Coastline monitoring to be piloted in Tonga too

Mr Andrew Dansie of the UNSW showing the CoastSnap device to participants from Samoa at the Fiji pilot site – The Shangri La’s Fijian Resort in Sigatoka. Photo: ENVIRO NEWS

Nuku’alofa – February 4, 2019: 2.10pm (Enviro News): The CoastSnap coastline monitoring project will also be piloted in Tonga soon.

Setting up the CoastSnap device at The Fijian in Sigatoka. Photo: ENVIRO NEWS
ENVIRONMENT’s Communication officer Iliesa Tora at the Pacific R2R office in Nabua, Suva for the training last week. Photo: ENVIRO NEWS

The Department of Environment’s National Communication Officer, Iliesa Tora, attended the firstever ‘GEF Large Marine Eco-system: Learning Exchange and Resource Network (LME:LEARN) Twinning Workshop in Suva last week.

The workshop was on “Community-based coastal monitoring in the Pacific’’ and was jointly organised by the University of New South Wales’ Global Water Institute, IW LEARN, LME LEARN and the Pacific Community (SPC).

Mr Tora said the workshop was very exciting and interesting.

“Discussions on coastline monitoring was exciting and interesting, especially when there is almost zero activity in that regard here in the region,” Mr Tora said.

“And seeing how easy it was to have this simple set up was so exciting.”

The CoastSnap community beach monitoring is being done by the UNSW team in Sydney, Australia, led by Dr Mitch Harley.

In his presentation at the workshop, held at the Pacific Ridge to Reef (Pacific R2R) base at the SPC Geo-Science Division in Nabua, Dr Mitch said the CoastSnap idea is a simple one.

“What it actually just does it bring in the communities to do the monitoring, following the very simple step of snapping photos with their hand fones, uploading those photos on social media using a hashtag and sharing that to the public,” he said.

“Over a certain period of time the team at UNSW can use those photos to monitor and check the photos and use that to gather information.”

The participants at the workshop was reduced to just Tonga and Samoa after other R2R project countries withdrew at the last minute.

Workshop coordinator Andrew Dansie of the UNSW Global Water Institute said coastline monitoring is something Pacific countries can look at.

“We hope that after the workshop we can have Tonga and Samoa piloting the project as well,” he added.

The first pilot site for the Pacific was at the Shangri La’s Fijian Resort in Sigatoka, where the CoastSnap device was installed by the team on Thursday.

The Department of Environment here in Nuku’alofa will work on the project sites before implementing the project.

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