MET Office conducts 2 days training for joint collection of traditional knowledge on weather and climate

News and Press Release
Originally published
View original

25th November, 2020 A two-day training, ending today (24 November 2020), has been led by the Tonga Meteorological Services involving staff from the Tonga MET Office, Climate Change Department, the Tonga Broadcasting Commission and Community Elders.

According to the Director, Mr. ‘Ofa Fa’anunu said, “ In order for the Tonga MET Office to further improve its service provisions, it plans to implement impact-based forecasting in collaboration with its user sectors and communities to provide action-based information that will boost production, improve safety and contribute to building the resilience of Tonga to the effects of natural hazards”.

In order to be able to carry out proper impact-based forecasts, the Tonga MET Office must collect important impact information from past events to be able to make reasonable comparisons between weather, climate and ocean variables to impact.

There are a few approaches to collections of impact data. One of the more cost-effective means of collecting information is to collect the traditional knowledge that exists in communities related to weather, climate and ocean forecasting, traditional response to impacts of extreme weather, climate and ocean conditions and traditional preparedness knowledge that exists in the communities.

The 2 days training is meant for a joint technical team comprising of the Tonga Meteorological Service, Tonga Broadcasting and the Climate Change Department ahead of traditional knowledge collection surveys of 23 communities from ‘Eueiki, ‘Atataa, Ha’apai ‘Otumu’omu’a groups, Ha’apai Lulunga groups and all small islands of Vava’u

These community consultation visits will cover a range of important issues such as:

(1) Improving weather and climate products for the communities

(2) Improving weather and climate service delivery

(3) Tropical Cyclone Season 2020-2021 outlook briefing

(4) Weather and Traditional Knowledge collection and documentation

(5) Collecting community views for the formulation of a National MHEWS Policy for Tonga. These interconnected issues will foster improved resilience and people’s preparations to natural hazards for the safety of their lives.

Successful completion of these traditional knowledge works will result in the collection and archiving traditional knowledge for improving weather and climate forecasting and warnings through the collection, analysis, use and storage of traditional knowledge developed in collaboration with the communities of Tonga. A 1hr weather and climate traditional knowledge documentary will also be produced and distributed to all schools in Tonga to support the school curriculum and awareness of traditional weather and climate indicators in schools.

This Traditional Knowledge Project is being funded by the Russian Federation implemented through UNDP and the Tonga Meteorological Services, Ministry of MEIDECC under the RESPAC Project. A total of 20 participants participated in the training.


For further information please contact the Meteorology Division on 35355 or More information is also available at