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Screen_Shot_2014-06-12_at_8.37.56_PMClimate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. Climate change is caused by factors such as biotic processes, variations and solar radiation received by Earth.

Without a doubt it is an important topic and with that in mind, today the Belize National Meteorological Service, in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization and Environment Canada, hosted the first National Climate Outlook Forum at the ITVET conference room in Corozal Town.

Reporter Victor Castillo was among the approximate 40 stakeholders from the Ministry of Agriculture, BTB and Belize Water Service who took part in the forum.

Dennis Gonguez -Chief Meteorological Officer

“The national Met Service has been producing climate outlooks for some time now, however we have noticed that these information was not getting out to our users so we started now by organizing these forums so that we can get this information to the users and we can explain to them what is contained in this information. Climate outlook is a seasonal outlook of rainfall for the next three months; June, July and August and we presented it to the stakeholders and asked them how can they use this information in their decision making.”

Victor Castillo – Reporter

“How many of these stakeholders were present here today and what agencies they represented?”

Dennis Gonguez -Chief Meteorological Officer

“We had close to forty persons here and majority of them were from agriculture because the emphasis is on food, security, and we had representatives from tourism, health, coastal zone and a wide array of representatives however the bulk were from agriculture.”

According to Chief Meteorological Officer, Dennis Gonguez, the group has been receiving excellent reviews from today’s forum.

Victor Castillo –Reporter

“During the forum, what was the feedback that you got from the agencies?”

Dennis Gonguez -Chief Meteorological Officer

“That the products is very useful, however some of them wanted it in more common terms, it was too much of a scientific job for some of them and because not everybody has internet so they wanted another means of getting this data and we have to explore other means of getting out this data to people so we are considering of using the newspapers, and radio station and other avenues.”

All information gathered today by the stakeholders will be disseminated to the public even farmers who will be able to save money.

Barry Palace- Ministry of Agriculture Corozal

“This training workshop to me is highly beneficial because we are dealing specifically with the issue of climate outlook which give an indication as to how the weather will be here on a three months  basis and ones that we have that information I think that we are better equip to inform farmers and to make recommendations as to what they can do to mitigate the impacts of the weather and in the case of Corozal for example you know that onion is the major crop that is being produced  and it is very sensitive to the issue of excessive rains, the idea is that ones we move beforehand what is the forecast then we can relay that information and famers will make what we would call an inform decision whether to plant or not the plant  it would be based on the farmers final decision with information being provided by us through the service being provided to us by the MET service.”

Victor Castillo – Reporter

“How will that operate?”

Barry Palace- Ministry of Agriculture Corozal

“Well we realize today that this service is available 24 hours, farmers can access an immediate forecast in their particular area by simply calling the Met office.”

Another forum is scheduled for the month of December.

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