St Helena Climate Change And Drought Warning Network Project

St Helena Government (SHG) has been awarded a Darwin Plus research grant to improve our understanding of the Islands climate and water resources. The three-year Project is a collaboration between SHG, Connect Saint Helena Ltd, the St Helena Research Institute, the UK Met Office, the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Arctium.

The Project has been designed to assist with drought planning and climate change mitigation and to meet the Islands 10 Year Plan and Sustainable Economic Development Plan targets (including improved water security, Island water strategy, drought mitigation, and climate change adaptation). It is supported by evidence from the Water Security and Sustainable Cloud Forest Restoration Project (DPLUS051) data gaps identified by the UK Met Office and the Peaks Management Plan. The Project outputs will also be used to support the development of a new Island Water Resource Management Plan (WRMP).

Data is needed to make predictions of the likely consequences of climate change to biodiversity conservation and sustainable water provision. Project outputs will also be used to support water infrastructure planning, habitat management, agricultural development, water supply demand forecasting, drought planning, climate change resilience mitigation and water efficiency/water demand reduction measures.

Meteorological Scientific Observations Officer and DPLUS Project Manager, Murray Henry, commented:

“From a weather perspective this Project will help us to monitor weather conditions Island-wide, as currently the Met Office at Bottom Woods can only monitor the conditions for where we are located and the Agricultural Section at Scotland monitors key areas that relate to their arable land. But there is still much of the Island which isn’t observed, so this Project will address this and also will allow more weather data to be collected.

“The Project management is shared between myself and Ben Sansom. This is the first Darwin Project I have managed so it is good to have the support of Ben to guide me, as he has the experience from managing previous Darwin Projects. I’m enjoying the role thus far and look forward to the final outputs/data that will be collected from the Project as it will be very beneficial to others in the future.”

Technical Manager of Connect Saint Helena Ltd (CSH), Lawrence Muranganwa, added:

“The additional data gathering that will be carried out on this Project will provide confidence on the information to be used in the development of the WRMP. This information, together with the data CSH already collects, will inform the way we work in the future”.

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1 March 2021

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470