The government of Finland is assisting the Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services and other such agencies throughout the region in building capacity through a two-year project valued at half a million Euros.The project, Strengthening Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the Caribbean Small Island Developing States, involves the implementation of a quality management system at the Met Office and a disaster risk reduction component.
Two consultants Martti Heikinheimo (hay-kin-hay-mo) from the Finnish Meteorological Institute and Vernese Inniss of Ecoisle (eco isle) Consulting in Barbados are working along with personnel from the Met Office and the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS).
Director of Met Services Keithley Meade says the quality management system, mandated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, would include the certification of officers, an annual audit and an assessment of the services offered to the aviation industry. This new system will have to be in place by November.
For the disaster risk reduction component, disaster management stakeholders were brought together on Thursday and Friday at the National Office of Disaster Services.
The meeting looked at how information can be better provided in a timely manner on extreme weather patterns like hurricanes, and also tsunamis.
Heikinheimo says the final outcome will be a set of proposals for future investment projects.
The Finnish government is partnering with the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) on the project.