Workshop In Cook Islands Explores Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing

PacRIS program provides insurance for natural disasters

By Atasa Bosevakaturaga 

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, July 13, 2016) – Government agencies, non-government organisations and stakeholders gathered at the Cook Islands Police headquarters training room yesterday to discuss the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI) risk resilience programme.

Organised by the Emergency Management Cook Islands, the three-day long workshop is aimed at preparing countries for natural disasters and climate change.

Emergency Management Cook Islands director Charles Carlson said the workshop would help educate participants on the usage of Pacific Catastrophe Risk Information System (PacRIS) and its potential use in disaster management.

PacRIS had been developed to overcome challenges posed by internet access in some Pacific Island countries, he said.

“Overall, the objective of the PCRAFI project is to provide Pacific Island countries with an upgraded disaster and climate risk information platform and enhance their capacity to use it and develop an associated series of risk management applications for enhanced disaster risk reduction, risk management, risk adjusted development planning and risk financing decision-making.

“Not only does the programme prepare us for disasters, it also allows us to reduce the negative impact of such hazards and how we respond.

“With this insurance finance, if a disaster happens in the Cook Islands we’ll have some fair idea of how the calculation works and the payments that are going to be paid out to Cook Islanders.”

Carlson said the workshop would be useful for all agencies who could use PCRAFI data to support disaster preparedness and response and development planning activities. These agencies included the Bureau of Statistics, ICI, Agriculture, the Met Service and utilities.

PCRAFI coordinator Norense Iyahen he was overwhelmed with the positive response from the public.

He said PCRAFI had been developed to provide enhance risk modelling and disaster financing for Pacific Island countries.

PCRAFI is a joint initiative of SPC, SPC-GSD, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the Japanese government and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Technical support has been provided by AIR Worldwide, NZ GNS Science, Geoscience Australia, the Pacific Disaster Centre (PDC), Open Geo and GFDRR Labs.

Cook Islands News
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