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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

As environmental concerns heat up amid growing interest in minerals exploration and mining of the Pacific ocean’s seabed, one scientist is advocating the search for more inactive hydrothermal vents as a way of safely mining the sea.

Dr Sven Peterson, a minerologist at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR) in Germany, said inactive vents were less likely to host marine life, so mining them would pose lesser danger to the ocean’s ecosystems.

“At water depths of 500 to 5000 metres which the mining industry will be interested in, there is no light but we still see oases of life there. This, of course, is of concern among biologists who do not want mining to happen at these oases in the deep.