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PNG could lose millions of kina in disasters

Staff Reporter 8/18/2015 | | |
In the next 50 years there is a 50% chance that PNG could experience losses exceeding 700 million USD and almost 5,000 fatalities from earthquakes and tropical cyclones, estimates the 2011 Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment.
Situated in one of the most hazard prone regions on the planet, the complexity of disaster management in PNG requires tailored solutions that weave science into the decision-making process across all sectors.
The Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management and the National Disaster Centre are hosting a disaster science information session for an audience of technical partners, key government agencies, development partners and media in PNG.
Delegates representing PNG and Australian Government technical agencies will be reporting on ongoing collaborative projects addressing key national issues as well as results from lasts week’s risk communication workshop held in Kokopo, East New Britain.
“By tailoring our science to PNG’s unique physical, environmental and economic setting we can make it easier for decision makers to support communities across PNG. Today’s meeting is about building the partnerships that will enable us to do just that,” Geoscience Australia representative Dr Andrew Jones said.
In the coming years traditional monitoring programs will be expanded to include forecasting and response capabilities. The program will also include hazards like landslides that are increasing in frequency leaving PNG communities and valuable industries exposed.
“We are developing the first landslide susceptibility maps and remote sensing tools that can be used to guide response planning, infrastructure vulnerability and community development in PNG,” Dr Jones said.
The work is part of a program, supported by the Australian Government through the Australian aid program, to build the country’s scientific capacity to assess, monitor and respond to natural hazards. Implementing a multi sectorial approach to
natural disaster mitigation and preparedness can reduce impacts and ensure PNG’s hazards don’t derail progress toward sustainable development goals. Australian High Commission Media

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