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Sustainable development through early warning systems and forecasting

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19 Apr 2017 | Suva

The Pacific Community (SPC) remains committed to assist Pacific Island countries with strengthening their early warning systems and weather forecasting mechanisms for sustainable development. As part of this effort, SPC is developing a coastal inundation forecasting tool for the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Coastal Inundation Forecasting Demonstration Project (CIFPD) in Fiji.

This tool will be demonstrated in the Coral Coast before being replicated in other areas within Fiji including the Nadi River catchment.

This project has been established at the request of the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) and made possible with donor funding from the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) in 2017.

 

 

 

The Fiji Meteorology Service Director, Ravind Kumar said, “Ultimately, we want to ensure resilience and sustainability for coastal communities. This tool will contribute towards saving lives, coastal infrastructure and assist with decision and policy making, especially with regards to infrastructure in coastal areas.”

It has been noted that the livelihoods of people living in low lying coastal areas and infrastructure are at risk due to increasing coastal inundations. Coastal inundation is the flooding of normally dry, low-lying coastal land caused by severe weather events.

The CIFDP aims to build a multi-hazard early warning operational forecasting system – using oceanographic and hydrological evidence – to provide flood forecasts for areas at risk of inundation from both ocean and river sources.

SPC’s role will see the development and integration of storm surge, tides, and sea surface height anomalies to assist the early warning forecasts. This will no doubt allow countries to sustainably respond to ocean and climate changes for improved and progressive economic growth.

SPC has previously worked with partners on the Changing Waves and Coasts in the Pacific (WACOP) Project which utilised latest research tools to assess baseline wave climate and its variability as well as the predicted changes in wave climate in the Pacific region.

Acting Director for SPC’s Geoscience Division Akuila Tawake said that understanding the wave climate in the Pacific region is important for climate change adaptation and risk reduction. While WACOP provided an important baseline, SPC is now in a position to develop reliable coastal inundation forecasting in partnership with the Fiji Meteorological Service.

The project will also provide specialised training for disaster managers and forecasters.

CIFDP is also being developed for use by national meteorological services in other countries including Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Dominican Republic.

 

Media contact:

Evlyn Mani, SPC Capacity Development & Communications Officer, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or +679 3249 222

Useful links:

Wacop – GSD

Fiji Meteorological Service

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 April 2017 13:57  

Newsflash

Koror, Palau, Monday April 23rd 2011: Palau’s President, Johnson Toribiong, endorsed his country’s first  National Water Policy this week saying that it “will serve as a clear indicator and important guide for our nation's future economic and sustainable development based on clean and safe water that is essential for the health of our people, ecosystem and economy.”

The policy aims to protect and conserve Palau’s water resources, ensure Palauans have access to safe, affordable, sustainable water supply and wastewater services, and see that these services are managed and operated sustainably and effectively.

The National Water Policy was developed by Palau’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism in partnership with a European Union funded Integrated Water Resources Management (EU IWRM) Planning Project being run by the Secretariat of the Pacific Communities’ Water and Sanitation Programme (SPC WSP).

Gwen Sisior, the Ministry’s Water Policy Officer, said one of the key goals of the policy was to ensure that responsibility for key aspects of water and wastewater management was spread across different organizations in a coordinated and integrated manner.

“What we don’t want to see happen is a fragmented sectoral approach to managing our water supply. Organizations should work together to clarify the specific roles, responsibilities, activities and timelines to implement and support the national water policy,” Ms Sisior said. “Water development and management should be based on a participatory approach and value collaborations from users, planners and policy-makers. Decision-makers should strive to ensure effective communication with all stakeholders, multiple sectors and different levels of various organizations.”