The Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology

WMO
Technical Commission 
for Hydrology

JCOMM Technical Report No. 70

jcomm

 

Fiji Stakeholders Workshop for
WMO Coastal Inundation Forecasting Demonstration Project

18 - 21 February 2013, Nadi, Fiji

 

General Summary  
       - Discussion during the workshop
              - Technical requirements
              - User requirements
       - Outcome of the workshop

Workshop Web Page
       - Programme / Agenda   
       - Presentations and Documents
       - List of Participants

List of JCOMM Technical Reports
Project Website: Coastal Inundation Forecasting Demonstration Project (http://www.jcomm.info/CIFDP)

 


General Summary

 

CIFDP Fiji Workshop group pictureThe Stakeholders Workshop for the WMO Coastal Inundation Forecasting Demonstration Project in Fiji (CIFDP-FSW) was held at the conference room of the Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi, Fiji. This was the kick-off of the national sub-project of CIFDP in Fiji (CIFDP-F), of which the Phase 1 was sponsored by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and implemented by WMO in collaboration with the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS).

          The objectives of the Workshop included:

  • Wide introduction of the CIFDP efforts to the National Stakeholders;
  • Collecting information on stakeholder, capacities, needs and requirements;
  • Encouraging interaction among relevant data producing agencies of the country/region for CIFDP implementation;
  • Initiating and/or compiling the assessment of the national capabilities for coastal flood risk / inundation forecasting and related emergency management structures;
  • Compiling a high level inventory of the institutional end-users’ information and communication needs for emergency management during extreme coastal flooding events;
  • Obtaining agreement and commitment of the National Stakeholders and regional partners for CIFDP-F implementation, and defining their respective roles.

          The Stakeholders Workshop involved about 50 participants including members of the Project Steering Group and other international experts, and a large number of stakeholder agencies in Fiji; including the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS), National Disaster Management Office, Fiji Navy, Commissioner' s Offices, Airport Fiji Ltd., Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd., Maritime Safety Authority, Fiji's Climate Change Unit, Department of Environment, Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utility, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Fisheries, Department of Forests, Manager Properties, Integrated Water Resource Management, Red Cross. Representatives of the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centers (Australia, New Zealand and Fiji) as well as regional partners such as the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) / Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), and IOC regional tsunami warning programme participated in the discussion.

          At 0930 hours on Monday 18 February 2013, the Workshop was dedicated to the Almighty and His guidance and blessings sought for the ensuing four days of exchange and discussions, by Reverend Savenaca Nakete. Dr Boram Lee, WMO representative, then addressed the session, before the official opening and keynote address by the Fiji Government, delivered by Captain Timoci Lesikivatukoula Natuva, the Honourable Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities.

          As Chief Guest, Captain Timoci Lesikivatukoula Natuva, Honourable Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities, provided the keynote speech, in which he expressed concerns on the fact that meteorological and hydrological extremes are becoming more frequent and intense, and the losses caused by meteorological and hydrological disasters are rapidly increasing along the coasts. With growing economic activities in coastal zones, and the strong need for enhanced forecasting and warning services for coastal communities. Captain Natuva informed the session that the Government of Fiji, in its efforts to address gaps in its national early warning system for flooding, decided to transfer the flood forecasting and warning mandate to the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) in May 2012. Noting that this provided an ideal basis for the successful demonstration of an integrated Coastal Inundation Forecasting (CIF), Captain Natuva reaffirmed full engagement and support of the Government of Fiji for CIFDP implementation, and wished the workshop great success.

          Dr Boram Lee, WMO representative, expressed her appreciation to the national stakeholders, regional and global partners and international experts for participating in this important initiative, and congratulated the Government of Fiji for its proactive measure in developing forecasting and warning services for coastal inundation. She emphasized the focus of CIFDP on "Demonstration of improved Forecasting" that is based on national requirements, and to be run by a national operational agency, and noted the importance of reaching an agreement among the national stakeholders for the CIFDP implementation through identifying "gaps" and "requirements" during the Workshop.

