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Opening Address By Permanent Secretary, Ministry Of Communications At The Opening Ceremony Of The WMO Seminar On Social And Economic Benefits And Delivery Of Meteorological And Hydrological Services, The Rizqun International Hotel

WMO 1 















21-25TH OCTOBER 2013,






 And a very good morning,

Yang Mulia Awang Muhamad Husaini bin Aji,

Acting Director of the Brunei Darussalam Meteorological Department,

as Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee.


Yang Mulia Awang Haji Idris Bin Haji Md Ali,

Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Communications


Madam Haleh Kootval,

Chief, Public Weather Services Division,

World Meteorological Organization (WMO).


Our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Glen Anderson

Chief of Party,

Climate Change Resilient Development (CCRD) Project.

Distinguished Speakers, Directors, Senior Officials, Participants and invited guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,


1. First of all, I would like to thank the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, Awg Hussaini and his team, for inviting me this morning. It is certainly a great pleasure to be here. I also wish to extend our warm welcome to all of you to Bandar Seri Begawan, and to this auspicious event.

2. Let me also record our highest appreciation to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for the opportunity to work together in hosting this Seminar. Such collaboration is, indeed, a valuable experience for Brunei Darussalam. I certainly welcome this initiative and hope today’s collaboration will have more continuity and bring us all to new heights in the years to come.


Ladies and gentlemen,

3. Today’s Seminar brings together the heads, senior officials and experts of the meteorological sector in our region. Through this avenue, meteorological information can be further understood and conveniently used by the public to the way they work, live and play every day!

4. Let me now share with you some of our perspectives in context to this morning’s seminar. Firstly, I wish to share some recent policy and institutional developments in the Meteorological sector of Brunei Darussalam. For us, today’s seminar is a timely event. Our national meteorological service is undergoing a transformation.

5. We have just established the Department of Meteorology, under the Ministry of Communications Brunei Darussalam in April 2013.   This policy initiative saw the upgrading of the Meteorological Service Section of the Department of Civil Aviation into a full-pledged Department. The policy development also demonstrates our Government’s recognition of meteorological’s growing importance. Meteorological services will now be given to the public in a more effective, comprehensive and accurate manner. It will also further enrich our local expertise in the meteorological field.

6. Secondly, let me touch on how crucial the impacts of meteorological and hydrological services are becoming today. The impacts of severe weather, climate and related environmental natural hazards are becoming increasingly apparent. This brings the need for both meteorologists and climate scientists to come together to work out efforts in safeguarding lives and property.

7. More recently we have observed the impacts of natural disasters happening within theTsunamis, typhoons, earthquakes and disastrous floods have ravaged some countries in this region.  The extreme nature, frequency and intensity of such phenomenon are at times, very alarming.

8. According to the Secretary General of WMO, over the last 30 years, natural disasters took the lives of over 2 million people and produced economic losses estimated at over 1.5 trillion US dollars. Almost 90 percent of such disasters, more than 70 percent of the casualties and almost 80 percent of the economic losses were caused by weather-, climate- or water-related hazards such as tropical cyclones, storm surges, heat waves, droughts, floods or related disease epidemics[1].

9. The consequences of these disasters bring very wide and deep implications to countries and societies, with everything at stake, such as food production, energy security or our day-to-day activities. Therefore, countries must continue to enhance their preparedness, strengthen their resilience as well as reinforce their response and recovery operations.

10. Thirdly, I wish to share some of my thoughts on meteorology and tecnhology optimisation. Three things come to mind when it comes to weather forecasting and met services - i) Accuracy of Information ii) Reliability of Information and iii) Timely sharing of Information. In this regard, I certainly urge the meteorological community to take full advantage of new technologies. I'm also calling for full optimization of ICT, which has widespread usage among the global community.

11.  According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in 2013, more than half of the world’s 6.8 billion mobile phone users are in the Asia-Pacific region[2]. The usage of social media is also an undeniable global phenomenon. The popular WhatsApp smart phone application, has 300m active users, with 11billion messages sent and 20billion messages received every day[3].

12. These numbers are simply mind-boggling but are definitely crucial at critical times when reaching out to the public can save lives and properties. According to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Typhoon Bopha in 2012 affected 6.3million lives in the Philippines. However, thousands of lives were saved because 99% of the population had access to a mobile phone and were able to receive early warning messages and information to stay safe[4]. This statistic is a very convincing example.

13.  I understand that meteorological authorities have in fact, started their own initiatives in using ICT to disseminate information to the public. I applaud your efforts and encourage further utilization of ICT for more effective and efficient articulation of meteorological information.


Ladies and gentlemen,

14.   Fourthly and my final point, creating economic value and making the best of the meteorological sector. We all must know that climate and weather forecasting have achieved tremendous improvement in accuracy over the last 10 to 15 years.   I consider this as a success story of man, machine and technology joining forces.

15.  However, I must stress that the accuracy of forecast will not do much good if no one is willing to listen to it. It is, therefore, critically important that the delivery of forecasts and services be continually addressed and improved. Let me now pose a question to all of us - how can forecast or meteorological information be articulated and translated into relevancy to the way we work, live and play in our everyday lives?

16.  In this regard, I would like to commend the WMO for their continuous efforts in facilitating and promoting the economic value of meteorological forecasts and information.   Through such efforts, meteorological services and products have been able to help the public and policy makers to make better and informed decisions. The Seminar today, is an excellent example of this effort.

17.   I am also very pleased with the strong initiative driven through the WMO Public Weather Services Programme, and WMO’s willingness to collaborate with our Brunei Darussalam Meteorological Department. I encourage this seminar to further promote user engagement and feedback, the sharing of best practices amongst National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) as well as partnerships in maximizing the use of weather, climate and water information.

18. In this regard, I strongly urge for a continued and strengthened co-operation between NMHSes, WMO and our partners to leverage on the various expertise and knowledge, hence creating economic value for all our mutual benefits!

19. With that note, I wish you all a successful seminar and to all the international participants, I wish you an enjoyable stay in Brunei Darussalam!  Thank you.

20. With the ‘Kalimah Bismillahirahmaanirahim’ I now declare “The WMO Seminar On Social And Economic Benefits And Delivery Of Meteorological And Hydrological Services” held here in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam open.





Created at 05/12/2015 11:11 AM by Siti Hawa binti Aboo Samah
Last modified at 05/12/2015 11:11 AM by Siti Hawa binti Aboo Samah