Dr Netatua Pelesikoti Taufatofua of Tonga has been approved as a new member of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Scientific Advisory Panel, an elite group of 15 scientists worldwide who are experts on weather, climate and water.
The Executive Council of the WMO under Resolution EC-71 3(6) has approved her nomination.
At the WMO Executive Council meeting in Geneva today, Tonga’s Permanent Representative with WMO, ‘Ofa Fa‘anunu (President of WMO Region V - South East Asia and South West Pacific) said Netatua's successful nomination was a proud moment for Tonga.
“Her selection today is a huge step for Pacific Small Island Developing States in combatting the dire effects of climate change in line with the work program of the WMO underlined in its 2020-23 Strategic Plan.”
He said that Netatua will play a big role in the process of reform that the WMO is currently undergoing.
“She will bring her academic background and Pacific regional experience to the work of WMO.”
Netatua helped to establish the Pacific Meteorological Council in 2011 when she was Director of the Climate Change Program at the Secretariat of the Pacific Environmental Program (SPREP). She will serve WMO for a period of two years initially over the transition period of the WMO reform, with a possibility of extending to 4 years
Netatua, holds a PhD Degree in Environmental Science, specialising in Sustainable Coastal Resource Monitoring and Assessment, coastal water quality, coral reefs and sea grass from the Environmental Science Department, University of Wollongong, Australia (2003).
The WMO Scientific Advisory Panel consists of 15 scientists worldwide (10 men and 5 women), from the USA, UK, Finland, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, Botswana, Kenya, China and now Tonga.