New tools to increase resilience of Pacific Island countries to natural disasters


map_uspA major regional geospatial information system and other innovative risk assessment tools are being developed to assist Pacific Island countries to undertake evidence-based decision making in development planning and finance. A four-day workshop, running from 9 to 12 June 2015, opened in Suva today with representatives from Pacific region governments and development partners attending, focusing on the disaster risk modelling and assessment tools. The tools, including a rapid impact estimation tool and the Pacific Risk Information System (PacRIS), are being developed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), World Bank and the Asian Development Bank with the financial support of the Government of Japan and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). “These tools can be used to improve the resilience of Pacific Island countries by providing the technical information needed to make informed decisions about risk of disasters to communities and their assets,” the Director of SPC’s Geoscience Division, Professor Michael Petterson, said. The workshop is hosted by SPC and the World Bank through the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI), which aims to establish an upgraded disaster and climate risk information platform, and to enhance the capacity of Pacific Island governments to use it. “The workshop aims to engage with countries on the risk assessment products and tools being developed, providing training and a deeper understanding of risk modelling methodology used in PCRAFI to assist countries to have more of the data they need immediately after an event,” Prof Petterson said. Read more.