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Solomon Islands to monitor climate change using GIS tech

Solomon Island: In a bid to monitor climate change and land use, Solomon Islands will use remote sensing mapping and GIS capability to map forest cover, agriculture, pasture, mangroves, plantations, coral reefs, water bodies and biodiversity. Since there is no comprehensive land cover mapping for Solomon Islands, there is a need to document and create a baseline data to monitor climate change and land use changes over time.  

This joint initiative between the Solomon Islands Government with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Project Strengthening Environment Management and Reducing the Impact of Climate Change (SEMRICC), and the SOPAC Division of the South Pacific Community (SPC) was presented at the Solomon Islands National Vegetation and GIS Technical Workshop held at the Mendana hotel.

“This mapping will enable further mapping at 1: 10,000 for protected areas, mapping and select hot spots for food security,” Dr Russell Howarth, Director SOPAC division in SPC said. After receiving presentations from participating departments, SOPAC division will organise a training programme with UNDP SEMRICC funding and funding from the Adaptation Fund.

The key participating ministries for this initiative include the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM), the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the Ministry of Forests and the Ministry of Lands, Housing & Survey.  Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Co-ordination (MDPAC) in Solomon Islands is coordinating the initiative. While individual ministries will maintain their own GIS databases, MDPAC will host a central depository and back up of all data on behalf of Solomon Islands.

As part of this initiative assistance is also being provided to build a database of natural hazard and social vulnerability in the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) which will work closely with the Statistics Division of the Department of Finance using the now digitised census data with assistance from SPC.  

UNDP will also support the School of Natural Resources of the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education to develop and deliver a GIS technicians course to support this course.

Source: Solomon Star