Coastal flooding tool aids communities at risk

December 14, 2016

The CRCSI has developed a webtool to allow coastal residents in Vanuatu to understand and act on rising sea levels and coastal flooding.

coastal flooding

Coastal Risk Vanuatu is an open access website created to give individuals, residential groups, and local and national governments awareness and knowledge of how coastal communities in Vanuatu will be affected by sea level rise and coastal flooding.

Developed by NGIS Australia and the CRC for Spatial Information (CRCSI), the website is meant to empower people living on the coast to take proactive steps to act on sea level rise.

“The Coastal Risk Vanuatu website will build awareness regarding the challenges that Vanuatu faces with climate change, and will ultimately lead to more effective decision making”, says Director General of Climate Change Vanuatu, Jesse Benjamin.

Coastal Risk Vanuatu is a new initiative that builds on the work of the Pacific Island Coastal Inundation Capacity Building project and the Vanuatu Globe – previous research conducted by NGIS Australia and CRCSI in 2014.

This project, funded by the Australian Government, provided hands-on knowledge about mapping the coastline. It delivered coastal mapping and risk assessment capacity building and training to 190 people in four Pacific nations.

Coastal Risk Vanuatu is an open interactive sea level rise platform, based on the Vanuatu digital elevation model. It incorporates social media photos and Pacific Community UAV imagery captured during the first response recovery post Cyclone Pam in 2015; demonstrating the value of imagery during disaster recovery.

“Building on the technical capabilities drawn from Australian research agencies, we now have the ability to accurately map coastlines to understand the impact of changing sea levels”, says Dr Nathan Quadros, Program Manager at CRCSI.

“Given our previous work in the Pacific Islands and the strong ties we have developed in the region, it is fitting that we extend our knowledge and expertise to vulnerable coastal communities, governments and NGO’s,” says Quadros.

“Through this easy-to-use sea level rise visualisation tool Vanuatu will have access to the best information for their coastal adaptation planning”.

Insight into the impact of rising sea level is hoped to aide Government and local agencies and guide stakeholders through better policy decisions. It will also assist NGO’s and emergency services to prepare for worse-case scenarios during coastal storms and flooding.

“With growing interest in the Pacific Region to be “climate ready”, we envisage further localised coastal risk websites to be developed in the coming months”, says Quadros.

“We encourage you to explore the layers and coastal knowledge captured in this website and provide feedback to info@coastalrisk.com.au”.

– Jessica Purbrick-Herbst

This article on the coastal flooding webtool was first shared by the CRCSI on 14 December 2016. Read the original article here.

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