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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

31st August 2012 - A study of tropical cyclones and associated wave action is providing information that can be used to assess the resilience of Mangaia, the most southern of the Cook Islands, to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise.

Mr Jens Kruger of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) said that with coastal communities, private property, family homes and public infrastructure, such as the harbour, already exposed to extreme weather events, the recent study will help to support a risk-based approach to climate change adaptation.

Mr Kruger is the Physical Oceanographer with SPC’s Oceans and Islands Programme in the Applied Geoscience and Technology (SOPAC) Division.

He explained that data gathered during the study can be used to develop models of different scenarios to assess how changes in the climate and sea level would affect the frequency, magnitude and extent of coastal inundation on the island of Mangaia.

The data were collected by a team from SPC/SOPAC, the Cook Island's Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning, and New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

The research is part of the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change project, funded by the Global Environment Facility through UNDP Samoa and SPREP (Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme). The project involves 14 Pacific Island countries including Cook Islands.

‘A key outcome of the study has been the Cook Islands Coastal Calculator, an engineering spreadsheet that can be used to provide information on waves and water levels at the shoreline, wave run-up and the resulting inundation,’ said Mr Kruger.