By: JONAS CULLWICK/Vanuatu Daily Post

It is expected that the Government will officially establish a Department for Climate Change in 2018.

This is according to the Director of Meteorological Services and Geo-hazards, David Gibson, when he opened a three-day training workshop on Climate Change for Vanuatu journalists at the department’s conference room in Port Vila Tuesday.

Climate change is currently under the Department of Meteorological Services and Geo-hazards since the Ministry of Climate Change was first set up in 2013 after the Government of Vanuatu recognized that climate change was becoming an increasingly important issue for the country as well as the whole world.

“Following that in 2015, the country’s Climate Change Policy came into being,” Director Gibson added.

“This was immediately followed by the enactment of the Meteorology and Geological Hazards and Climate Change Act in 2016 by the Parliament of Vanuatu.”

He said that in 2018 they hope to form the Department of Climate Change as a separate service adding that the Council of Ministers had given its blessing to the idea.

Gibson acknowledged the role media played in disseminating information as “very important.”

“You help us and we depend on you.”

He said climate change was very important and Tropical Cyclone Pam in 2015 was a vivid reminder for everyone in Vanuatu.

“Climate change does not cause tropical cyclones or other natural disasters but it contributes to the frequency and severity of the cyclones,” said James Fahn Global Director of Internews Earth Journalism Network, the main facilitator of the workshop.

Vanuatu has been ranked the world’s most disaster-prone country in an annual World Risk Report published by the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS).

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