The Coastal Inundation Forecasting Demonstration Project – Fiji (CIFDP-F) Final Stakeholders Meeting will be held at the Novotel Hotel in Nadi from November 19-21, 2019. The event will be hosted by the Department of Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS).

This is a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Project, funded by the Korean Government and has been underway since 2013.

Participants at the meeting will include partner agencies and the institutional end-user stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development, Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Service, other government agencies and non-governmental organisations.

International experts from the CIFDP-F Project Steering Group (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Russia) will also be present at the meeting.

The meeting will discuss the key results of the CIFDP with demonstrated benefits to Fiji, including feedback from the users and lessons learned.

The overall CIFDP concept facilitates the development of efficient forecast and warning systems to protect coastal communities and support sustainable development.

The CIFDP is about using existing model and data from the hydrology, oceanography and meteorology communities.

These model data are available by open access, thus, no hindrance to upgrade and are cost effective. In addition, solutions are adapted for the needs and capacity of Fiji.

Fiji’s location in the tropical southwest Pacific Ocean makes it vulnerable to tropical cyclones; storms often track directly over Fiji. Tropical cyclones can cause dangerous and damaging storm surge in areas which have significant shallow coastal areas.

Tropical cyclones may also bring extended periods of heavy rain to Fiji, causing inundation due to either flash flooding or river flooding. When hydrological flooding occurs in conjunction with storm surge, the resulting inundation may be much more extensive and damaging.

Coastal inundation in Fiji may also be caused by waves, either local seas or long period swell from distant tropical or extra-tropical storms. The main contribution to coastal inundation is from wave set up, run up and the phase of the tide. These events cause major problems on the Coral Coast of Viti Levu.

On 30th March 2012, Torrential rains caused by Tropical Depression TD17F resulted in widespread flooding over the Western Division of Fiji, with disruptive impacts particularly in the western and northern coastal zone.

The efforts to improve flood warning resulted in the Government transferring the flood forecasting and warning mandate to the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) in 2012, resulting in a unified national responsible agency for coastal inundation forecasting and warning.

The Fiji CIFDP sub-project, denoted CIFDP-F, was formally started in late 2012 at the request of FMS, to strengthen the national forecasting/warning services on flooding and inundation in coastal zones.

The final wrap up workshop is scheduled from 19 to 21 November, 2019. By this time all forecast systems (wave inundation, storm surge and river flooding alert system) should have been implemented, with all training completed, and running in either operational or pre-operational mode.

Similarly, this workshop will engage all stakeholders and user community, forecast providers, system developers and international experts. It will provide a platform for end user feedback on the value of the new early warning systems.

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