Raising awareness and preparing for natural disasters in the Pacific
31 August, 2012
Sea defences under construction in Kiribati.
Pacific nations will be better prepared for natural disasters and extreme weather conditions as a result of three new commitments by the Australian Government.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the focus of the new commitments was to build resilience throughout the region to the impacts of climate change.
The funding includes:
- $32 million over the next four years to support 14 Pacific countries to use local weather, climate and sea level data to plan for unusual and extreme weather
- $16 million over the next four years to help Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga build their resilience to natural disasters
- an estimated $10 million in grant funding for non-government organisations to help communities become more resilient to climate change impacts, focusing on disaster risk reduction and food and water security.
The use of local weather, climate and sea level data to plan for unusual and extreme weather will help farmers, fishers and climate-sensitive industries such as tourism, healthcare and water management make better-informed decisions about their resources.
It will also help governments, communities and industries prepare for droughts and outbreaks of weather-related diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever.
Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga, countries that are extremely susceptible to severe disasters due to their geographic location, will be assisted to build their resilience to natural disasters.
Australia’s contribution will help their governments better manage these risks and respond more effectively in an emergency.
Support will also be provided to non-government organisations to help local communities in the region become more resilient to climate change impacts.
Communities will be helped to identify the risks they face from disasters and produce community action plans. Assistance will also go to local-level agriculture industries, to improve food security in times of crisis and enhance rural livelihoods.
This new funding for climate change and disaster risk reduction is in addition to the substantial funding for climate change adaptation assistance that the Australian Government has already committed to the Pacific region.
Last Reviewed: 31 August, 2012