By Daniel Namosuaia, Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com
10 July 2013 Nadi, Fiji - Information and knowledge management for disaster management and climate change in the Pacific region is vital to combating climate change and disaster risk issues.
Despite the challenges Pacific island states and territories faced in accessing and acquiring important information, data and knowledge management, signs of progress have been made over the years.
With the creation of the Pacific climate change and disaster risk management portals, Pacific island countries can now easily access and share information through these frameworks to counter climate change impacts and disasters in the region.
This week experts from around the region have gathered to share the progresses and challenges they face with information, data and knowledge management on the two very important issues affecting Pacific Island Countries and Territories(PICTs).
That is climate change and disasters and how information, data and knowledge on these key issues can be properly managed, integrated and readily available and accessible by PICTs .
They looked at the Pacific climate change and disaster portal to identify the gaps and identify where to improve and progress from there on.
“Where do we go from here in terms of integration since there are a lot of information and knowledge that is being produced and we try and really look at some of the opportunities to avoid duplication, fragmentation and readily make that information and knowledge accessible,” Tagaloa Cooper Halo of SPREP said.
She said lack of information is a problem and one of the obvious responses is to set up a website without thinking about the underlying challenges of why information is not easilyaccessible.
During the portal side event participants raised challenges they faced which included data and information interpretation, access to best early warning systems and information sharing and have access and use of appropriate technologies.
Jutta May of SPC said it is vital Pacific countries and territories recognises the gaps and challenges and identify how to improve on information.
One of the key messages of the climate change and disaster risk management portal is the integration of information and use of multi-functional technologies and systems to accessing and sharing of information.
Needs and priorities identified during the portal meet include:
- meet user needs with timely information and knowledge
- resources for Information Knowledge Management( IKM)
- capacity to analyse data and generate information and knowledge
- avoid duplication and fragmentation=strengthen collaboration
- effective communication including communities and using local languages
- IT sand technology-bandwidth, better systems
Currently the pacific countries and territories can access information and knowledge management through the Pacific Climate Change Portal(PCCP) and the Disaster Risk Management Portal. Regional and national institutions in the Pacific Island region hold a substantial amount of climate change‐related information and tools. The Pacific Climate Change Portal aims to ensure this information is readily accessible in a coordinated and user-friendly manner.
The portal will provide a platform for institutions and governments in the Pacific region to share information that can be readily accessed by linking to information repositories such as the Pacific Islands Global Ocean Observing System. The Pacific Climate Change Portal (www.pacificclimatechange.net.) will improve and strengthen understanding of climate change issues by a greater number of people in the Pacific region.
While the Disaster Risk Management Portal is the Web Portal and Database System designed to be the largest and most comprehensive information resource for Disaster Risk Management for the Pacific Island Countries. It is a living collection and growing DRM information resource for actors and stakeholders to research and collaborate and improve Information and Knowledge Management. It also supports National Action Planning, Decision Making and provides in-country information for distribution within the region.