Vanuatu Globe receives United Nations award

By on 3 November, 2015

Vanuatu Globe 

The United Nations has recognised the CRC for Spatial Information’s Mapping Exposure to Sea Level Rise in the Pacific Islands Project as a leading initiative dealing with climate change.

This collaborative Project with NGIS Australia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade allows the Pacific Islands – Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea – to prepare for and adapt to sea level rise brought about by climate change. The project was one of 16 initiatives from around the world recognised with the prestigious Lighthouse Award, the United Nations Climate Change award.

Earlier this year the CRCSI and NGIS Australia were able to respond to the Cyclone Pam recovery by adapting the Vanuatu Globe using the data resources of over 200 organisations, providing critical map information which was accessed by more than 1000 people a day within days of the cyclone. The analysis found over 10,000 buildings at risk of inundation of sea level rise with the next 80 years and set a new precedent for publicly sharing elevation and sea level rise information.

In response to the United Nations announcement this week, the CRC for Spatial Information’s CEO Dr Peter Woodgate said, “The CRC for Spatial Information (CRCSI) with support from the Australian Government and NGIS, is delighted to have its work in the Pacific recognised by the United Nations Lighthouse Awards”.

“We are proud that this on-the-ground project delivered education and capacity building to the Pacific region. With close links to the Pacific community the CRCSI hopes to continue to bring its expertise to countries tackling the issue of climate change”.

The 2015 Lighthouse Activities were selected by an international advisory panel as part of the Momentum for Change initiative, which is implemented with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation, and operates in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.

“The 2015 Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities comprise an impressive range of projects and personal stories that touch on sustainability, climate protection, environmental consciousness and social responsibility”, said Teresa Ribera Rodriguez, Chair of the Momentum for Change Advisory Panel.

“With a record number of applications – more than 450 – this year, the Advisory Panel had a difficult time selecting the best of the best”.

The online interactive Vanuatu Globe has provided LiDAR, aerial imagery and flood information to “at-risk” communities in the Pacific. Importantly, it also built the GIS capacity and skills of local practitioners to use the data to understand risks from sea level rise.

For further information visit the CRCSI research page.

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