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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

Distinguished Guests, and Colleagues,

It is with much pleasure as Director of the SOPAC Division of the SPC that I present to you this morning the Keynote Address for this Conference, the largest of its kind in the region and which was set up to showcase new tools and concepts for improved data collection, capabilities and analysis in GIS and Remote Sensing. At the same time I would like to acknowledge Dr Jimmie Rodgers the Director General of the SPC who is unable to be here today and he gives his apologies.

Firstly, however it would be remiss of me if I did not take this opportunity to welcome all of you here this morning to the Opening of this Conference, and in particular I extend a welcome to all representatives of island governments and administrations, donor partner representatives, representatives of CROP organisations, educationalists, scientists and technologists from other stakeholder groups including NGOs. In particular I would like to highlight the many representatives from the private sector, including satellite data providers, image resellers, software and hardware companies. We have gathered here in the room a genuine mix of providers, developers and users.

Secondly, I would like to acknowledge that I have been privileged to address this conference over recent years and in that context I would like to acknowledge that having something different to say has never been difficult. GIS and Remote Sensing is one of the fastest developing technologies no matter whether you are a provider, and developer or a user.

On the global agenda the outcome of Rio+20 this year "The Future We Want" contains a particular paragraph of relevance:
274. We recognize the importance of space-technology-based data, in situ monitoring, and reliable geospatial information for sustainable development policy-making, programming and project operations.

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.