The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) is a Department within the Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Energy, Environment and Disaster Management. The VMGD consists of seven Divisions and they are Administration; Weather Forecasting and Services; Climate; Climate Change/Project Management Unit; Geo-Hazards; Observations; and ICT/Engineering. These Divisions work together to ensure the core functions are carried out as indicated in the annual Business Plans, the Corporate Plan, and Vanuatu Priorities and Action Agenda.
The vision of the VMGD is:
To be a world class meteorological and geohazards institution that contributes to the sustainable development of Vanuatu, and the Pacific region.
The VMGD works to achieve its Vision by being:
A fully professional institution comprising skilled and motivated staff using updated and state of the art science and technology within an efficient and effective organisation, providing high quality meteorological and geohazards services that are widely available and accessible, effectively applied, beneficial and highly valued by all sections of the community in Vanuatu.
Specifically, this will be achieved through the excellence in the following areas:
- Excellence in weather and climate forecasting processes.
- Leading in climate change adaptation and mitigation implementation, monitoring, and negotiations.
- Active monitoring and state of the art implementation of early warning systems for geohazards.
- Accessing and supporting international and regional observation networks.
- Research and innovation targeting improved products and services to all stakeholders.
- Facilitating cooperation with respect to its monitoring networks.
- Implementation and use of cutting edge technology.
- Quality control systems in place with supporting administrative and financial resources in place
The guiding principles of the VMGD are:
- Vanuatu focus: The work of the VMGD is primarily focused on the effective delivery of meteorological and geohazards services for the benefit of the people and communities of Vanuatu, with its focus of development consistent with the priorities of the Vanuatu Priorities and Action Agenda.
- Partnerships: Partnerships with the WMO, regional inter-governmental agencies and organisations, and technical partners are critical to the success of this Strategy. The participation of VMGD within a national and regional coordinated approach enhances effectiveness in increasing resources, while managing effort and potential overlap between agencies, organisations and development partners, especially where these are managed through national, bilateral and multilateral arrangements. Partnerships between VMGD and its counterparts in other Pacific Island countries have an important role in ensuring cooperation and sharing of lessons-learned within the region.
- Supporting gender equality and the most vulnerable in society: VMGD accepts the need to operate and deliver services in ways that address and promote the principles of gender equality and the needs, both internally of the VMGD and in the development and delivery of VMGD services, to the most vulnerable in Vanuatu’s society.
- Cost effectiveness: Services should be delivered in an efficient, cost-effective way. The VMGD will endeavor to be strategic in the alignment of the development and delivery of VMGD services in ways that maximize the development support from national government and from regional partners.
- Sharing information: The VMGD is committed to sharing data in line with national obligations and international policies; in particular the WMO commitment to free and unrestricted exchange of meteorological and related data and products (WMO Resolutions 40 and 25, respectively).
- Regional and global contribution: The VMGD recognizes the regional and global character of weather, climate, and geohazards; and the need for an international approach that is consistent with relevant guiding regional frameworks such as the Pacific Islands Meteorological Strategy, the Disaster Risk Management Framework, and the Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change, amongst othe
VMGD aims to meet the growing demands of the Government of Vanuatu and all Ni-Vanuatu for improved meteorological and geohazards services that will:
- Ensure the safety, security and wellbeing of the people and communities of Vanuatu.
- Contribute to achieving national sustainable development.
- Fulfill Vanuatu’s commitments and obligations under relevant regional and international agreements and conventions.
The objective of the VMGD is to meet the needs of all people living in Vanuatu for meteorological and geohazards information, understanding and services that are essential for their safety, security, and general well-being, and to ensure that meteorological and geophysical data and knowledge are effectively applied to Vanuatu’s National Goals.
The VMGD provides products and services to all sectors and parts of the country, including warnings for severe weather, tropical cyclones, marine warnings and tsunami warnings. Its area of responsibility for meteorological and geohazard warnings includes 10oS to 23oS and 160oE to 175oE.
The VMGD has a total of seven observation stations throughout the country, with each weather station strategically located in each province. Sola Station is located in Torba Province, Saratamata in Penama Province, Lamap in Malampa province, Pekoa in Sanma Province and Bauerfield in Shefa Province. Tafea Province has two observation stations, one on the island of Tanna and one on Aneityum. The head office of the VMGD is located at Numbatu, Port Vila, and houses all Divisions, including the Ministry of Climate Change, Corporate Service unit and the National Disaster Management Office.
Outreach within Vanuatu
The VMGD continues to engage in outreach programs throughout the country. It continues to develop pamphlets, posters and leaflets to enable users to better understand what the Department does and the services and products it provides to end users. The VMGD organized a very successful World Meteorological Day in 2013, where students and the public were invited to visit VMGD to see firsthand how it operates, and what services it provides.
Regional and International Connections
The VMGD relies on regional and international partners to implement some of its core and planned activities, as the recurrent budget is not sufficient to carry out all activities stated in the Departmental Annual Business Plan. The VMGD is thankful for such assistance, and will continue to seek funding from these organisations now and into the future.
The Administration Division provides leadership and management structures for the operation of the VMGD. Given the relatively rapid development of the VMGD over the past decade, it has acquired the appropriate and relevant capabilities for capacity building and resource support for the increasingly wide array of services that it provides, and the resources supporting those services that go with it. This Division works closely with the Ministry to ensure the Strategic Plan, the Annual Business Plan and the Corporate Plan are developed and implemented.
The Weather Forecasting and Services Division provides timely and quality weather services and products to the general public, mariners, and commercial end users, via qualified meteorologists and through the deployment of the appropriate and state of the art weather forecasting systems.
The Climate Division provides climate information, long term forecasts, services and warnings. Through its qualified staff, modern and sound technology the Climate Division analyses climate and related environmental data to monitor, predict and provide climate and other related environmental information, forecasts, advisories and warnings.
The Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Division manages and operates the implementation and integration of climate change and disaster risk reduction programs and projects to support national level commitments to Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management multilateral agreements.
The Geo-Hazards Division is a highly effective and efficient Division delivering quality services and products on geohazards and related phenomena using modern science and technology to mitigate against potential impacts of geological hazards (earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions) by preventing disastrous consequences on the people, environment and economy of Vanuatu.
The Observations Division maintains adequate observational network to provide the required data and information needed within VMGD and for other national, regional and international users and further networks. The Division installs, maintains and updates all observational networks that provide adequate coverage, real-time, accurate and high quality observation data for weather, climate and water. The Division also works closely with regional and international technical partners to meet the VMGD’s network data and information reporting obligations.
The ICT and Engineering Division ensures the VMGD uses up-to-date, modern and sound infrastructure to support all the services of the VMGD. It also ensures there are sound ICT equipment and all necessary assets, for data processing and required interfaces for all Divisional requirements, including support for corporate and administrative functions.
A new structure that was submitted to the Public Service Commission was approved, and will take the number of staff to 89. The old structure does not include the Climate Change and Geo-Hazards Divisions. The new structure will include six Divisional managers and a Deputy Director.
Currently, there is a total of 68 staff, which should increase to 89 in the next three years as the new structure is implemented.
VMGD’s Annual Reports can be viewed via this link