The meteorological services of Cyprus, Greece and Israel on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the aim of optimising weather forecasting, monitoring changes in the Eastern Mediterranean, and developing fire alarms in specific areas.
The three countries are in long-term collaboration in various fields, which is only strengthened by the new Memorandum of Trilateral Cooperation, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said.
He explained that the memorandum is a continuation of a joint declaration between Cyprus and Israel made in December 2018, when a bilateral MoC between the Cyprus Meteorological Department and the Israeli Meteorological Service entered into force, “with positive outcomes so far”.
“The trilateral MoC promotes cooperation and exchange of best practices between our services in meteorology, climatology and marine science, in data exchange and coding, education, research and development,” he said.
The minister made special reference to the joint development of forest fire warning signs, and the importance of jointly naming storms in the Eastern Mediterranean, which “was appreciated by the World Meteorological Organization, the European Meteorological Agency, and the public”.
The rapidly shifting weather conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean, in combination with climate change, call for more data sharing to improve short-term forecasting techniques Kadis added, noting that the trilateral cooperation will also spearhead the government’s initiative to unite the countries of the region in tackling climate change.
“Cooperation between the scientific community and government agencies is at the heart of this initiative,” he said.
The memorandum was signed by Dr Kleanthis Nicolaides on behalf of the Cyprus Meteorological Department, with major general Dimitrios Siderides signing for Greece and Nir Stav for Israel.
The ceremony was also attended by Greek ambassador Ioannis Papameletiou and Israeli ambassador Oner Anolik.
Papameletiou said the trilateral cooperation is even more proof of the three countries’ commitment to maintaining peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
“Synergies like the one we are starting today are worth mentioning, given the multiple challenges on the planet and especially in our neighborhood, as a result of climate change,” he said, adding that the role of meteorological services is crucial, as the data provided is important for many economic sectors, such as agriculture, shipping and aviation, as well as for extreme weather warnings.
Papameletiou said that the three countries have strengthened their framework of cooperation in the past decade, the tangible positive results of which are obvious both in trilateral and bilateral form.
Anolik said he was particularly pleased with the launch of this trilateral collaboration as it essentially implements the “noble concepts” of solidarity, alliance and cooperation.
“This memorandum improves the lives of pilots and sailors, farmers and firefighters, as well as many ordinary workers in Cyprus, Greece and Israel,” he said, wishing that “despite the challenges, future forecasts will predict exceptional weather”.