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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

Mr. Mosese Sikivou, Manager of the SOPAC Disaster Reduction Programme, said that the meeting “allowed for better risk management training and capacity building programmes that specifically target the heads of disaster offices and the disaster management support structures in the Pacific.

“Tropical cyclones affect the region on an annual basis. Events like the September 2009 tsunami that devastated Samoa and Tonga, and floods that submerged Fiji’s Western Division in January 2009, are constant reminders that people and governments must be prepared to deal with natural disasters at a moment’s notice,” said Mr Sikivou.

With Regional Disaster Managers coming from the Pacific Island countries and territories of the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, New Zealand, Australia, and, for the first time, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna, the meeting took the form of a professional development workshop.