Asia-Pacific

Tonga - Technical Advisory Mission

Tonga is frequently affected by earthquakes, volcanoes, cyclones and other coastal hazards such as storm surges. As a Small Island Developing State, Tonga is also experiencing the impacts of sea-level rise. The UN-SPIDER Programme supported the Kingdom of Tonga by carrying out a Technical Advisory Mission, at the request of the Tongan Government through the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources.

Dates: 

Tue, 20/03/2012 to Fri, 23/03/2012

Host Institution: 

Ministry of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources

Mission Team: 

David Stevens, UN-SPIDER Programme Coordinator, headed the mission team and was joined by experts from SOPAC, Dr. Wolf Forsttreuter, UN-OCHA, Ms. Rashmi Rita. Mr. Richard Kautoke Head of the GIS Division of the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources, as well as by Dave Leng a leading regional crowdsourcing expert. The mission builds upon the technical advisory support that UN-SPIDER has been providing to all Pacific Island Countries since 2008 with the support from the Government of Austria. The mission worked closely with Mr. Mafua-'i-Vai'utukakau Maka from the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO).

Mission Profile: 

The Mission was carried out from 20 to 23 March and included meetings with key stakeholders and a half-day workshop for senior policy makers, data providers, and disaster management and disaster risk reduction end users with the purpose of awareness generation and assessing the country needs and capacity. The aim of the mission was to 1. Review current policies, procedures and mechanisms related to the use of geo-spatial information and make recommendations; 2. To engage key stakeholders who are custodians of geo-spatial data relevant to disaster risk management; 3. Develop an institutional strengthening strategy for stakeholder agencies (individuals, institutions and infrastructure), and finally 4. Develop a long-term association with UN-SPIDER to take advantage of outreach activities, institutional strengthening programmes and resources available through the UN-SPIDER network.

Mission Recommendations: 

  • Initial recommendations put forward by the mission team include the need to focus on the establishment and consolidation of an institutional and legal framework regarding geospatial data including the need to ensure the wide practice and ease of data sharing. This includes the need to study the possibility of establishing a National Spatial Database Infrastructure (NSDI), aiming at contributing to the definition of the national spatial database (including the various data custodians) and data sharing policies, together with the strengthening of the leading role of the GIS Division of the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources.
  • The mission team also recommended the organisation of a one-day awareness raising high-level meeting for high ranking officials followed by a 5-day capacity building activity, either focusing on a vulnerability mapping exercise or an emergency response simulation exercise. This proposed event is scheduled initially to take place in August/September 2012.
  • The mission team also highlighted the need to ensure access to satellite imagery for on-going disaster events (emergency response) by mapping opportunities, creating linkages to existing mechanisms and defining roles of national institutions and regional partners including SOPAC. This should include also working closely with providers of satellite imagery to ensure data is received with the possibility of carrying out the pre-processing operations.
  • Finally, the mission team agreed that they would explore together the use of crowdsourcing capabilities in supporting NEMO’s needs, including the planning and carrying out of a simulation exercise similar to the simulation carried out by Samoa in December 2011, with the support of the UN-SPIDER Programme.

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satellite image of the island of Phuket before the tsunami hit

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) agreed on a 500,000 Euro investment from Germany to support early warning systems for disasters in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia.

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Publishing Date: 

Mon, 10/02/2014 - 15:34

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Publishing Date: 

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Publishing Date: 

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From 14 to 17 of August 2012, UN-SPIDER conducted the Capacity Building Programme “Space Technology for Improving

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Publishing Date: 

Fri, 24/08/2012 - 15:29

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UN-SPIDER news: 

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United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Maldives

In Maldives, UNICEF is trying to ensure exclusive breastfeeding and quality complementary feeding, together with safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. It also tries to improve the quality of education and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Maldives.

Website: http://www.unicef.org/maldives/index.html

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World Health Organization (WHO) in Maldives

WHO was the first UN agency to establish a country programme and an office in Maldives. WHO’s role as the longest standing partner in national health development is well recognized. WHO collaboration in Maldives has embraced a broad-based approach for meeting the country’s national health development needs.

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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Maldives

UNDP works with the people and the government of the Maldives to reduce disparities and vulnerabilities, to promote democratic governance, to protect the environment, and to empower communities. Technical expertise, advisory support, and UNDP supported project interventions as a whole contribute to improving people's lives in the Maldives.

Website: http://www.undp.org.mv

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Maldivian Department of National Planning

The Maldivian Department of National Planning runs under the Ministry of Finance and Treasury. Its mission is to plan, facilitate and co-ordinate national development towards a nation of excellence, and its main objectives are to promote national development through effective planning, to ensure optimum and sustainable utilization of available resources, to facilitate easy access to infrastructure and services for all Maldivians through population and development consolidation strategies, and to guide balance development and enhance the quality of life.

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Maldivian Meteorological Service

Realizing and understanding the role of meteorological services for socio-economic planning and the development of the country, the Department of Meteorology was established on 1 July 1980 as an independent office reporting to the President’s Office. The Department of Meteorology remained functioning under the Head of State’s Office until November 1993.

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