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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

The High Commissioner for Kiribati in Fiji, Ms Retata Nikuata-Rimon, yesterday thanked the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) for assisting her atoll nation with its maritime boundaries, hydrographic nautical charts and deep-sea mining.

On the latter, she said it was an area ‘in which there is growing interest as it offers potential for social and economic development, although we must be cautious about the environmental impact’.

Ms Nikuata-Rimon made these comments at the 42nd Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) meeting, which is being held at the SPC headquarters in Noumea from 12 to 16 November.

CRGA is a committee of SPC’s governing body, the Conference of the Pacific Community, which meets every two years.

Earlier this year, at the Forum Leaders’ meeting in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, seven Pacific Island countries and territories (Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Marshall Islands, Tokelau and Tuvalu,) signed and exchanged a total of eight maritime boundary agreements.

In addition, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Nauru signed a trilateral treaty on the ‘Tri-Junction Point’, a point where the exclusive economic zones of all three countries intersect.

SPC’s Applied Geoscience and Technology Division supported the countries in the determination of the agreed boundaries, working collaboratively with members and with support from SPC’s Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division and the Forum Fisheries Agency.

Agreement on boundaries has taken many years of work, often involving sensitive negotiations between members. The signing of these treaties has brought to just under 30 the total number of treaties concluded out of a total of 48 boundaries.