Early warning systems needs to be accelerated

May 23, 2022 6:20 am

Mami Mizutori.

Efforts in getting early warning systems in place for small islands developing states such as Fiji are now being accelerated, says the head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

As nations converge in Bali, Indonesia for the start of the 2022 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, says the need is far greater than in the past as nations have early warning systems in place.

Earlier this year during the World Meteorological Day, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, had announced that the UN will spearhead new action to ensure every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems within five years.

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The World Meteorological Organisation is to lead this effort and to present an action plan at COP 27 later this year in Egypt.

Mizutori in an interview with FBC News in Bali, says the five-year goal might have to be re-looked at for some nations.

“The other day, when I was talking to Miss Amina Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary General, she even says five years seems too long for some for many countries like the small islands developing states, which are already facing great threats, like rising sea levels and climate related disasters. So she was encouraging us to let’s try and to even shorten this period.”

Mizutori, who is also the Special Representative of the UN SG, says while goals are set and worked upon, there are other areas that need to be looked at as well.

“I would also like to mention that early warning system has to be multi-hazard, the early warning system has to be end to end, early warning system needs to protect the most vulnerable people and has to be connected to early action because you can have a great system but if people do not know how to act to it, then it’s not going to work.”

The volcano and tsunami in Tonga earlier this year, heightened talks in our part of the world that early warning systems are needed to be up to the mark and help in saving lives.

Meanwhile, Fiji has delegates including, Minister Inia Seruiratu, Fiji Met Office Director Terry Atalifo and National Disaster Management Officer head, Vasiti Soko, who will be attending the platform.