SPC Geoscience Division

Home News & Media Releases Latest 6th Session of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management Opens in Suva

6th Session of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management Opens in Suva

E-mail Print PDF

Monday 2nd June 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) – Suva, Fiji - Co-convened by the Secretariat of Pacific Community (SPC) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the 6th Session of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management officially opened today, Monday 2nd June at Hotel Novotel in Lami Bay, Fiji.

Opened by Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu, Fiji's Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests – the 6th Pacific Platform provides the region with a pivotal opportunity to shape disaster risk and climate change efforts for the next 20 years and beyond.

It will seek to gain support for the draft Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development in the Pacific (SRDP) and the development of the Post - 2015 Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction.

With the development of the SRDP, the Pacific is globally leading the way as the first region in the world to develop a regional strategy that integrates climate change and disaster risk management, while also nesting these priorities within the context of resilient development.  
The representation of international leaders at the 6th Pacific Platform, such as H.E. Mr Thani Thongphakdi, Thai Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva and H.E. Mr Kenichi Suganuma, Japanese Ambassador for 3WCDRR, Government of Japan, shows that the wider region is looking to the Pacific to lead this integration.

Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction UNISDR, after giving a special video address to the Platform said the Pacific constantly demonstrates its “can-do” attitude and strong leadership of disaster risk reduction and climate change.

‘In fact, the Pacific was one of the first regions in the world to clearly foresee the obvious links between climate change, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development policies and shows that no development can be sustainable without linking these three agendas together to be part of the same solution,’ she said.

In his opening address, Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu said that Fiji fully supports the proposed SRDP as a successor to the DRM Regional Framework for Action 2005- 2015 (RFA) and Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change 2006-2015 (PIFACC).

‘I believe that the new Strategy or SRDP is a “world first” and, collectively, you should be proud of your contributions and achievements. For those of us in the region, the climate and disaster instruments are integrated and inseparable, unique to our island nature and the SRDP is the right approach to take us into the future.’  

‘For Fiji, a good example of this integrated approach is the Vunidogoloa village disaster risk and climate change mitigation project, where the Government and the community work together, relocating the whole community to higher ground to reduce disaster risk and climate change effect and where sustainable growths and developments are promoted, unhindered. More than 40 communities in Fiji, also identified, will undergo the same programme. It is time to “walk the talk” and make things possible,’ he said.

In her address, Ms Fekita Utoikamanu, Deputy Director General Secretariat of the Pacific Community, said that many Pacific Island countries have already made significant progress in efforts to integrate climate change and disaster risk management at the national level.

‘Vanuatu has already established a National Advisory Board on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management which coordinates activities in these areas on behalf of the Government. In 2013, the Federated States of Micronesia developed a nation-wide Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Policy to guide integrated implementation of activities at the State level in their country.

‘At the regional level, SPC is also developing a special unit that will coordinate all climate change and disaster risk management activities across SPC’s seven divisions. Once fully established, this Unit will be the hub for cross-cutting development issues and allow us to work with the Governments in the region in a more effective way,’ Ms Utoikamanu said.

The inaugural Pacific Innovation & Leadership Award for Resilience (PILAR) is also being launched by UNISDR at this year's Platform.  This Award, which will be announced this evening, aims to recognise innovative Pacific examples of disaster risk management initiatives over the last 12 months.

While the 6th Session of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management (2-4 June) will focus on regional and global policy initiatives, the following 20th Regional Disaster Managers Meeting (5-6 June) will look at specific priorities for strengthening Pacific Island countries and territories’ capacities in disaster preparedness and response.

For more information, contact Clare White (Tel: 3249 229; email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or visit: http://www.pacificdisaster.net:8080/Plone/pacific-platform.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 June 2014 10:59  


In a historic victory that humbled the competition that included aid agencies, high commissions and embassies, the ebullient SOPAC team walked away with top honours at the 2010 Mini Olympics held at Yat Sen School in Suva recently.

The team was hosted to a celebration lunch at SOPAC headquarters last Friday where some of the winning team posed for this picture (below).