Pacific Island Countries are on the front line of climate change and natural hazards. These countries combine high exposure to frequent and damaging natural hazards with low capacity to manage the resulting risks. According to the World Bank, since 1950 extreme events have affected approximately 9.2 million people in the Pacific region. The CommonSensing (CS) project led by UNITAR-UNOSAT, was created with the aim to improve resilience to climate change, including disaster risk reduction, and to contribute to sustainable development in three Commonwealth Pacific island countries: Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The project aims at developing satellite-based information services that will directly match challenges and needs to support the three nations in their goals to strengthen capacity to access climate finance and report on climate funds; strengthen national and regional climate action policy; and reduce the impact and improved risk management of natural disasters and food security.
In November 2019, UNITAR-UNOSAT delivered the first training session as part of the capacity building activities of the CS project. This introductory session focused on building up the knowledge on Earth Observation and Geospatial Information Technology by introducing participants to the basic concepts and terminology related to GIS and Remote Sensing. Concepts included identification, search, collection and organization of geospatial data/information, basic concepts of GIT and EO application for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Resilience.
As a continuation, this training session will focus on Advanced Earth Observation topics and Geospatial Information Technology applications for climate resilience.