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

In response to the recent negative press, particularly from the media outside of the Pacific islands, regarding the vulnerability of our islands to climate change and sea-level rise, the Director of the SOPAC Secretariat, Dr. Russell Howorth, convened a press conference to correct this misconception.

Specifically, these media (and others) have made reference to a recently published article in an international scientific journal co-authored by a senior staff member of the SOPAC Secretariat. Copies of the brief prepared by the senior staff member by way of a response were circulated. The response emphasises that the article addresses the ongoing change in shape, size, and position on the reef platform of 27 low-lying coral islands on four atolls over the past 19-61 years based upon studies of historic air photographs and recent high-resolution satellite imagery. In no way does it make sweeping conclusions that the vulnerability of our islands is reducing particularly with regard to predictions about future impacts of sea-level change.