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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

“Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing is one of the fastest developing technologies no matter whether you are a provider, and developer or a user. And here in the region and for the benefit of Pacific island countries and territories we are all striving to stay at the ‘cutting edge of the technology.’  In this regard the theme of this Conference focusing on mapping Pacific resources is very timely”, said Dr. Russell Howorth, Director, SOPAC Division of SPC, in the opening keynote at the Pacific GIS/RS User Conference held at Suva last week.

The growing impact of GIS and Remote Sensing was very much evident by the record number of attendees and presentations at the conference. Around 300 participants, from the around the Pacific Region convened for the three and half days of presentations, workshops and discussions.

Current and upcoming trends in the geospatial fields such as LiDAR (light detection and ranging) Imagery, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), recent progress in vegetation and land cover mapping, improvements in satellite technologies, imagery classification and open source software were heavily covered during the conference.

The conference has been held annually in Suva for the Pacific region since 1999, is free to attend and jointly organized by Secretariat of the Pacific Community, University of the South Pacific, various departments of the Fiji Government, with support from GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), satellite data and GIS software companies.