Rising sea levels force Pacific Island capital to relocate

Aug 19, 2014 by Simon Albert
Rising sea levels force Pacific Island capital to relocate

Solomon Islands provincial capital will be relocated to the mainland due to coastal hazards and the risks of rising sea levels resulting from climate change.

The University of Queensland worked with British Maritime Technologies WBM (BMT WBM) and Buckley Vann town planners to develop a comprehensive climate change adaptation plan to move the town of Taro, with a population of 800, to the adjacent mainland.

UQ School of Civil Engineering's Professor Tom Baldock said the community of Taro was under significant risk from tsunamis and ocean storms.

"As the capital of the Choiseul Province, Taro is less than two metres above , presenting a significant risk to the community, which will be compounded in the future with climate change and the resulting rise in sea levels," he said.

BMT WBM lead Project Manager Dr Philip Haines said the plan, which was prepared on behalf of the Australian Government, marked the first time a Pacific Islands capital with all its services and facilities would be relocated due to coastal hazards and .

"Relocation is the only option available that will keep the community safe and will allow for future growth and prosperity of the capital and the province," he said.

The relocation of the capital, including schools, hospitals and businesses, will take many decades to complete, and the adaptation plan also aims to increase the community's resilience to coastal hazards, such as the preparation of a tsunami response plan.

A multi-disciplinary team of engineers, scientists and town planners consulted extensively with the Choiseul Bay communities to develop a vision and future town layout that reflected the needs and values of the local Lauru people.

UQ's Dr Simon Albert led the community consultation and developed a management plan taking account of traditional practices and expertise.

Choiseul Province Premier Mr Jackson Kiloe thanked the team for respecting tradition.

"The project followed the ways of our traditions – talking with people, listening to people, and reflecting the desires of the people," Mr Kiloe said.

The project is now being hailed by the Solomon Islands National Government as a best-practice model for natural hazard resilience planning for other provinces across the Solomon Islands and more broadly across the Pacific region.

Explore further: Marshall Islands says climate change behind floods

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Far more displaced by disasters than conflict

6 hours ago

Disasters last year displaced three times more people than violent conflicts, showing the urgent need to improve resilience for vulnerable people when fighting climate change, according to a study issued ...

Coral growth rate plummets in 30-year comparison

13 hours ago

A team of researchers working on a Carnegie expedition in Australia's Great Barrier Reef has documented that coral growth rates have plummeted 40% since the mid-1970s. The scientists suggest that ocean acidification ...

Environmentalists and industry duke it out over plastic bags

14 hours ago

Campaigns against disposable plastic shopping bags and their environmental impact recently scored a major win. In August, California lawmakers passed the first statewide ban on the bags, and Governor Jerry Brown is expected ...

User comments : 7

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

KDK
2.6 / 5 (5) Aug 19, 2014
Seriously, it has not warmed for 17 years, is likely cooling according to Solar Cycle 24 and possibly the Milankovitch ice-age cycle as well, and you are still talking about global warming?
Agenda 21 never sleeps!
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2014
Agenda 21 never sleeps!


But apparently you brain does. And for extended periods - like decades.
supamark23
5 / 5 (2) Aug 20, 2014
Seriously, it has not warmed for 17 years, is likely cooling according to Solar Cycle 24 and possibly the Milankovitch ice-age cycle as well, and you are still talking about global warming?
Agenda 21 never sleeps!


Everything you said was a lie, and yet you keep repeating it - are you insane or stupid?
antigoracle
1 / 5 (3) Aug 20, 2014
But apparently you brain does. And for extended periods - like decades.
-- rockturd
Oh goodie, mummy's little turd spewed another gem. Now float back down to the bottom of your cesspool of ignorance, like a nice little turd.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2014
But apparently you brain does. And for extended periods - like decades.
-- rockturd
Oh goodie, mummy's little turd spewed another gem. Now float back down to the bottom of your cesspool of ignorance, like a nice little turd.


GFY
antigoracle
1 / 5 (2) Aug 20, 2014
GFY
--rockturd
Uh huh. That's what your mummy did when she took that fast acting laxative, then made and kept you.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2014
GFY
--rockturd
Uh huh. That's what your mummy did when she took that fast acting laxative, then made and kept you.


It's readily apparent you find yourself quite clever. What could be further from the truth?

Keep it up with your 20 word essays. They display your true potential in a way nothing else could.