Seychelles to improve early warning system under CREWS project
Agricole that this will allow the Seychelles Meteorological Authority to establish early warning systems that will benefit Seychelles over the next 5 years. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles is expected to benefit from training and technology under a $30 million global project in 2023 to improve its early warning system for disasters, according to a top environment official.
The United Nations-funded project is aimed at small island developing states (SIDS) like Seychelles as well as least developed countries (LDCs), which together are the world's most vulnerable countries.
In an interview with SNA, the special adviser for climate change in the Ministry for Agriculture, Environment and Climate Change, Wills Agricole, said the Climate Risk for Early Warning System (CREWS) will allow the Seychelles Meteorological Authority (SMA) to "establish early warning systems that will benefit Seychelles over the next 5 years - benefit with trainings and technical expertise amongst other support. In our region it is the Indian Ocean Commission which will coordinate this project."
The specialised CREWS initiative was created to save lives, assets and livelihoods through increased access to early weather warnings and risk information for people in LDCs and SIDS.
At a side event held at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) late last year in Egypt, Seychelles' Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Climate Change, Flavien Joubert, said that early warning systems are a proven, effective, and feasible climate adaptation measure that save lives, and provide a tenfold return on investment.
"The World Meteorological Organisation's (WMO) State of the Global Climate 2021 report shows that extreme weather events floods, drought, heatwaves, and storms, led to hundreds of billions of dollars of economic losses and wreaked a heavy toll on human lives and wellbeing. The IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability recognised early warning systems and disaster risk management activities as key cross-cutting adaptation options, which enhance the benefits of other adaptation measures when combined," said Joubert.
The minister highlighted that major gaps in early warning systems remain, especially in developing countries and particularly in SIDS and LDCs, adding that there is a global incapacity to translate early warnings into early action.
He called for Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, and other vulnerable countries and communities to become more resilient to extreme weather and climate change impacts through better early warning mechanisms.
"This will be crucial to ensure that every person, every community and every nation has access to effective early warning systems within the next five years as part of the WMO plan. This will be a very meaningful action for vulnerable countries when implemented. The need is urgent. The number of recorded disasters has increased by a factor of five, driven in part by human-induced climate change and more extreme weather. This trend is expected to continue," explained Joubert.
He noted that half of the countries globally do not have early warning systems and even fewer have regulatory frameworks to link early warnings to emergency plans.
"Coverage is the worst for developing countries on the front lines of climate change, an early warning system such as CREWS will save lives and provide vast economic benefits. Therefore, protecting the lives and safeguarding the livelihoods of those on the frontlines of the climate crisis, like we SIDS, must be a collective global responsibility," said Joubert.