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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

The Pacific Regional Consultations on Water and Sanitation are being held at the Tanoa International Hotel, Monday 01-03 July 2013. Countries will be discussing how to progress action on the recent Statement by Pacific Heads of State and Heads of Delegations participating in the 2nd Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Chiang Mai, Thailand, 19-20 May, 2013.

Michael Pettersen, Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC), says the Chiang Mai Statement highlights the concern of Pacific Leaders that the whole Pacific region is struggling to meet its Millennium Development Goals relating to water and sanitation.

“This Statement recognises that sustainable water supply and safe sanitation underpins the very feasibility of Pacific Island Countries. It is clear that national and international development goals are unlikely to be met without increased advocacy and financial support for water and sanitation, which will require renewed leadership and investment at the national, regional and international level,” he says.

Mr. Pettersen noted that efforts to improve water and sanitation in the Pacific region are not keeping up with the significant and growing impacts of population growth, urbanization, natural disasters and climate change.

“This weeks’ consultation meeting is designed to help Pacific Island Countries support the development of a revised framework for Water and Sanitation for the region building on work already established through the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Sustainable Water Management which has been in place for the last ten years.