The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Financing and Insurance Initiative (PCRAFI), initiated upon the request of the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) in 2006, is an innovative program that builds on the principle of regional coordination and provides PICs with state-of-the-art disaster risk information and tools for enhanced disaster risk management and improved financial resil- ience against natural hazards and climate change. This initiative has been implemented in close collaborations between the World Bank, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community through its Applied Geoscience & Technology Division (SPC/SOPAC), and the Asian Development Bank, with financial support from the Government of Japan, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduc- tion and Recovery (GFDRR), the European Union (ACP-EU) and with technical inputs from GNS Science, Geoscience Australia, and AIR Worldwide. The following 15 PICs are involved in the program: Cook Islands (New Zealand), Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Fiji, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of Nauru, Niue (New Zealand), Republic of Palau, The Independent State of Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, and Republic of Vanuatu.
PCRAFI established the Pacific Risk Information System (PacRIS), one of the largest col- lections of geospatial information for the PICs. PacRIS contains detailed, country-specific in- formation on assets, population, hazards, and risks. The exposure database leverages remote sensing analyses, field visits, and country specific datasets to characterize buildings (residen- tial, commercial, and industrial), major infrastructure (such as roads, bridges, airports, ports, and utility assets), major crops, and population. More than 500,000 buildings were digitized from very-high-resolution satellite images, representing 15 percent (or 36 percent without Papua New Guinea) of the estimated total number of buildings in the PICs. About 80,000 buildings and major infrastructure were physically inspected to calibrate satellite based data. In addition, about 3 million buildings and other assets, mostly in rural areas, were inferred from satellite imagery. PacRIS includes the most comprehensive regional historical hazard cat- alogue (115,000 earthquake and 2,500 tropical cyclone events) and historical loss database for major disasters, as well as state-of-the art country-specific hazard maps for earthquakes (ground shaking) and tropical cyclones (wind). PacRIS contains risk maps showing the geo- graphic distribution of potential losses for each PIC as well as other visualization products of the risk assessments, which can be accessed, with appropriate authorization, through an open-source web-based platform.
Country risk profiles were developed for each of the 15 PICs from the data contained in PacRIS. They can be used to draw attention to not only the risk that is faced by each country but also to give an indication of the frequency of these hazardous events and their associated economic and fiscal losses. Under this analysis, it was established that the average annual loss caused by natural hazards across all 15 PICs is estimated at USD 284 million, or 1.7% of the regional GDP. Vanuatu, Niue and Tonga experience the largest Average Annual Losses (AAL) from natural disasters in the region equivalent to 6.6%, 5.8% and 4.4% of their national GDP, respectively. This places them among those countries that experience the highest levels of AAL globally. There is a 2% chance that the Pacific region will experience disaster losses in excess of USD 1.3 billion from tropical cyclones and earthquakes in a given year.
information pertaining to earth sciences. Examples: geophysical features and processes, geology, minerals, sciences dealing with the composition, structure and origin of the earth s rocks, risks of earthquakes, volcanic activity, landslides, gravity information, soils, permafrost, hydrogeology, erosion
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