Emergency News Papua New Guinea

Preparation Workshop begins for possible El Nino

A workshop was hosted today by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to prepare for El Nino conditions forecasted for August this year.

This could bring drier-than-normal conditions, with varying effects in different regions of Papua New Guinea.

The workshop saw a great number of key disaster risk management and Government stakeholders present at this forum.

The full-day session workshop aimed at bringing together the different sectors to pave a way forward for a stable disaster plan should August come with El Nino effects.

Since March, several global and regional climate agencies have predicted a potential occurrence of El Niño in the second half of 2017. Based on these reports, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has indicated a 50 per cent likelihood of a return to El Niño conditions by August 2017.

Roy Trivedy, the co-chair of the PNG Disaster Management Team and UNDP Resident Representative in PNG who was at the workshop, said Papua New Guinea is taking the lead in the Asia-Pacific region to drive the concept of ‘Early Action’ which integrates development and humanitarian approaches to mitigate and prepare for disasters.

“This workshop provides a critical platform for the Government of PNG, humanitarian and development agencies to prepare for this potential El Nino event,” stated Trivedy.

“If we return to El Niño conditions without adequate preparations at national and sub-national levels, that could lead to significant and severe humanitarian impacts especially as many vulnerable communities are still recovering from the 2015-16 El Niño event,” he said.

Contrasting from previous severe El Nino experience in 1997, a lot was said about communities being unprepared. With the current technological trend that PNG is now engaging with, along with various agencies, organisations and departments, PNG is at a better position to prepare then it was then 10 years ago.

The two day workshop will end tomorrow.

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