Capacity Building Training on Establishment of Geo-DRM and Geospatial Data Management for Disaster Risk Reduction in Fiji
Mr. Iosefa Maiava, Head of ESCAP Pacific Office delivered an opening statement on the 'Capacity Building Training on Establishment of Geo-DRM and Geospatial Data Management for Disaster Risk Reduction' in Suva, Fiji. In his opening remarks, Mr. Maiava reiterated the importance of building resilience in the Pacific region in relation to natural disasters. He noted that ESCAP has made efforts to help build resilience to multiple shocks in the region. ESCAP released the theme study for the 69th session of the ESCAP Commission in 2013 titled “Building Resilience to Natural Disasters and Major Economic Crisis”. The Theme Study highlighted that small island developing countries including Fiji are the most vulnerable countries to natural disasters and other multiple shocks.
Mr. Maiava emphasized that space technologies and Geographic Information System (GIS) applications are extremely important tools for reducing the levels of risk and impacts from natural disasters. These applications play a crucial role in establishing effective monitoring and end-to-end early warning systems at the regional, sub-regional and national levels, thus, mitigating or minimizing the adverse impacts of natural disasters. Hence, capacity training on this area is not only critical but also timely considering the recent natural disasters that affected Fiji. Despite the significant progress achieved in this region, these technologies are not yet fully benefiting our nations.
He noted that the geo-portal for disaster risk management, also known as Geo-DRM, is an essential platform for overcoming some of these challenges. This standardized platform provides a unique opportunity for policymakers to combine their space-based data with disaggregated socio-economic ground data, and provide the correct and accurate information for effective disaster preparedness, response, relief and recovery. In this regard, ESCAP has tried to assist the Cook Islands, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Nepal to establish their Geo-DRM system. Now, the training in Fiji will provide a good opportunity to learn how to set up the Geo-DRM and acquire knowledge and capacity in using geospatial data and system.
The Capacity Building training is a result of a joint collaboration between the Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division of ESCAP, the Government of Fiji and ESCAP Pacific Office. The capacity building training will be completed by 7 March 2014.