          The sessions were moderated by Mr Alipate Waqaicelua, Director of the Fiji Meteorological Service and the Permanent Representative of Fiji with WMO, Drs Don Resio and Val Swail, CIFDP Steering Group (PSG) co-chairs; and Dr Linda Anderson-Berry, PSG member for social science.

 

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Discussion during the Workshop


Introduction to CIFDP

         Drs Don Resio and Val Swail presented all participants the CIFDP framework, including the project concept, scope, implementation plan and the conceptual guidelines for technical development (see http://www.jcomm.info/CIFDP, as well as the presentation at the Workshop). The CIFDP, as a framework for national sub-project demonstration, was developed with a view to improving safety-related services for coastal communities, and to meet the need for socio-economic sustainability through the development of coastal inundation forecasting and warning systems. The main line of activities and expected outcome of the CIFDP implementation includes; 1) Identifying the national and regional requirements; 2) Developing and transferring technology; 3) Building communication platforms; and, 4) Specialized training programmes.

          Drs Resio and Swail emphasized that; 1) the CIFDP aims to build an improved operational forecast and warning capability; and, 2) the developed Coastal Inundation Forecasting (CIF) system, after the completion of a national sub-project, should be operated and maintained by the responsible national agency.  They also noted that, in each phase of CIFDP-F implementation, the identified best practices and the developed coastal inundation forecasting system would benefit neighbouring countries/islands of the Region to assist with related development.

         It was followed by the introduction on relevant programmes and activities in the region, in view of identifying the area/aspects of collaboration among the Project and these programmes for CIFDP-F implementation;



Review of relevant activities to coastal inundation / observation / forecasting / warning and management
 

The Workshop was presented with the ongoing activities in Fiji and in the South Pacific region, which could provide a basis for, and are relevant to coastal inundation forecasting and warning services in Fiji. A brief summary of the presentations is given in this section. 

In summarizing the technical session, the PSG noted the wealth of experience within the country and the region, and concurred with the presenters that a successful inundation forecast system would need to include riverine, wave, storm surge and large scale ocean sea surface height anomaly contributions to total water levels, either separately or in combination. 

 

Presentation by SPC/SOPAC 

          Dr Jens Kruger, representative of SPC/SOPAC, outlined SPC’s recent and current activities in the context of coastal hazards along southern Viti Levu (Coral Coast). In summary:

  • Post event survey after May 2011 extreme swell event: runup and inundation levels;
  • Current implementation of a three year EU-funded Waves and Coast (WACOP) Project with a field site on the Coral-Coast with the specific objective to “to improve the technical knowledge base, information and understanding of coastal hazards at scales relevant to small Pacific islands.

         Based on this, and an understanding of hydrodynamics on reef-fringed shorelines of mid-ocean islands such as Fiji, Dr Kruger proposed that the CIFDP-F should consider extreme swell waves. Swell waves generated by extratropical storms in the high latitudes are a major hazard and contribute significantly to coastal inundation. Resultant wave setup and runup at the coastline can cause inundation levels that are a magnitude higher than those caused by storm surge.

         In this regard, Dr Kruger outlined a proposal that SPC has submitted to the World Bank under the Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) for an “operational wave forecasting for early warning systems, southern Viti Levu, Fiji”. If funded, this will be implemented in partnership with the FMS, and would be an activity to benefit from strong links with the CIFDP.


Presentation on SPREP 

Dr Neville Koop, SPREP representative, introduced the role and activities of the Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC). It was established by the 14th Pacific Regional Meteorological Service Directors Meeting held in Majuro, Marshall Islands, August 2011. The PMC reports directly to the SPREP Officials Meeting and has been endorsed by the SPREP member countries as the principal conduit for the development of meteorological services in the Pacific Islands region. Dr Koop informed that the next meeting of the PMC would be held from 1-5 July 2013 in Nadi, Fiji. 

