SPC advances drone use during disaster assessment in Vanuatu
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 13:25
A specialised team from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has successfully completed its contribution to the Cyclone Pam damage assessment in Vanuatu, using unmanned aerial vehicles or drones.
The technical assessment team was deployed to assist with the Vanuatu Government’s damage assessment in April, tasked with determining damage to infrastructure and buildings, coastal inundation and three-dimensional shoreline change.
The team from SPC’s Geoscience Division included one expert flown in from Germany with a copter drone (which flies using eight rotating blades), financed by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with assistance from GIZ.
Using SPC’s own fixed-wing drone and the copter drone, the team was able to employ the latest techniques to conduct mapping surveys of affected areas, including 10 villages in north-east Efate and seven villages and settlements in south-east Tanna. Having returned to Suva in May, the team has since been analysing the data and sharing it progressively with the Vanuatu Government and other partners involved in the post-disaster assessment.
Federated States of Micronesia reviews disaster risk management lessons from typhoons
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 13:52
Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is reviewing its disaster response in the wake of the three typhoons which hit the country between April and May this year.
The review, which involves representatives from the four states of FSM and partners, including the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union, is part of the Second FSM Disaster Risk Management Platform being held in Yap State between 8 and 12 June, 2015.
In April this year, typhoon Maysak severely impacted Chuuk and the outer islands of Yap. This was followed by typhoon Noul , which hit the main island of Yap. Typhoon Dolphin caused heavy damage on Kosrae and Pohnpei in May.
The Second FSM Disaster Risk Management Platform is funded by the European Union, as part of the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project, implemented by SPC.
The forum is being led by the respective state disaster coordinating officers, and assisted by staff of the Weather Service Office and Red Cross.
Young people debate topic of deep sea minerals
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the European Union and the Government of the Solomon Islands hosted a national youth debate on deep sea minerals on Thursday (4 June 2015) at the National Auditorium in Honiara.
SPC initiated this debate in an effort to increase public awareness of issues related to deep seabed minerals in the Pacific, including for the Solomon Islands.
The debate featured 14 youths from nine high schools in Honiara.
Prior to the debate, the students took part in training after school hours on different aspects of deep sea minerals and mining to improve their understanding of the potential positive and negative aspects of this emerging industry and what it may mean for the Solomon Islands.
“The debate aimed to encourage young people and students to research and gain more knowledge on matters relating to deep sea minerals and to encourage a participatory approach whereby all stakeholders can frankly exchange views on various issues relating to deep sea minerals,” the SPC Deep Sea Minerals Project Team Leader, Akuila Tawake said.
SPC trainers in Solomon Islands to boost emergency response coordination
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 June 2015 13:25
Honiara, Solomon Islands – In Honiara last week, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) led training to develop 21 new Emergency Response Team trainers for the Solomon Islands.
The participants engaged in eight days of training on the various activities Emergency Response Teams are expected to perform and also learnt how to provide this training to other personnel in their respective Provinces or organisations.
The training reflects collaboration at the local, regional and national levels with SPC and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), working together to prepare the training materials, which were reviewed by the Solomon Islands Red Cross Society (SIRCS) and National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) before being delivered to participants representing Red Cross and Solomon Islands Government at the provincial level, as well as NGOs such as Oxfam, Save the Children and World Vision.
Following the training, participants will receive support from Red Cross and the NDMO to provide multi-agency Emergency Response Team training in their home provinces.
In opening the training, the Secretary-General of Solomon Islands Red Cross, Joanne Zoleveke, and the Director of the NDMO, Loti Yates, challenged participants to take the opportunity afforded by this training to strengthen relationships between partners and to prepare to co-deliver Emergency Response Team (ERT) training at a provincial level.
Vanuatu reviews disaster response following cyclone Pam
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 14:19
One hundred days since tropical cyclone Pam swept through the Pacific, the Government of Vanuatu is reviewing its disaster response arrangements.
A Lessons Learnt Workshop, hosted by the National Disaster Management Office, will take place in Port Vila on 24 to 25 June to inform the development and implementation of improved procedures for disaster management in Vanuatu.
The workshop is funded by the European Union as part of the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project, an initiative implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
It will examine the coordination, early warning, information management, logistics and assessments that took place in the immediate aftermath of tropical cyclone Pam – all essential discussion topics following a disaster event of this magnitude.
Lessons from Cyclone Pam help Vanuatu media prepare for future events
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 14:17
Vanuatu broadcasters and media came together with the National Disaster Management Office, and the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazard Department to plan and prepare their Climate and Disaster Resilience Plans this week.
Funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through ABC International and PACMAS, the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme, and implemented in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Communty (SPC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), this training seeks to assist Pacific broadcasters in eight countries in preparing plans that will help them be more resilient to the effects of climate change and disasters.
Having the very recent experience of category five Tropical Cyclone Pam, the broadcasters and government ministries were able to share their experiences and lessons learnt to help develop plans.
This will help them continue broadcasting warnings and information to the public during times of disaster when people need this service the most.
Deep sea minerals community of practice for the Pacific
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 14:16
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union will establish a community of practice for Pacific Islands’ policy officers and legislative drafters involved in deep sea minerals.
The new initiative is a key outcome of an intensive regional training workshop on deep sea minerals policy formulation and legislative drafting hosted by the Government of Samoa and organised with SPC in Apia last week.
The virtual community of practitioners will usefully exchange practices, experiences, questions and challenges with regards to the development and implementation of their deep sea mineral policies and legislation.
The Director of SPC’s Geoscience Division, Professor Mike Petterson, said the initiative will enable policy officers and legislative drafters to share and discuss the future development of deep sea mineral regulatory frameworks, including the strengths and weaknesses in existing deep sea mineral policies and legislation, and to grasp whether there is a need for further development and changes.
New tools to increase resilience of Pacific Island countries to natural disasters
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 14:19
Suva, Fiji – A major regional geospatial information system and other innovative risk assessment tools are being developed to assist Pacific Island countries to undertake evidence-based decision making in development planning and finance.
A four-day workshop, running from 9 to 12 June 2015, opened in Suva today with representatives from Pacific region governments and development partners attending, focusing on the disaster risk modelling and assessment tools.
The tools, including a rapid impact estimation tool and the Pacific Risk Information System (PacRIS), are being developed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), World Bank and the Asian Development Bank with the financial support of the Government of Japan and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).
“These tools can be used to improve the resilience of Pacific Island countries by providing the technical information needed to make informed decisions about risk of disasters to communities and their assets,” the Director of SPC’s Geoscience Division, Professor Michael Petterson, said.