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Pacific Islands

One small step for international air transport, one giant leap for Tuvalu

Nora Weisskopf's picture
Funafuti International Airport (FUN), Tuvalu. Photo: Deviyani Laxmi Dixit/World bank

It’s not often that Bank staff members help make history – but we did by assisting Tuvalu in becoming the 192nd member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Created in 1944, the ICAO is a UN organization that sets standards and regulations for civil aviation. ICAO membership is important for Tuvalu, as it is a key prerequisite for the development of international air services.

Are we there yet? – A journey towards sustainable flood risk management in Pacific Island countries

Simone Esler's picture

Disponible en : English
 Climate Action Network

Malgré l’importance des rendez-vous de New York et de Paris, il n’est pas certain que les décisions qui y sont prises aient des répercussions dans les villages du Bangladesh, au sein des conseils d’administration à Bogota ou à la mairie de Vancouver, par exemple. Mais c’est précisément à ce quoi il faut parvenir cet automne. Les dirigeants des pays du monde se réunissent dans le cadre de deux grands sommets à New York et à Paris. Ils définiront un cap pour l’avenir en signant deux accords destinés à faire face à trois problèmes liés les uns aux autres : la pauvreté, les inégalités et le changement climatique.

Ces sommets doivent montrer que les changements cataclysmiques qui sont à l’œuvre dans les profondeurs de notre économie vont s’accélérer. Il s’agit de ne plus dépendre des combustibles fossiles polluants et de s’acheminer vers un avenir qui reposera entièrement sur des énergies renouvelables durables. 

Working together to understand climate change risks in Fiji

Katherine Baker's picture
The Penonomé project in Panama will be the largest wind farm in Central America. © Penonomé

سيفتتح البابا فرانسيس صباح الغد أعمال دورة الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة حول أهداف التنمية المستدامة وبنهاية اليوم، سيكون زعماء العالم قد قاموا بإقرار الأهداف السبعة عشر. وتُعد هذه مناسبة تاريخية تستحق الاحتفال بها، لكن العمل الجاد سيبدأ في صباح يوم الاثنين. وذلك عندما يتحول التركيز من الماهية إلى الكيفية.

تغطي الأهداف الستة عشر الأولى طائفة متنوعة من الاحتياجات الإنمائية بالغة الأهمية، حيث تتناول بإسهاب الأهداف الإنمائية للألفية التي تم الاسترشاد بها في جهود التنمية منذ عام 2000. ويختلف الهدف الأخير من أهداف التنمية المستدامة اختلافا نوعيا. فبدلاً من الاستفاضة في شرح ما نرغب في تحقيقه، يتناول هذا الهدف الكيفية التي سنحقق بها هذه الأهداف. فهو يركز على وسائل التنفيذ.

Lessons From Mapping Geeks: How Aerial Technology is Helping Pacific Island Countries Recover From Natural Disasters.

Michael Bonte-Grapentin's picture

For many Pacific Island countries, natural disasters such as cyclones and tsunamis, are an all-too common occurrence. Out of the top 15 most at-risk countries for natural disasters globally, four are Pacific Island countries, and Vanuatu is consistently at the top.

In 2015, Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu, and knowing the extent of damage was vital for the government to identify and plan reconstruction needs. A team of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) experts were sent out to quickly establish credible estimates of the damages and losses. Many damage reports were already available from the field, but with varying quality, and the challenge was to consolidate and verify them, within a very tight timeframe. Cloud cover also prevented us from getting satellite images, so we mobilized two UAV teams to fly below the clouds and capture high-resolution footage showing the impacts on the ground in the worst affected islands in Tafea and Shefa province.

Challenges continued throughout, from needing to coordinate airspace with those flying relief goods into affected areas, to transferring massive datasets over low internet bandwidths. But with team-effort and ingenuity, solutions were found; the UAV teams were able to capture valuable damage footage within sampled areas during the day, which were analysed overnight by volunteers of the Humanitarian Open Street Map (HOT) and the Digital Humanitarian Network; new workflows were developed to collate the data and to feed the outputs into the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment.   

Interpreted damage information post-Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, 2014: red – destroyed houses, orange – partially damaged houses, blue – no obvious damage to house.