Dr Koop informed that the SPREP serves as the secretariat for the PMC, and currently the President of the PMC is Mr. Reginald White, Director of the RMI National Weather Service while the Vice President is Mr. Jotham Napat, Director of the Vanuatu Meteorological and Geoscience Department. SPREP hosts the Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership (PacMetDesk) as a conduit for Pacific Island National Meteorological Services to seek technical and financial support for capacity building. The PacMetDesk Partnership serves as the regional weather and climate services coordination mechanism to deliver a regionally coordinated effort to service SPREP Members needs in the area of weather and climate services.

The Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership comprises two core components; 

  1. Secretariat based component ‐ an arrangement of Secretariat resources (staffing) and dedicated Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership resources.
  2. Partners’ Consortium component ‐ the arrangement of technical partner agencies to the Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership and includes the organization of their related activities and outputs (note that donor partners are included elsewhere in a governance role rather than in this arrangement).

The Secretariat component is made up of the Apia‐based Secretariats of SPREP and the WMO working in close collaboration, and coordinates overall coordination and leadership of the Pacific Meteorological Desk Partnership function in terms of linking national and regional priority needs, and at the same time reports on PacMetDesk Partnership activities to the SPREP Meeting and the Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC), including monitoring and evaluation. 

The Partners Component refers to the collective of technical expert institutions that will form the key technical expertise that will be delivered to build the capacity of Pacific NMHS. Key SPREP partners institutions include the US NOAA NWS, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, New Zealand MetService, Finnish Meteorological Institute, NIWA and JICA among others. The Partners component will look to deliver focused capacity building in areas such as: 

  1. Meteorologist, climatologist and technician training,
  2. End user services and products for agriculture, fisheries, water resource management etc.,
  3. Infrastructural support in expanding and maintaining observation networks, meteorological telecommunications hardware and software, database management systems etc.,

Through its roles servicing the national Meteorological Services of the region SPREP PacMetDesk plays an important role in supporting the development of forecasting and warning services within the region, including for Fiji.

 

Presentation on PI-GOOS

Dr Philip Wiles, PI-GOOS officer introduced the Pacific Component of the Global Ocean Observing System (PI-GOOS). It provides information on several levels for coastal inundation forecasting.  The Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) measurements of oceanographic and meteorological conditions along the equator provide an early warning system for El Niño and La Niña events, which change the distribution of cyclones across the Pacific during the cyclone season. 

On a shorter timescale, satellite measurements of sea surface temperature are used to assist predictions of the strength of cyclones as they develop in the Pacific. 

Near real-time measurement of sea level anomalies (both remotely from satellites and in situ from tide gauges) can refine the forecasting of inundation events in the Pacific, as the propagation of waves across the reef flat to shore is highly dependent on the water depth across the reef flat.  In extreme cases, the coincidence of high spring tides and sea level offset can lead to coastal inundation in the absence of other forcing.  Sea level anomalies often occur from regional differences (such as El Niño and La Niña) and from mesoscale warm and cold core eddies. 

It is noteworthy that if the current local(?) rate of sea level rise of 4.9 mm/year continues (as observed at the Lautoka tide gauge), then coastal inundation events will occur on a more regular basis.

 

Presentation on Severe Weather Forecasting and Disaster risk reduction Demonstration Project (SWFFDP) 

Mr Steve Ready, representative of the New Zealand MetService, introduced the Severe Weather Forecasting and Disaster risk reduction Demonstration Project (SWFFDP) in the tropical South Pacific in the past 30 years. 

Mr Ready noted that, while the Project is making good progress, there are a number of areas that will have an impact on whether it is sustainable or not in the years ahead and whether it continues to develop. These are: 

  • RSMC Wellington is unable to make any further unfunded commitments
  • The Project website, MetConnect Pacific will require constant upgrading to incorporate new or additional fields, and to maintain a modern architecture.
  • In-country training has proved to be an asset in reaching out to participating countries and helping to enkindle better collaboration amongst those involved in ‘last mile’ communications e.g. disaster managers, and other Government and non-Government agencies.
  • An effective non-tropical cyclone warning system needs to be up and running in all participating countries
  • Participating countries need to embrace the benefits of the Project more dearly – what can we do for the Project rather that what the Project should be doing for us
  • Finding a way around no radar(s) to monitor severe weather events will be pivotal to the way severe weather events are handled

Mr Ready noted that there are definite parallels between CIFDP and SWFFDP so lessons learnt so far in SWFDDP would be valuable in setting up CIFDP; he advised that, to ensure successful implementation of CIFDP-F, the Fiji Meteorological Service should take the lead and embrace CIFDP wholeheartedly while the other members of the National Coordination Team (NCT) carry out their roles in strong support.

