The Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources has collaborated with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Operations Satellite Program (UNOSAT) and the UK Space Agency’s International Program (IPP) on an initiative called the CommonSensing Project.
“The main objective of the project is to improve resilience towards climate change, improve disaster risk reduction and contribute towards the sustainable development of the three selected Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) - Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu,” said Minister, Faiyaz Koya.
He was officiating at the fourth National Geospatial Information Annual Conference in Suva, and noted that the project would be further achieved via existing programs within the Commonwealth Secretariat, such as the Climate Finance Access Hub.
The three-year project commenced in January of this year, with scientists visiting various government organizations for a fact-finding mission on data availability and capacity level.
“At the end of the 3-year project, it is anticipated that we will have outcomes such as increased resource capacities to address disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, enhanced evidence based decision making by using solutions for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and strengthened knowledge, skills and awareness on solutions for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.”
Koya had previously encouraged a collaborative effort in the sharing of quality data through a national geospatial information management strategy, which the ministry established.
The Lands and Mineral Resources ministry was allocated close to $5 million for the development of the VanuaGIS, as a modernization of its own datum and the purchase of satellite images and a mapping drone.