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Resilient urban development planning for Fiji

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Participants review

23 September 2015

Nadi, Fiji Increasing the climate and disaster resilience of urban development planning is the focus of a three day training being held in Nadi this week (21-23 September) for representatives of national government and Nadi Town Council.

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) and the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. Fiji’s high exposure to tropical cyclones and flooding means that urban planners must ensure future development is resilient to climate and disaster risks in order to reduce or prevent the impact of future natural disasters.

This training introduced urban planners to a range of tools that have been developed for the Pacific Islands region, using Nadi as a demonstration site to support risk-informed decision making in the approval of new developments or renovations to existing buildings.

Participants also learnt to use new user-friendly tools that apply existing hazard and risk assessment information to identify buildings and infrastructure at risk of flood inundation to support decision making in urban development planning.

A participant from the Nadi Rural Local Authority, Luisa Molidrau, described the tools as very useful in the control of urban development.

Ms Molidrau stated that development authorities have been waiting for tools like this for some time and that these tools fill that gap.

Nadi Town Council representative, Taniela Safuru, said that the training has been very informative, reminding participants of the importance of risk informed decision making.

Mr Safuru said he would like to see regular refresher training opportunities in the future.

Urban planners and infrastructure engineers gained skills and knowledge to make risk-informed urban planning, risk mitigation and adaptation decisions leading to safer and more resilient urban environments in Fiji.

The training concludes today.

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 +679 9315 189

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

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 10:18  

Newsflash

Wednesday 10 July 2013, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji – With the increasing flow of funding into the Pacific region for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation projects, it is essential to combine the perspectives of different sciences for effective outcomes. This is a key message from the Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable currently underway in Nadi, Fiji.

‘There are a lot of people with good intentions who want to do something useful about climate change adaptation,’ says Dr Arthur Webb of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).  ‘But for successful adaptation, we have to combine the sciences.’

‘You can have a technically sound climate change adaptation project, but if you don’t engage the social sciences in explaining activities to the community then the project will be less effective or could even fail,’ says Dr Webb, who manages SPC’s Oceans and Islands Programme.

‘If you have one group of scientists working to inform a community about something and they leave out another group of scientists with different and relevant expertise, then you don’t get the full picture.’

‘On the other hand, there are good examples of community disaster risk and climate change adaptation projects where the application of technical scientific principles is being combined with social science perspectives to ensure that critical aspects, such as communication and livelihoods, are taken into consideration,’ he says.