to build back climate smart in order for our country to be able to sustain the impact of major hurricanes of the future.  By building back better, the country should also be able to bounce back quicker,” Minister Cornelius de Weever said on Thursday.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said the ever-growing global population faces a wide range of hazards such as tropical cyclone storm surges, heavy rains, heatwaves, droughts and many more.

“Long-term climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of extreme weather and climate events and causing sea level rise and ocean acidification.

“Urbanization and the spread of megacities means that more of us are exposed and vulnerable. Now more than ever, we need to be weather-ready, climate-smart and water-wise.

“This is why one of the top priorities of WMO and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) is to protect lives, livelihoods and property from the risks related to weather, climate and water events.

“Thereby, WMO and its Members support the global agenda on sustainable development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

“WMO and National Meteorological Services design operational services ranging from daily weather forecasts to long-term climate predictions that help society to be weather-ready and climate-smart.

“Further National Hydrological Services are essential for the sound management of fresh water resources for agriculture, industry, energy and human consumption, so that we can be water-wise. These services empower us to manage the risks and seize opportunities related to weather, climate and water.

“Early warning systems and other disaster risk reduction measures are vital for boosting the resilience of our communities. Climate services can inform decisions on both climate change mitigation and adaptation. Hydrological monitoring increases our understanding of the water cycle and so supports water management,” WMO concludes.