Project Safety 101 for Kids in Tuvalu

Nora Weisskopf's picture

When I was in primary school, there was a large construction project happening on the road in front of our house. I remember it was loud, dusty and the subject of constant complaints from our neighbors. However, my most vivid memory is of all the shiny, majestic machinery being delivered by the workers in their bright orange uniforms.

There was an immediate fascination among the children with these powerful and temptingly dangerous machines. Of course our parents all drilled us with the same message – “Do not go near, do not touch, do not interfere with the nice men repairing the roads,” and so we abided, but the curiosity and thrill of potentially touching these metal monsters never entirely subsided. Luckily, working in the transport sector now I get to be around construction equipment all the time!

Cheers, NZ: How New Zealand and the World Bank are changing lives in the Pacific

Kara Mouyis's picture
Des programmes pilotes en Amérique du Sud et centrale trouvent des moyens innovants de lutter contre la pauvreté.

Les mois qui s’annoncent seront cruciaux pour la communauté internationale du développement. Le premier des objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement (OMD) visait à réduire de moitié le taux d’extrême pauvreté dans le monde. À présent, dans le cadre des nouveaux objectifs de développement durable (ODD), nous devrons nous appuyer sur les progrès obtenus pour aller plus loin et mettre fin à l’extrême pauvreté.

Upgrading Apia’s main road, a path to climate-proofing Samoa’s future

Kara Mouyis's picture
Vaitele Street, Samoa
Vaitele Street is considered the most important section of road in Samoa and in 2016, through the Enhanced Road Access Project, it received a critical upgrade and extension.

Driving from the airport into the city of Apia, the capital of Samoa, is a great introduction to the country. Villages line the road with gardens filled with colorful flowers and palm trees. Hugging the northwest coastline, the road sometimes comes as close as five meters from the shoreline, giving passengers truly spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

While it’s a scenic introduction to Samoa, this drive is also a stark reminder of just how sensitive the country’s coastline is to erosion and damage. More than 50% of West Coast Road, Apia’s main roadway, sits less than three meters (9.8 feet) above sea level and just a few meters from the shoreline, making it highly vulnerable to damage and deterioration. When tropical cyclones, heavy rain, king tides and storm surges hit these coastal roads, they can lead to erosion, flooding and landslips, causing road closures and threatening the safety of the people who use them.

Ending a 20-year water crisis in a remote village in Solomon Islands

Evan Wasuka's picture
Surrounded by water, Nanngu’s taps have been without drinking water for the past 20 years.

With the throttle at full tilt, the boat cut through the surf, spraying salt water into the air. 
Around me, the unfolding scenery is breathtaking. White sandy beaches, turquoise blue seas, swaying coconut palms – the textbook image of paradise in the South Pacific.
What more could one ask for in paradise?  

Water, is what they will tell you. “They” are the people of Nanngu Village on the island of Santa Cruz in the far east of Solomon Islands. 
Out here, water to drink, cook food with, wash and keep clean is hard to come by.
The last time they had proper running water was 20 years ago. That came to an end at the hands of a Category Three cyclone, Nina, which hit the islands in 1993.
As I write this, we’re on our way to Nanngu to see a new World Bank-supported project bringing water to the village.

On International Women’s Day, 5 facts about gender and the law in the Pacific Islands

Katrin Schulz's picture

There is a lot that development practitioners don’t know about the Pacific Islands. When it comes to the laws of these small island nations scattered throughout the ocean separating Asia and the Americas, most people outside the region know even less. Add the dimension of gender to the mix and you might be met with blank stares.

​Remittance Markets: More court cases and higher costs due to Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Regulations

Sonia Plaza's picture
Child #115181 in the Demographic and Health Survey we’re looking at is 38 months old. Let’s call her María. Her older brother, child #115201, is 51 months old. Let’s call him Alejandro. Despite their 13-month age difference, María and Alejandro are both 92cm tall. María is rather short for her age – she’s at the 18th percentile of the reference population of well-nourished children. She’d be 96 cm if she were average. Alejandro is extremely short – he’d be over 10cm taller if he were average height for his age.