 

Presentation on BOM activities

Dr Mikhail Entel (BOM) presented a brief overview of some of the systems, products and research activities of the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO (through CAWCR) that are potentially relevant for CIFDP-F. The overview included current operational models, systems and products, models considered for operational implementation, systems currently under development, and also research activities and products. 

Separately were considered some relevant activities and products issued and disseminated by the Darwin RSMC. It was noted that some of the products from RSMC are available via the Bureau’s interactive chart viewer (with the links available from the Bureau’s external web page http://www.bom.gov.au) and also via the Metconnect web portal operated under the SWFDDP. RSMC products include TAFs, ACESS NWP products, tropical meteograms, public weather and marine weather products, ad-hoc advice and various interchanges, and also various climate products and technical interactions. 

The presented operational systems included the following: 

  • ACCESS-G,R. The ACCESS suite of global (G) and regional (R) models underpin the NWP capabilities and products of the Bureau of Meteorology. At the end of 2012 the operational models were upgraded to the version APS1. ACCESS-G runs at 40 km spatial resolution providing forecasts up to7 days ahead, ACCESS-R runs at 0.125- degree resolution and provides forecasts up to 72 hrs ahead
  • ACCESS-TC is a relocatable model for prediction of tropical cyclones (spatial resolution about 12km). The verification statistics for TC track and intensities for the Australian and Pacific regions were discussed, it was noted that the ACCESS-TC is less skilful in the Pacific due to the scarcity of observations in this region.
  • AUSWAVE-G,R – new global and regional wave models based on Wavewatch-III model (global 0.4degree regional 0.125 degree resolution)
  • OceanMAPSv2.2 – global ocean data assimilation and modelling system with the spatial resolution of 10km in the Australian region providing forecast for up to 7 days for currents, temperature, sea-surface height anomalies and salinity
  • Bureau’s input to SWFDDP suite of products and guidance disseminated through the Metconnect portal
  • TC module - a tool for forecasters to facilitate producing forecasts for TCs - already utilised by the Fiji Met Service
  • Hydrological river flow and flood prediction systems and procedures operated by the Bureau
  • Tide gauges and tide predictions for Suva and Lautoka maintained by the BOM under the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project (these products were noted in another presentation by D. Resio)

Pre-operational system considered included: 

  • The “Total Sea Level” system developed under the BLUElink project in CAWCR. It combines forecasts for coastal sea-level anomalies from the OceanMAPS ocean model (produced by coastally trapped wave, Ekman transport, wind stresses, thermal expansion of the ocean, etc), harmonic tide prediction, and atmospheric pressure-related sea level changes to produce forecasts for the “total sea level”
  • TC wind probabilities generator in the Australian Region which utilises the Monte-Carlo technique and the statistics of the errors of official TC forecasts of the BOM for the last 5 years to produce an ensemble of 1000 synthetic TC tracks which allows to quantify the uncertainty of TC forecasts

Research activities (having either direct relevance, informing and/or enabling for CIFDP) included: 

  • “StormTide” surge system which would combine output from various models (including tides, background sea levels, TC forecasts including ensemble track predictions) and a surge model to produce forecasts for coastal storm surges
  • Tsunami inundation modelling
  • 30 year wave hindcast for the Pacific funded by PACCSAP, the output has 1hr temporal resolution, 30 variables, provided on mosaic grids with high resolution around Australia and Pacific Islands of interest (resolution from 4 arcmin to 0.4 degrees with about 3600 spectral output points
  • A sub-project (funded by PACCSAP) led by K. McInnes from CSIRO to understand extreme sea levels coastal events in the Pacific
  • A study on integration of hydrological river flow model and a ocean surge model (centred on river estuary) to improve forecasts of river height dynamics (M.Entel and C.Leahy, BOM)

