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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  


Newsflash

Tuesday, 12 November 2013, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji –  On the old main wharf in Funafuti, Tuvalu, few passers-by normally stop to take note of the tall white hut that juts out over the lagoon. For the last two weeks, however, this hut- one of 14 similar dockside huts across the Pacific that monitor sea level and weather conditions- has been buzzing with activity as regional technicians work to upgrade the sensors, power, and data communications systems housed within.

The completion of this work in Tuvalu represents the successful conclusion of a 2-year project funded by the Australian Government to improve sea level and climate monitoring across the region.

‘The sea-level stations always collected data continuously, but only transmitted the data every hour,’ explains Stamy Criticos, logistics and installation manager from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.  ‘With the upgrade, the network of 14 stations are now transmitting every minute and will soon be able to provide real-time data to meteorologists around the Pacific. It will also be used to enhance tsunami  tracking and warning systems.’

Known as the Observation Network Upgrade Project (ONUP), this project is boosting the capability of the Pacific Sea Level Monitoring Project, which has collected data from 14 sites across the Pacific since 1991.  This data is used to understand sea-level changes and is frequently referenced for coastal development work, urban planning, tidal predictions, formulation of maritime boundaries, wave modelling and for navigational purposes.