7th August 2014– Digicel has publicised its support for a global campaign to improve weather and climate services for all small island developing states. The campaign was launched on 4th August with the additional support of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
The Small Islands, Weather Together campaign (www.weathertogether.org) aims to show how the small island developing states of the world can work together to improve their vital weather and climate services.
Digicel has shown its support by partnering with the WMO in a joint social media competition via the Weather Together website and sponsoring Smartphones as prizes. The competition will run throughout the month of August and the general public is invited to participate via www.weathertogether.org. The partnership involves two competitions which encompass content sharing amplifying the main message behind the campaign.
Digicel Pacific Head of Marketing, Katie Taylor said ‘’we are pleased to support this campaign to generate greater understanding of how mobile technology works to provide early warnings and post event support for extreme weather in Digicel markets. The Weather Together campaign will provide valuable insight and highlight how people actually use their mobile phones to help loved ones during extreme weather’’.
Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of weather and climate events – cyclones, typhoons, drought, flash floods – in many small island developing states. But many of their Meteorological Services still lack the basic infrastructure, technology and expertise they need to protect vulnerable island communities and economies.
In the Pacific region alone, extreme weather already accounts for 76% of all disasters with 50% directly related to cyclones. The increase in extreme weather events is also hampering the sustainable development of many small island developing states. For example, when Cyclone Evan hit Samoa in December 2012 it resulted in the loss of one third of the country’s entire annual economic output.
The Small Islands, Weather Together campaign was launched specifically to coincide with the lead up to the United Nations Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, which will be held in Apia, Samoa, from 1–4 September, 2014.