BAMOS Vol 30 No. 4 2017 - Page 27

BAMOS Dec 2017 Figure 1. A local Traditional Knowledge expert sharing his knowledge in Vanuatu (Image: Lynda Chambers). Putting theory into practice across the Pacific In collaboration with the Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac), administered by the Bureau of Meteorology, four Pacific Island NMSs initiated pilot projects to combine traditional and contemporary forecast systems (Chambers et al., 2017; Chambers and Plotz, 2017). Trials were undertaken in Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, with the respective NMSs having full control over their projects (see Figure 2 for the project’s process and stages). Initial stages of the projects involved identifying the extent of TK usage for weather and climate forecasting. The NMSs established pilot sites where systematic TK data collection was conducted (Chambers et al., 2017; Malsale et al., under review). Through this process traditional indicators, including the behaviour of plants and animals, wind direction, stars and the moon, were identified and later stored in a secure, culturally sensitive, and easy to use TK Database (Chambers et al., 2017). As each country was interested in integrating traditional and contemporary seasonal forecast methods, guidance was provided on selecting the most appropriate forecast combination approach for their situation (Plotz et al., 2017) and how to verify the resultant forecasts. The development and verification of the combined forecasts required the establishment of a local traditional indicator monitoring network, allowing the assessment of forecast reliability and the spatial extent of their accuracy, with associated protocols and systematic data collection methodologies (see Figure 3; Chambers et al., 2017; Chambers and Plotz, 2017; Malsale et al., under review; Plotz et al., 2017). TK was also integrated into climate communication products, including climate glossaries and seasonal calendars to assist with discussions on climate variability (Chambers and Plotz, 2017). Regular community feedback is important at all project stages to ensure that products are developed that meet the community’s needs. All four project countries have established the first systematic TK collection, storage and monitoring process for the Pacific region (Malsale et al., under review) and are assessing ways to achieve forecast integration using a decision-making framework to combine forecast systems (Plotz et al., 2017). To ensure the project’s longevity, COSPPac is working with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to ensure ongoing support of the TK Project within the Pacific. 27