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Earth Today | Developing country pros get climate change education in China

Published:Wednesday | May 10, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THIRTY-FIVE professionals from the developing world are gathered in Nanjing, China, for a seminar designed to enhance their knowlegle of climate change while being afforded the opportunity to network and collaborate.

The course, titled 'Cimate Change and Climate Information Service for Developing Countries', kicked off with an opening ceremony on May 5, and will run until May 25.

Over the period, participants drawn from countries including Grenada, Jamaica, Panama, Malawi, and Ethiopia, among others are to be provided with an introduction to climatology, the phyiscal science fundamentals of climate change and the monitoring, assesment and service of climatic resources.

Other areas to be covered include statistical methods for short-term climate diagnosis and prediction, buttressed by study tours and a visit to the Shanghai Meteorological Service.

Zhu Jinjun, of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Regional Training Centre at Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, said the seminar constitutes a needed service.

"Our training centre is WMO training centre. That means we do some contribution to the WMO, to meteorology, to the climate and weather. We hope this training does just some service for world meteorology," he said of the Chinese Meteorology Administration and the WMO-financed seminar.

Only a few days into the seminar, participants including meteorologists, engineers, journalists and development communicators are anticipating a good three weeks.

"The environment is of the utmost importance. For every country, climate change will impact us presently and in the future and a seminar like this is therefore very important," said Jamaican radio personality Wesley Burger.

"It should help us determine how best we can become proper 'environmentalists' in our own right and see how best we can share the information when we get home," he added

For her part, Patricia Bignall, banker and human resources professional-turned-writer, said: "I expect I will be able to identify vulnerability, even in my small space, and be able to take action to mitigate the effects,"


Series of seminars


The seminar of which there will be several others at Nanjing University for Information Science and Technology and benefiting more than 50 countries this year alone comes in the wake of Earth Day 2017 which was emphasised 'Environmental and Climate Literacy'.

The day April 22 saw, among other things, a series of science marches across the world, advocating the value of scientific research in the effort to combat the impacts of a changing climate.

Counted among those impacts are rising sea levels, coastal inundation and erosion, with the associated loss of livelihoods, particularly in agriculture and fisheries. There is, too, rising temperatures, and more extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and droughts.

The Environmental Foundation of Jamaica, post- Earth Day 2017, itself advanced the need for climate literacy.

"We need to learn and understand more much more about climate change and how it impacts our environment and ourselves," the entity said in a recent article published in this newspaper.