SPC Geoscience Division

Bonriki Indundation Vulnerability Assessment (BIVA)

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Bonriki is the largest of many islets in the pacific atoll of Tarawa, the capital of the Republic of Kiribati. Because of the islet's size and geology, it is the location of Tarawa's only international airport as well as the underground reservoir that supplies South Tarawa with the majority of its fresh water. Both of these critical infrastructural resources are potentially threatened by the predicted sea level rise in the region associated with climate change.

The Australian-funded Bonriki Inundation Vulnerability Assessment (BIVA) will provide the Kiribati government and development partners with a better understanding of the short and long term risks as well as a strategy for protecting these resources. The project has been supported by the Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning Program (PACCSAPP) and will develop a 3D model of the island's freshwater lens.

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Physical Oceanographer
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 15:15  

Newsflash

31st August 2012 - A study of tropical cyclones and associated wave action is providing information that can be used to assess the resilience of Mangaia, the most southern of the Cook Islands, to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise.

Mr Jens Kruger of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) said that with coastal communities, private property, family homes and public infrastructure, such as the harbour, already exposed to extreme weather events, the recent study will help to support a risk-based approach to climate change adaptation.

Mr Kruger is the Physical Oceanographer with SPC’s Oceans and Islands Programme in the Applied Geoscience and Technology (SOPAC) Division.

He explained that data gathered during the study can be used to develop models of different scenarios to assess how changes in the climate and sea level would affect the frequency, magnitude and extent of coastal inundation on the island of Mangaia.

The data were collected by a team from SPC/SOPAC, the Cook Island's Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning, and New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

The research is part of the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change project, funded by the Global Environment Facility through UNDP Samoa and SPREP (Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme). The project involves 14 Pacific Island countries including Cook Islands.

‘A key outcome of the study has been the Cook Islands Coastal Calculator, an engineering spreadsheet that can be used to provide information on waves and water levels at the shoreline, wave run-up and the resulting inundation,’ said Mr Kruger.