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DRM Policy and Planning

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DRM Policy and Planning

The DRM Policy and Planning Team (PPT) of the DRP is responsible for the DRM mainstreaming initiative which SOPAC spearheads on behalf of the Pacific Disaster Risk Management Partnership Network. In fulfilling this responsibility the PPT, under the direct guidance of the DRP Manager provides the following services to PICTs:

  • Leads and coordinates High Level Advocacy at Cabinet/political level to garner support for DRM mainstreaming in national, sectoral, local and community planning and budgetary processes
  • Leads and coordinates the development and implementation of DRM National Action Plans with the support of other members of the Pacific DRM Partnership Network
  • Supports the integration of DRM and climate change adaptation initiatives at national level within PICTs
  • Analysis of budgeted DRM investment in annual appropriations of PICs
  • Economic impact analysis of disaster events
  • Cost benefit analysis of DRM measures

High Level Advocacy for DRM Mainstreaming

A formal arrangement for high level advocacy in the Pacific had its origins in the SOPAC High Level Advocacy Team which was established in 2001 during a period when the former SOPAC Disaster Management Unit (DMU) was undergoing a transformation and identified ‘advocacy’ as a necessary pre-requisite to the implementation of DRM capacity building and in particular DRM mainstreaming activities in Pacific island countries.

In February 2001, a Pacific regional workshop held in Suva agreed on the ‘mandate’, goal and objective for the SOPAC DMU Advocacy Program. In addition the workshop also recommended the appointment of a High Level Advocacy Team with the goal: “Adoption by national governments of a comprehensive and integrated risk management policy designed to reduce vulnerability, enhance community resilience and achieve sustainable development”, and the objective “to obtain highest-level national commitment to and support for the integration of disaster reduction and response strategies into national development policies and plans”.

The original members of the SOPAC High Level Advocacy Team were comprised of:

Dr Senipisi Langi Kavaliku  Former Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga and at the time Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council, USP Centre, Tonga
Mr. Roger Jones    Director TEM Consultants Pty. Ltd., Australia
Mr. Alan Mearns    SOPAC Disaster Management Coordinator and Team member
Mr. Atu Kaloumaira    SOPAC DMU Risk Reduction Program Manager

Since the endorsement by Pacific leaders of the Pacific DRR and DM Framework for Action 2005 – 2015 in October 2005, the SOPAC High Level Advocacy Team has featured prominently in undertaking the initial stage of developing DRM National Action Plans in Vanuatu (2006), Marshall Islands (2007), Samoa (2008) and the Cook islands (2008). During this period however it ceased to function in its original form (established in 2001). In October 2006 following the retirement of Messrs Alan Mearns and Roger Jones and as well the resignation from SOPAC of Mr. Atu Kaloumaira the SOPAC High Level Advocacy Team was comprised of Dr. Langi Kavaliku and Mr. Mosese Sikivou, Manager of the SOPAC Disaster Reduction Programme. It continued in this form from November 2006 to November 2008.

The PPT is working closely with the UNISDR and other partner organisations to revive high level advocacy and now under the banner of the ‘Pacific High Level Advocacy Team’. Funding support in 2010 from the UNISDR will facilitate a range of advocacy activities across a number of Pacific island countries.

The goal of the newly established Pacific High Level Advocacy Team which will initially involve SOPAC, SPC and the UNISDR, is to raise awareness of Parliamentarians, National DRM/Planning/Finance Agencies, and CROP Agencies for increased budgetary allocations for disaster and climate risk reduction. This will be achieved by advocating with national government for mainstreaming disaster risk management into national and sectoral development policies and practices and the adoption of all-hazards risk management practices by national governments as an essential element for the reduction of vulnerability, enhancement of community resilience and achievement of sustainable development.

Development and Implementation of Disaster Risk Management National Action Plans

A major focus of the PPT is to continue the effort to adapt the Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Framework for Action 2005 – 2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters (Regional Framework) at a national level within Pacific island countries. The Pacific Disaster Risk Management Partnership Network (Partnership Network) agreed at its inaugural meeting in February 2006  to support the development and implementation of DRM NAPs for Pacific island countries.

Support has been provided thus far to the following countries in terms of the development and implementation of their respective DRM National Action Plans: Vanuatu, Marshall Islands and the Cook Islands.

The Partnership Network continued to provide strong support in terms of the realisation of DRM initiatives linked to NAP exercises and also for other risk reduction and disaster management related activities. Pacific countries receiving support in this regard are: Samoa, Palau, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Kiribati and Tuvalu.

Analysis of Budgeted DRM Investments by Pacific island Countries

The PPT has commenced the process of reviewing the national budgets of a selected number of Pacific island countries in order to conduct an analysis of the level and extent of budgeted investments in DRM. The reports generated will provided the basis for focussed advocacy for increased investments by governments and donors and development partners in DRM.

Economic Impact of Disasters

Part of the PPT’s role is to also undertake economic impact analysis of major disaster events in Pacific island countries. In 2009, under the guidance of the SOPAC Manager, Natural Resources Governance, the economic impact of the flood event of January 2009 which caused significant damage in the Nadi and Ba Districts in Fiji was assessed and a report produced. This was presented to Fiji’s National Disaster Management Council in Fiji as well as the Development Sub Committee of Cabinet. The reports for Nadi and Ba are now available on the Pacific Disaster Net through the following links "Nadi floods : economic costs January 2009"and "Ba floods : economic costs January 2009".

The PPT is to conduct economic impact analyses of events in other pacific island countries in support of high level advocacy and as part of the overall DRM mainstreaming effort.

Cost-Benefit Analysis of DRM Measures

As part of the mainstreaming support to Pacific island countries, the PPT will undertake cost benefit analyses of proposed DRM measures in collaboration with the SOPAC Manager, Natural Resources Governance. These enhance the advocacy efforts for DRM and provide governments with precise indicators of potential returns on investment in terms of for example, investing in early warning systems as a means to reduce the risk of a disaster to selected communities.

In 2007 SOPAC conducted a cost benefit analysis for a flood early warning system in Navua in Fiji. Similar studies have also been undertaken for flood management for the Vaisigano River in Apia, Samoa.

For more information, contact:
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Deputy Director Disaster Reduction Programme

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Economic Adviser

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National Action Plans Officer

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 22:26  


Tuesday 15 November, 2011Opening Address by Dr Russell Howorth – Director of the SOPAC Division, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)

Colleagues, may I start by first welcoming you all to the Second Annual Partners Meeting for the Supporting Disaster Risk Reduction in the Pacific Project for the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) and funded by the EU from the 9th European Development Fund.

You will of course all be aware that this Project is benefitting from the outcome of the Regional Institutional Reform process (otherwise known as the RIF process) which has resulted in SOPAC the Commission becoming SOPAC the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division of the SPC from January 1st of this year.