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Land Use Planning, Environmental Management & Sustainable Development

Resilient Cities in the Pacific

Disaster risk reduction and climate resilience city development strategy. P4SD team members assisted the Samoan Planning and Urban Management Authority complete one of the first city development strategies in the Pacific. The work generated the city structure plan based on the outcomes of extensive community engagement and involvement and using the ‘ridge to reef’ landscape planning approach. The City Development Strategy programmed the subsequent production of Sustainable Management Plans, as the key planning instruments under the Planning and Urban Management Act, 2004. The project continues a 15 year relationship P4SD members have with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) in providing a strategic land use planning system in the country.

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Apia Resilient City Development Strategy


Sustainable Land Management in the Maldives

Land is at a premium in the Maldives. Maintaining the health of the coastal waters is critical to maintaining the primary industry of Tourism. P4SD has assisted the Government with its endeavors to pursue sustainable land management through the production of the National Action Programme to address Land Degradation. Land use planning and pursuing better sustainable development strategies are two key goals of Government.

Sustainable Land Management in the Maldives

With a burgeoning population and very limited land masses the Government of the Maldives has had to continually reclaim coastal areas in the main urban centres near Male, including the creation of whole islands to accommodate the residents and industry.

Elsewhere in the more remote parts of the country very small communities survive on tiny and very vulnerable atolls and islands. Maintaining the ecological health of the coastal areas is critical to the nation’s central industry – Tourism.

As with many Small Island Developing States (SIDS) land based sources of pollution present the biggest threat.

The National Action Programme to address Land Degradation provides the Government and communities with a clear blueprint on the best means to reduce the threats upon its coastal resources through sustainable land management, including the enhancement of land use planning capacity.

Environmental Management – Land Rehabilitation & Mine Closure

Environmental Management NoosaP4SD has provided Sherrin Rentals with policy and on-site technical advice to assist with the closure of the sand mine on Johns Road, Cooroibah, Noosa, Queensland. The services commenced with the production of a Site Based Environmental Management Plan, the generation of the Erosion and Sediment Control Management Plan and the Land Rehabilitation Plan. Technical back-up services in Erosion & Sediment Control auditing and Water Quality Monitoring steered the company to successful negotiations and works to close the sand mine.

Sherrin Rentals inherited a poorly operated sand mine in 2008 as part of financial settlement. The land and site was subject to a number of Environmental Protection Orders, one of which required the completion of an Environmental Investigation under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA, 1994). Water was escaping the site and draining to nearby wetlands and environs of Lake Cooroibah. Erosion and sedimentation was rampant and the land was spotted with kaolin dump pits.

Many of the poorly located and constructed sediment basins and water control ponds were failing and land-slips were a frequent occurrence.

P4SD worked with a number of technical sub-consultants to address: flood modelling, integrated water management, erosion & sediment control, biodiversity impact assessment, water quality management, geotechnical capabilities and options, among other operational requirements.

The sand mine was operated over a few years to finance the rehabilitation works that were required. In early 2014 the intended decision to work toward mine closure was put in action. The revised Site Based Environmental Management Plan, Erosion and Sediment Control Management Plan and Land Rehabilitation Plan – were utilized to steer final rehabilitation works. Over $1.5m was spent on final land rehabilitation works including soil re-conditioning, integrated water management and re-vegetation works. The sand mine was successfully closed in August, 2014.

Climate Change Adaptation and Disasters

Climate Change Adaptation and DisastersThe Office of Prime Minister, Cook Islands engaged P4SD to complete a capacity needs assessment and learning needs evaluation to plan future training and capacity building across government and the community – to address climate change and disaster risk reduction (CC & DRR).

The project involved use of on-line surveys with other community engagement forums to generate the needs assessment and to establish objectives. These outcomes were then used to canvas available short and longer term technical and tertiary training options within the Pacific and about the Asia-Pacific regions. A database ranking courses and rating options by considering costs of courses, living costs and entry requirements, among other parameters was generated.

The capacity needs assessment and training options report were the key requirements of the project. The P4SD team as an add-on to the project developed a database of all available CC and DRR training and education options in the Asia Pacific Rim.

The calibre of the training options were rated against criteria generated through the project. This outcome was aligned with the training needs assessment to outline a training and capacity building framework, as well as a monitoring and evaluation system (M&E).

The outputs provide the country with a robust direction for integrated climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (CCA & DRR) training to assist with their bigger platform of capacity building across government and community. The database is available to interested clients and is updated regularly

Sustainable Land Management – National Action Plan

Cook IslandsThe Cook Islands are a diverse mix of islands ranging from the larger volcanic islands with steep escarpments to remote low lying atolls. Land and soils are extremely limited. Sustainable Land Management is a key priority for the Cook Islands Government.

P4SD were engaged to develop one of the first National Action Programmes that are effectively aligned with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) 10 year Strategy (2008-2018) aimed at addressing land degradation and sustainable land management. Continue reading

Land Use Planning for Disaster Risk Reduction

Consideration of risk reduction in planning processes: What makes a good development planning system?
P4SD presented at the 6th Session of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management, 2-4th June, 2014, Novotel, Suva, Fiji. This was a key regional meeting of Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) members including Australia, New Zealand, France and the USA. At the forum the members agreed to the regional strategy that ties climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction – a first in the global arena.

Good Land Use PlanningThe Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTS) are among the most vulnerable places on earth suffering from extreme exposure to both creeping climate change and disasters. The P4SD presentation built on 17 years’ experience in the Pacific and centred on international law and policy and the role of development planning in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (CCA & DRR).

What is the status of land use and development planning across the pacific?, what is the defining the role of land use planning?, what makes up good land use planning system functions?, how do we pursue integrated planning with key functions to address CCA & DRR.

The paper was given at the Talanoa Session A2 at the 6th Session of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management ; 2nd – 4th June, 2014, Novotel Hotel, Suva, Fiji. Among the donor agencies supporting the event was the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) Secretariat. UNISDR is part of the United Nations Secretariat and its functions span the development and humanitarian fields. Its core areas of work includes ensuring disaster risk reduction (DRR) is applied to climate change adaptation, increasing investments for DRR, building disaster-resilient cities, schools and hospitals, and strengthening the international system for DRR.

UNISDR’s vision is based on the three strategic goals of the Hyogo Framework for Action: integrating DRR into sustainable development policies and planning, developing and strengthening institutions, mechanisms and capacities to build resilience to hazards, and incorporating risk reduction approaches into emergency preparedness, response, and recovery programmes.