THE US government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development at USP has led a training session on community-based mapping techniques designed to assist coastal communities with climate change adaptation planning.
According to a statement, the training is part of USAID's Coastal Community Adaptation Project (C-CAP) which would support district and community-level climate change adaptation interventions in 12 Pacific Island countries.
"As part of the US commitment to development and rebalancing in the region, USAID is helping build and strengthen the Pacific region's resilience to climate change, which is necessary in promoting economic growth and stability," said USAID Mission director for the Pacific Islands, Gloria D. Steele.
Twelve country co-ordinators from USP participated in the session which focused on the use of community mapping as a tool to help communities plan for an upsurge of weather-related problems such as coastal erosion, increasing high tides, severe flooding, and resulting water-borne diseases.
The statement said community mapping techniques enable local decision makers to plot risks to critical infrastructure and prioritise actions to mitigate such risks.
Initial mapping efforts with communities in PNG and Fiji identified water distribution systems, schools, health clinics, drainage systems, and natural coastal assets as important elements to consider in long-term adaptation planning.