They're taking part in the "Pacific Australia Climate Change Science Adaptation Program", which has the purpose of increasing the expertise of meteorologists around the region, and this group will spend a fortnight learning some new skills.
Pacific Correspondent Campbell Cooney went along to the class this morning, and filed this report.
Presenter: Campbell Cooney
Speaker: Kasis Inape, from Papua New Guinea's National Weather Service, Senior Research Scientist at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Dr Brad Murphy, Kasis Inape, Climatologist from Papua New Guinea
COONEY: In a room overlooking Melbourne's Docklands, meteorologists and climate specialists from across the Pacific, and also from East Timor, are learning how to improve the way they engage people in their homeland, about dealing with climate change.
For a fortnight, these men and women are taking part in the "Pacific Australia Climate Change Science Adaptation Program"
iNAPE: My name is Kasis Inape, I'm from Papua New Guinea and I work for the Papua New Guinea National Weather Service. We've basically been doing a lot of science, understanding what is climate change, what are the drivers that drive the climate of our region and now we are beginning to draw programs especially for adaptation purposes.
COONEY: The program's been running for two years, and this group are amongst the senior group taking part.
The person in charge is Senior Research Scientist at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Dr Brad Murphy.
MURPHY: We're running what we call the Tax Ap Advanced Climate Course. It's a two week course to improve their understanding of climate change and the science behind it, really so they can better understand the science and be able to communicate it to stakeholders in their country, who are needing that information for adaptation planning.
COONEY: Communications what they're doing today. What other stuff are they going to be doing the two weeks?
MURPHY: We're covering a whole range of climate science and climate change topics, including climate variability which is huge in the Pacific, the impacts of El Nino are massive, looking at what they're in for in terms of climate change in the future.
COONEY: And the two weeks, what do you want them or do you hope they'll be capable of to be able to do better once they get back home?
MURPHY: We've developed and provided a lot of information on the climate change science and we hope that by doing this two weeks of training, they can better understand that and be able to use that information in their own countries in ways that are actually important for them and provide useful information to stakeholders there.
COONEY: Give us some examples?
MURPHY: Climate variabiliity is massive in a lot of countries, and a lot of parts of the Pacific, there's a bit of confusion about what is actually climate change and what's just natural climate variability. So we're hoping, one example is to better understand the difference between them and the fact, that in fact it's very hard to separate.
COONEY: In recent years the concern s about climate change in the Pacific, have mostly been voiced by the people living in low lying coral atoll nations like Kiribati and Tuvalu.
But knowledge of the problem is increasing across the region, in some cases that's led to climate change being blamed for everything from heavy rain, and even in Solomon Islands on one occasion, the birth of an abnormally heavy baby.
In PNG the number of different languages and the large illiterate population is also a stumbling block.
INAPE: People are now becoming more climate resilient. So many things are happening on the ground and now there trying to understand why. And for me as a climatologist, my duty to go out and educate people. It's a bit challenging, because there are certain things which are not related to climate change. There's this thing called climate variability. It's need through natural processes, so not everything is due to climate change, but the people attribute everything that is happening to climate change, so that's those big challenges that I need to really go down and help people.
COONEY: There's cultural, there's religious challenges, and, of course, you've got a very varied population right across the country?
INAPE: Definitely. We've got a very large population who are very illiterate and that makes it even more harder and also as well as a cultural affiliations, their religious background and when you talk about changes to nature, most people relate to religion and the culture. So if there is some threats to climate change, then we need to relocate them. They said no, I've been living on this island for all these years, I've been going up and through it this climate change stuff. I will still remain here. So it's kind of very difficult for the government, especially to come and start relocating people who are really affected with the affects of climate change, especially sea level rise.
COONEY: You're one of 15 countries represented here at this two week Forum. What's it like talking to guys from other countries, you might not always be dealing with. Are the issues the same everywhere?
INAPE: From what we have been discussing with the issues are fairly uniform across the region, because we all have the same physical, geographical set up, culturally, we are all the same people. So much of our challenges are similar and everything that we talk and discuss is common and we just hoping that through this program, PACCSP and now we're going up to the main component which will be able to help us work towards those challenges.