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Vanuatu reviews disaster response following cyclone Pam

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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.

In addition, the organisers are keen to understand how the response operations addressed issues relating to the different needs of different groups, protection and displacement.

These topics are particularly important as they relate to how the national arrangements met the needs of approximately 65,000 people who were displaced by the cyclone.

The Lessons Learnt Workshop will involve representatives of the Government of Vanuatu, SPC, civil society organisations, faith-based groups, non-governmental organisations, the European Union, United Nations agencies, regional organisations and the private sector.

The National Disaster Management Office hopes the workshop will provide partners with the opportunity to discuss the challenges faced during the response to tropical cyclone Pam, highlight areas of strength that can be built upon and help to develop practical solutions to include in work plans to support effective future disaster response.

The involvement of SPC is an opportunity to obtain feedback on its technical support role in the areas of food security, health surveillance, post disaster impact assessments and coordination support.

The objective of the ACP-EU ‘Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific’ project is to reduce the vulnerability, as well as the social, economic and environmental costs of disasters caused by natural hazards, thereby achieving regional and national sustainable development and poverty reduction goals in 15 Pacific countries of the Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) group of states.

Caption: Restoring public health surveillance systems after cyclone Pam, as shown here in a health clinic in Tanna in April, is among the topics to be covered at the lessons learned workshop this week.
Photo: Paul White/SPC
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 14:19  

Newsflash

Concerns about protecting the environment during exploration and mining for deep seabed minerals will not be addressed by a ‘one size fits all’ solution.

Dr Malcolm Clark, Principal Scientist (Deepwater Fisheries) at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) Wellington, New Zealand, expressed this opinion during the international workshop on Environmental Management Needs for Exploration and Exploitation of Deep Seabed Minerals.

The workshop, jointly organised by SOPAC a division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the International Seabed Authority, took place in Nadi, Fiji, during December 2011, as a part of the European Union funded, four-year Deep Seabed Minerals Project.

Dr Clark said that the more we learn about the deep sea the more we realise that parts of it are split up into smaller environmental packages, and we don’t have a good understanding of how large these package-like “ecosystems” are, or the degree of connectivity between them.

There are three types of deep seabed deposits that are being considered as potential resources to be mined: massive sulfide deposits cobalt crusts, and manganese nodules.