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Disaster Workshop for Vanuatu

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A five-day workshop to determine the economic cost of natural disasters in the Pacific will be held in Vanuatu from November 29th through December 2nd. The workshop has been organized to support Pacific island countries towards a clearer understanding of the economic impact of disasters.

“This information is of major importance in helping to organize recovery and rehabilitation efforts,” said Paula Holland, SOPAC’S Manager Natural Resources.

The Pacific is one of the most natural disaster prone regions of the world. Since the l950s, Pacific island countries have reported 207 disaster events, affecting nearly 3.5 million people and costing in excess of US$6.5 billion.

The Government of Samoa estimated that shortly after the Tsunami in 2009 the direct economic impact was close to US$127 million or 5% of that country’s GDP (2008 figures).

“What is essential for recovery funding is a consistent process that determines the cost of a disaster, and one that allows for comparisons of like disaster over time,” said Ms. Holland.

The workshop is being jointly organized by SOPAC and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP), the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), IUCN and the European Commission for Latin America (ECLAC) with the support of the World Bank and the United Nations.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 October 2010 08:16  

Newsflash

13th September 2012 - A deep-sea minerals training workshop to address issues associated with deep-sea minerals and mining, was recently held in Nadi as part of a series of capacity building activities aimed to develop and enhance regional knowledge on geological, technological, biological and environmental aspects of deep-sea minerals.

The workshop was organised by the EU-funded, SPC Deep Sea Minerals (DSM) Project. Participants included Government officials, primarily from Ministries of 13 island countries associated with minerals, natural resources, environment and fisheries, as well as representatives from regional civil society groups. These included the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO),  Ipukarea Society (TIS) and the Civil Society Forum of Tonga (CSFT).

Scientists from the United States, Korea, Australia, Belgium, New Zealand, SPREP and SPC were also in attendance.

Dr Russell Howorth, the Director of the SOPAC Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) said that the workshop played an important role in providing participants with a better understanding of deep-sea environments, the nature of those seabed mineral deposits and the biological communities associated with them.

‘The protection of the ocean environment and the preservation of rare and fragile ecosystems and ocean habitats must be balanced against the emerging new economic opportunity presented for Pacific Island countries by exploring for deep sea minerals and their possible future exploitation,’ said Dr Howorth. ‘The precautionary approach must prevail particularly in the exploration and potential exploitation of seabed mineral deposits.’