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Project: ACP-EU Disaster Risk Reduction in Pacific Overseas Countries and Territories

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Supporting Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Pacific Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) (2008-2013)

Through this project, the Geoscience Division expanded its engagement with Pacific overseas countries and territories (OCTs) - New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, and Pitcairn Islands - to further develop and implement disaster risk solutions adapted to their particular context. Funded by the European Union (European Development Fund 9, C Envelope) for €5.6 million over 4 years, this project contributed to reducing the vulnerability of OCTs to losses from natural and human-induced disasters, such as drought (Pitcairn), cyclone & storm surges (French Polynesia), tsunamis (Wallis and Futuna) and water-borne epidemics and pollution (New Caledonia) . Working closely with OCT governments and local/provincial authorities, this project benefited communities at risk through enhanced awareness of disaster risk, improved information for hazard assessment and response, and sustainable solutions to resource access and use.

The Contribution Agreement for the OCT facility was signed between the EU and SOPAC (now the Geoscience Division of SPC) in December 2008. The project was managed by Frederique Lehoux, a bilingual project manager with significant experience in disaster risk management, who provided direct oversight of implementation. Access to SPC's technical / scientific resources in water resources management, oceanography, disaster risk management and others was be provided to all OCTs.

This project is now complete.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 February 2015 07:08  


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.