 

Status of Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS), relevant to coastal inundation forecasting and warning

Representatives of the Fiji Meteorological Service presented on the status of FMS, including its role, available technical systems and facilities, and currently available forecasting and warning services (see the presentation at the Workshop). Regarding the forecasting and warning issued by FMS, efforts are focussed on heavy rain, swells/large waves, tropical and flash flooding; by using the available observations (e.g., radar, AWS, automatic rainfall stations) and information (e.g. global model products, satellite information). The FMS is also playing the role as Regional Forecast Centre (RFC) for Niue, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tokelau, and Southwest Pacific Marine, by providing Marine/Public Bulletins and aviation services (for Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu , Kiribati and Niue). FMS is also the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) for Tropical Cyclone in WMO RA V.

The participants in the Workshop recalled the decision by the Government of Fiji to transfer the Hydrology unit to FMS, as of October 2012, to facilitate and improve flood warning. As a result fifteen (15) Flood forecasting unites were transferred under FMS, with responsibility of preparing and distributing hydrological services including flood warning.

FMS noted that it currently does not operate forecasting models, and faces additional challenges to implement a Coastal Inundation Forecasting (CIF) in the future, including:

  • —           Need for wind distribution/extent of winds, other than scatterometer;
  • —           Flash flooding due to high intensity rainfall over a short duration of time;
  • —           Need for wave modelling.

 

Status of Fiji disaster management and related efforts

The representative of the Fiji National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) presented on the established national disaster management structure, and efforts to build the national resilience to disasters. Under the Natural Disaster Management Act (1998), which sets out the framework for handling all aspects of disaster management, the National Disaster Management Council (NDMC), which includes the Permanent Secretaries and CEOs of key departments and agencies coordinates and controls the overall disaster management during the emergency. NDMO is the operational arm of NDMC, to implement DM-related policies in close cooperation with government ministries and NGOs. At the Division and District levels the Commissioner and Provincial Administrator/District Officer respectively are responsible for the emergency operation in their areas of operation in close cooperation with their respective Disaster Management Councils. Before, during and after the emergency, the NDMO also coordinates activities for prevention, mitigation, preparedness and relief/rehabilitation/reconstruction. 

The Participants in the Workshop were then introduced to the activities of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in Fiji, a project funded by Global Environmental Facility (GEF). Dr Vinesh Kumar, project manager, explained that the project aims to integrate land and water management planning using an integrated flood risk management approach to improve flood preparedness and management within the Nadi Basin. It is designed to raise awareness of flooding issues, and to help local communities and other stakeholders to improve their resilience to flooding through an improved understanding of the river network and floodplain interactions. It was acknowledged that the project implementation has been successful to reduce community risk and enhance the community resilience. Efforts are currently extended to work with the World Bank to establish an Integrated Flood Management in the Pacific, through implementing a pilot in Nadi. 

The representative of the Fiji Climate Change Unit provided information on Fiji's recent efforts for adaptation to climate change, and related activities.

 

 

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Technical Requirements for Operational Coastal Inundation Forecasting and Warning in Fiji

Based on the collected responses to the survey on technical/infrastructure requirements and capacity for the establishment/implementation/maintenance of an effective and durable national Coastal Inundation Warning and Mitigation System, and building on the precedent discussion and information session, participants in the Workshop reviewed the status of operational forecasting services available in Fiji in terms of:

  • the existing operational forecasting practices for coastal inundation including models for waves, storm surges and hydrological flooding;
  • a description of the observational systems, both real time and delayed mode (for verification and validation),
  • associated data including bathymetry and digital elevation data, river flow data (either real time or climatological averages):
  • access where appropriate to multi-scale numerical weather prediction products, either deterministic or probabilistic;
  • use of regional advisory products.

