11 December, 2015

Ban Ki-Moon: NGIS are a “beacon of light” in climate change

Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon has described the winners of the UN Lighthouse award, including NGIS, as a “beacon of light that inspire others to take action,” in the battle against the effects of climate change.

“They aren’t waiting for others to act. They know the future lies with those who have the vision and the courage to take the initiatives,” he said.

Ki-Moon addressed the 16 winners of the award in Paris on Dec 10, 2015 at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference – COP21. (Watch the video of the award ceremony here.)

“The sixteen winners this year are focussing on some of the most important elements of climate action. From solar powered solutions for sub-Saharan Africa to communications tools that help rural farmers and pacific island nations better predict and adapt to climate change — they are achieving results. Collectively these initiatives are delivering social and environmental benefits and demonstrating the potential for long term transformational change,” Ki-Moon said.

NGIS’ Senior Consultant Nathan Eaton was in Paris with partners from the CRC for Spatial Information to collect the award. He said that sharing information with those who can make decisions was critical for the project.

“The Vanuatu Globe project was something we did to get out the really valuable information and spread it across the different government agencies in the most intuitive and easy to use way,” he said. “We are really excited to be able to share our approach to International Development with a number of leaders at the Climate Change Conference in Paris.”

“The outputs from the project have enabled effective planning and decision making to increase climate change resilience in the Pacific,” Eaton said.

— Experience the Vanuatu Globe sea level rise map tool

The United Nations awarded an Australian AusAid-funded project led by NGIS Australia and CRC for Spatial Information’s Mapping Exposure to Sea Level Rise in the Pacific Islands Project as a leading initiative dealing with climate change.

This collaborative Project with NGIS Australia, Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade allows the Pacific Islands – Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea – to prepare for and adapt to sea level rise brought about by climate change. The project has already produced a number of direct outcomes including identifying over 10,000 buildings that are at high risk of inundation within the next 80 years, including schools, health facilities and other critical infrastructure.

NGIS Managing Director Paul Farrell said the tool will be critical over the next 15 years to help people in affected areas plan.

“This project will help them deal with the effects of climate change and sea level rise.”

Find out more about NGIS’ international development work here.

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