SPC Geoscience Division

Home

Queensland Fire support Pacific disaster preparation

E-mail Print PDF


2 September 2016, Brisbane

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is today hosting a professional development workshop with disaster managers from 15 Pacific Island countries to help strengthen the region’s ability to best respond to disasters.

This comes just months after the strongest recorded cyclone in the Southern Hemisphere slammed into Fiji causing widespread devastation and challenging the country’s ability to respond to such a large disaster on a huge scale.

The training has been organised in partnership with the Pacific Islands Emergency Management Alliance (PIEMA), focused on strengthening emergency management across the region by creating sustainable, long-term partnerships with agencies like QFES.



PIEMA is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) and funded by the European Union’s €19.37million ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project.

SPC Disaster Reduction Programme Manager, Dr. Paul Taylor said, “The predictions for the region show disasters will increase in strength and we’ve seen this kind of devastation already in recent months with Cyclone Winston.  Partnerships like the one with QFES are critical because they genuinely help support emergency management teams in the Pacific to save lives,” he said.

The European Union Ambassador to the Pacific, H.E. Andrew Jacobs, commended the work of Pacific Island emergency managers tasked with the role of protecting their communities from the impact of disaster.

He said, “The European Union is committed to helping our Pacific partners to cope with future disasters. With other partners we are committed to ensuring much-needed long-term support for best practice emergency management for Pacific Island countries.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Assistant Commissioner Neil Reid said the commitment to our Pacific neighbours was critical to building safe and more resilient communities.

“This partnership is a step in the right direction for the future of emergency management, as increasing disaster preparedness while reducing the impact on Pacific Island nations has long-term benefits for the entire region,” Mr Reid said.

“QFES is proud to support our international counterparts with the provision of professional development training and resources. Partnerships such as this are a tremendous opportunity to share knowledge, information and cooperation to improve response during emergencies and disasters,” he added.

The training is a culmination of PIEMA’s biennial meeting held as part of the 2016 Emergency Management Week where the new Strategic Agenda for PIEMA was launched (SA2020).

This training, involving disasters managers from Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and other Pacific locations, is one of the first steps to making this strategic plan a reality supporting increased emergency management  while protecting more lives from the impact of disaster.

The training today will consist of urban search and rescue, creating common management systems and helping support national accreditation of best practice emergency service response for Pacific Island countries.

 

Media contacts

Anthony Blake, Pacific Community/PIEMA Project Officer, +61 421 643 647 e: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Lisa Kingsberry, Pacific Community Communications (Fiji), +679 9252849, e: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it




Background

The Pacific Islands Emergency Management Alliance (PIEMA) is made up of the Regional Disaster Managers Meeting, Pacific Island Fire and Emergency Services Association and the Pacific Island Chiefs of Police.

PIEMA is funded by the ACP-European Union Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project (BSRP) implemented by SPC.

BSRP is a EUR 19.37million project funded by the EU and implemented by SPC.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 05 September 2016 14:47  

Newsflash

Distinguished Guests, and Colleagues,

It is with much pleasure as Director of the SOPAC Division of the SPC that I present to you this morning the Keynote Address for this Conference, the largest of its kind in the region and which was set up to showcase new tools and concepts for improved data collection, capabilities and analysis in GIS and Remote Sensing. At the same time I would like to acknowledge Dr Jimmie Rodgers the Director General of the SPC who is unable to be here today and he gives his apologies.

Firstly, however it would be remiss of me if I did not take this opportunity to welcome all of you here this morning to the Opening of this Conference, and in particular I extend a welcome to all representatives of island governments and administrations, donor partner representatives, representatives of CROP organisations, educationalists, scientists and technologists from other stakeholder groups including NGOs. In particular I would like to highlight the many representatives from the private sector, including satellite data providers, image resellers, software and hardware companies. We have gathered here in the room a genuine mix of providers, developers and users.

Secondly, I would like to acknowledge that I have been privileged to address this conference over recent years and in that context I would like to acknowledge that having something different to say has never been difficult. GIS and Remote Sensing is one of the fastest developing technologies no matter whether you are a provider, and developer or a user.

On the global agenda the outcome of Rio+20 this year "The Future We Want" contains a particular paragraph of relevance:
274. We recognize the importance of space-technology-based data, in situ monitoring, and reliable geospatial information for sustainable development policy-making, programming and project operations.

And here in the region and for the benefit of Pacific island countries and territories we are all striving to stay at the "cutting edge of the technology."  In this regard the theme of this Conference focusing on mapping Pacific resources is very timely.