Call to develop risk management

National

DEVELOPING and building in-country capacity to deal with disasters and risks within the Pacific region is important, an academic says.
Prof Chalapan Kaluwin, head of Environmental Science and Geography and the acting dean for the School of Natural and Physical Sciences at the University of Papua New Guinea, said a policy on disaster risk management had to go hand in hand with those of sustainable development. He was one of the panellists at a two-day forum on green infrastructure and poverty reduction in Pacific island countries which was attended by senior policy advisers, researchers and academics within the region.
The forum was held in Port Moresby this week.
Kaluwin said: “The adverse impact of climate change is really affecting our people and is imminent within the region.
“That’s why developing and building capacity in disaster risk management within countries and across the region is very important.
“We have a policy that emphasises and promotes sustainable development and that has to go hand in hand with emphasis on disaster risk management.”
Kaluwin said UPNG had discussions with the Government, relevant stakeholders and institutions to address the need of in-country capacity building.
“We have had some discussions and came up with a course programme at UPNG called the Bachelor of Sustainable Development,” he said.
“The course was launched and is currently being offered at UPNG with 130 students currently studying in the programme.”
Kaluwin said that there was still a great need for developing effective and efficient communication systems.
“Some of our small island states in the Pacific like the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and others still do not have effective communication systems to detect early warnings on disasters,” he said.
“This is a serious concern  which needs to be addressed with support from across the region and the very important aspect is the backing and support from governments, the political will to drive disaster risk management and sustainable development both in-country and in the region.”

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