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Resilient urban development planning for Vanuatu

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Vanuatu participants

15 September 2015

Port Vila, Vanuatu – Increasing the climate and disaster resilience of urban development planning is the focus of a three day training being held in Port Vila this week (15-17 September) for representatives of national and municipal government.

As a country that experiences a range of natural disasters it is important that urban development in Vanuatu takes into consideration the risk of hazards such as flooding, earthquake and tsunami in order to reduce the impact of future disasters and create safer, more resilient towns and cities.

This is particularly important in the wake of major disasters such as Tropical Cyclone Pam which resulted in damage and losses of at least VT 48.6 billion (US$449.4 million), equivalent to 64.1% of Vanuatu’s Gross Domestic Product.

The training is facilitated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with New Zealand’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

During the training participants will be introduced to newly developed user-friendly tools that apply existing hazard and risk assessment information to support decision making in urban development planning.

Urban planners and infrastructure engineers will gain skills and knowledge to customise the new tools to Vanuatu’s context and then make risk-informed urban planning, mitigation and adaptation decisions leading to safer and more resilient urban environments.

Media contacts

Dr Kirstie Méheux, Senior Adviser – Disaster Risk Management Training and Professional Development, SPC, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or +678 549 5774 (in Vanuatu)

Mr Douglas Ramsay, Manager, Pacific Rim, NIWA, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 September 2015 20:06  

Newsflash

Pacific countries are being urged to protect their deep sea mineral resources as commercial interest rapidly grows in the region.

One company is planning to undertake the world's first deep sea mining project in Papua New Guinea and there's growing interest elsewhere.

Jonathan Lowe from Nautilus Minerals told ONE News their initial focus is on copper, gold, zinc and silver.

However extracting it from 1-2 kilometres below sea level, has always been the issue - until now.

Commercial groups are currently starting to sign up exploration licences around the region and Pacific governments are being urged to protect themselves and negotiate the best deal with interested companies

"They are making heavy investments. They are going to push very hard to get as much of the proceeds as possible," said Dr Jimmie Rodgers, Director of General South Pacific Community.

"Governments need to be very clear on what it is they want to get out of this. They have to have definite milestones that are not negotiable."