The following discussion was focused on identifying gaps for coastal inundation forecasting and warning services in Fiji, including service product delivery. Relating to this, available technology options for the operational environments of Fiji were also briefly explored, pending further investigation in the Phase 1 implementation. Special attention will be given to the information collection for the following subjects:

  • Assessment of existing marine meteorology, hydrology and tropical cyclones forecasting capacities, with the focus on compatibility with open-source modelling software packages;
  • Assessment of the availability of met-ocean, atmosphere and hydrology data, including access to real-time observations, bathymetry, Digital Elevation Model (DEM), Geographic Information System (GIS) and data related to past coastal inundations events;
  • Data collection and establishment of a storm surges/coastal floods events database, in coordination with storm surge climatology initiatives;
  • Procedure to produce and deliver forecasting services to immediate/primary users.

In concluding the discussion on this topic, the participants identified the key technical elements to be considered in the implementation of CIFDP-F, as follows. It should be noted that, CIFDP-F would take into account those requirements as a whole, and employ those directly relevant parts for the project plan and system design (in Phase 2), while the implementation should be made for only the defined scope within the CIFDP-F context:

 

Requirements for Fiji Coastal Inundation Forecasting (CIF): Outline

  • Before a coastal inundation event
    1. Bathymetry: resolution 100 m (horizontal) / 1 m (vertical), update every 5 years on shelf
    2. Coastal elevation: resolution 5 m (horizontal) / 0.5 m (vertical), update every 10 years
    3. Parameters of river – cross section
    4. Important infrastructure, land use
    5. Evaluation of tidal dynamics/components at each island under consideration
  • During a coastal inundation event and the preceding few days
    1. Metocean forcing and water level response
    2. storm track, size and intensity, near shore wind fields,
    3. wave heights (near and far field), surface water levels,
    4. surface pressure fields,
    5. sea surface height anomalies , depth-averaged ocean/tidal currents
  • After a coastal inundation event
    1. Surveys of inundation extent, depth and duration: resolution 25 m

Required Data and Information (Meteorological/Oceanographic/Hydrological/Boundary input): with emphasis on free data exchange in real time, and appropriate quality control

  • Use of Tide Gauge observations in forecasting model(s):
    • Optimum network of tide gauges in the vulnerable coastal areas
    • Tide gauge at Nadi would be very useful
    • To collect 1-min. average data
  • Improved observations for cyclones and heavy rainfall
  • Satellite data for ocean winds, Sea Surface Temperature, waves, Sea Surface Height Anomaly, etc.
  • Wave measurements in deep water offshore and shallow water nearshore
  • Bathymetry
    • 100 m horizontal resolution over the continental shelf
    • Recommend updates every 3 years in the river delta regions
  • On-shore topography
    • 5m resolution (horizontal), and 0.5 m (vertical)
    • updates preferably every 10 years
  • Area weighted rainfall in the river catchment along with station data
  • Improved use of radar rainfall information (i.e. digital)
  • Stage-discharge relationships
  • Sustainability of existing river gauge network for river runoff
  • Information on land use (including coastal infrastructure, roads), including human controlled structures such as flood gates
  • Archive - coastal Inundation data dossier including all post-event survey
  • Sediment transport in river; dredging activities

 

Modelling and Operation

  • Improved forecasting for cyclone and storms; track and speed, size and (max) winds
  • Global and regional NWP output
  • Improved forecasting for total water level envelope, including storm surges, waves, tides, river and sea surface height anomaly
  • Improved wave forecasting methods including enhanced nearshore techniques
  • Consideration of hydrological inundation
  • Archiving of input data, forecast information and post event survey
  • Model resolution goal
    • local wave modelling: 100-200m
    • storm surge and inundation modelling: 200-500 m
  • Improved operation
    • Apply ensembles for track prediction; consider ensembles for storm surge predictions
    • Improved decision aids to forecasters including measures of uncertainty
  • Validation
  • Hindcasting and Reanalysis (* storm surge climatology)

Improved Service Products

  • Location-specific, timely, quantified coastal inundation forecasts
  • Improvement in visualized forecast products (e.g. maps)
  • Increased frequency of forecasting before/during the event
  • Automated provision of service products
  • Development of quantitative evaluation reports
  • Development of coastal inundation maps

