Seasonal forecasting in the Pacific: Combining Traditional Knowledge with modern Scientific Knowledge method to Aid Adaptation
Department of Meteorology Geo-Hazards, Vanuatu
Communities in Vanuatu have always related to the climate and weather in their own context. Being highly exposed to risks of extreme events such as tropical cyclones, flooding and droughts, communities have naturally adapted in their own ways. They are able to use their surroundings to indicate in advance the different weather extremes they are likely face. These careful observations of their surrounding have allowed them to come up with their own traditional forecasting methods which have been tested and proven to be very reliable. In parts of the country where communication is still a challenge, communities continue to rely on their knowledge of the environment to guide their preparedness for extreme events. While there is promise in the use of this traditional based science, there are also challenges.
Mike Waiwai is a Senior Climatologist and Data Analyst and Archiver at the Climate Section of the Vanuatu Meteorological and Geo-hazards Department. He has also been working as assistant Principal Scientist, Research and Development Officer. He is currently completing a Post Graduate Degree in Climate Change and Governance at the University of the South Pacific (USP). Currently, he is a Human Resource Manager at the Ministry of Climate Change and Adaptation. He coordinates the Traditional Knowledge (TK) Project in Vanuatu, which includes identifying local communities that use traditional knowledge for environmental forecast applications.