Infrastructure and Capacity Development

  • System maintainability and extendibility
  • High computing power & high-speed internet connection
  • Communication, real-time data transmission – particularly problematic in region
  • Human resources/capability: continuous training
  • Training on conducting post-event surveys
  • Feedback from end user community


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User Requirements for Operational Coastal Inundation Forecasting and Warning in
Fiji

Prior to the Workshop, the WMO Secretariat and PSG conducted a survey for national stakeholders on users/stakeholders requirements and capacity for effective and durable National Coastal Inundation Warning and Mitigation System. Based on the collected responses to this survey, Dr Linda Anderson-Berry, PSG member, provided an overview on the end users engagement. In doing so, Dr Anderson-Berry emphasized the importance of users' participation at an early stage in the process, so that the outcomes of the Demonstration Project / operational systems developed at the end of the Project would provide the optimum balance between technical capabilities of the forecast systems and the information required by the emergency management authorities in the country.

Then, all participants conducted discussion to complement information, and finally specified user requirements for a future coastal inundation forecasting system for Fiji. Some key points that were discussed and workshopped are described below: 


Need for CIFDP-F / identified hazard risk in Fiji

  • Coastal inundation
  • Riverine flooding
  • Ocean waters flooding
  • Tropical cyclones
  • Monsoons
  • Vulnerable coastal communities and infrastructure

Authority and supporting infrastructure for warnings

  • Legislation provides a governance framework for DRR
  • FM plans provide the instruments that support both warnings and EM
  • Supports both warnings and EM
    1. Generally well organised processes – legislation and plans are currently in review
    2. Clearly defined and articulated roles and responsibilities
  • International and Regional support for DRR through a range of projects and initiatives managed by a range of NGI'S and international agencies
  • NGO’s

Target communities – who will benefit from a coastal inundation warning

  • Coastal urban and village communities
  • Emergency management and response authorities
  • Industry
  • Business
  • Coastal tourism

Warning delivery – how will those that need the warnings get them

  • Communication networks – physical communications infrastructure
  • Formal communication mechanisms
  • Informal communication mechanisms
  • Users with special needs (EM, Industry partners)
  • Processes for ensuring warning message is effectively communicated from source – met authority – through disaster management to community

Warning messages understood

  • Education and awareness programs are carried out annually with the support of disaster managers and NGO'S
  • National hazard awareness week (pre-cyclone season)

How warnings are acted on

  • Emergency plans in place – multi-hazard and tsunami – articulated in SOP’s

When to warn!

  • What information is needed to ensure warnings are useful?
  • Thresholds – how are these determined (??)

Community warnings products

  • Product set – look and feel
  • Text
  • Graphic
  • Automatic messaging

Some key summary questions to focus workshop discussions

  • How does disaster management ensure warnings and action statements and advisories get to the village communities
  • What is the responsibility of disaster management/response to disseminate information

A side meeting was conducted with representatives of NDMO, NGO'S and relevant Fiji Government Departments to expand on the detail in the information collected throughout the survey and workshop processes. Fiji has both the infrastructure - the NDM Act (1998) and 2005 Amendments, and the instruments – the Standing Operation Procedures (SOP's) and Plans that are administered and managed through the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO). The communication of weather related warnings from the Fiji Meteorological Service to the public and the NDMO to the range of community end-users in the National Disaster Management Plan. The roles and responsibilities of the various government and non-government authorities in the warnings process are clearly articulated and are well understood and practiced. Disaster response plans are exercised and community awareness is reinforced through a government supported National Disaster Awareness Week.

Throughout the discussion it was agreed that Fiji has a very people-centred approach to the provision of warnings and the development of warning services. It was acknowledged that limitations in communications networks to the village communities are a concern and this is an issue about which the FMS and NDMO are keen to work closely with the CIFDP development team. Discussion about natural, environmental signs of impending severe weather in the very short term and at a seasonal scale was interesting. These may need to be noted as they are somewhat trusted within the community.

 

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Outcome of the Workshop

 

Definitive National Agreement (DNA) and establishment of the National Technical Team (NCT)

The last day of the Workshop was devoted to establishing a road-map for an operational end-to-end coastal inundation forecasting system, to be demonstrated through the CIFDP-F. All participants in the Workshop, including the PSG and national stakeholders, discussed the further steps to establish the organizational framework for collaborative arrangement between national agencies, through the Definitive National Agreement (DNA) for CIFDP-F implementation, with clear definition of the scope and role of the National Coordination Team (NCT) that is responsible for implementing the CIFDP-F. The national stakeholders participating in the Workshop carefully reviewed the draft DNA provided by the WMO Secretariat, adapted the terms to Fiji’s condition, and finally agreed on the Agreement to be submitted to the national authorities for their signatures. The identified national authorities participating in the DNA are:

  • Prime Minister’s Office: essential participant in DNA
  • Ministry of Works and Transport (* FMS) : essential participant in DNA
  • Ministry of Provincial Development and Disaster Management: essential participant in DNA
  • Ministry of Lands, Fiji Lands Information System
  • Ministry of Local Government, Municipal Councils
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Ministry of Agriculture- Department of Land Resources Management
  • Ministry of Fijian Affairs- Roko Tui’s
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Climate Change Unit

 

          The Workshop then reviewed and agreed on the Terms of Reference for the National Coordination Team (NCT), and identified national and regional partners for CIFDP-F implementation as members of NCT. The NCT membership, open to further addition and modification upon the agreement by existing members, would include the following:

[Technical Partners]

  • Fiji Meteorological Service, Hydrology Unit.
  • National Disaster Management Office
  • Fiji Navy, Hydrographic Unit.
  • SPC/SOPAC
  • University of South Pacific
  • SPREP
  • Fiji National University

[Beneficiaries]

  • Ministry of Works and Transport
  • Ministry of Provincial Development and Disaster Management
  • Ministry of Lands, Fiji Lands Information System
  • Ministry of Local Government, Municipal Councils
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Ministry of Agriculture- Department of Land Resources Management
  • Ministry of Fijian Affairs- Roko Tui’s
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Climate Change Unit
  • Ministry of Information, Media outlets
  • Ministry of Tourism
  • Ministry of Fisheries and Forests
  • Department of Environment
  • Department of Energy
  • Divisional Commissioners/Divisional Planning Officers
  • Department of Mineral Resources- Seismology Unit
  • Fiji Police Force
  • Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA)
  • Telecom Fiji Ltd.
  • Land Transport Authority
  • Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd.
  • Maritime Safety Authority
  • Airport Fiji Ltd.
  • Red Cross 

          The FMS would coordinate the national process to formalize the DNA through the signatures by participating Ministries in the Agreement. With the signed DNA, the NCT would work closely with the PSG and WMO Secretariat to implement Phase 1 of the Project, as described below. 

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Agreed CIFDP-F Timeline / Activities for Phase I

          Based on the agreed DNA and ToR for NCT, all participants in the Workshop discussed and agreed on the plan and schedule to implement the Phase 1 of CIFDP-F:

  • PSG to provide an outline of the concept and plan for CIFDP-F, based on the CIFDP Implementation Plan: by February 2013
  • NCT to identify members of the dedicated team for technical development: by April 2013 
  • Technical partners of NCT to complete the plan of action for Phase 1: by April 2013
  • FMS, with cooperation/assistance by NCT members, to get the DNA signed by 1 April 2013
    • outcome/deliverable: signed DNA, with establishment of NCT
  • WMO and PSG (with coordination with FMS) to organize Interdisciplinary Experts Forum: presentation to regional organizations, planning for Phase 2 proposals): by June 2013
    • outcome/deliverable: review funding proposal by FMS and PSG, and introduction/report on CIFDP-F to wider community
  • WMO, NCT and PSG to compile and submit funding proposals: April - October 2013
    • outcome/deliverable: Funding proposal for Phases 2 to 4
  • PSG and NCT to review progress: by October 2013
    • outcome/deliverable: Phase 1 progress report that includes a detailed project plan and technical capability assessment

 

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