19 Jul 2013

UN special representative applauds Pacific progress on disaster management

3:04 pm on 19 July 2013

The special representative of the UN Secretary General on disaster risk reduction says she is optimistic about Pacific countries handling future disasters.

Margareta Wahlstrom says she was encouraged by the commitments made by governments at the joint climate change and disaster risk meeting in Nadi last week.

The statement of the joint meeting emphasised that the greatest sustainable development challenge for the Pacific is climate change and disasters, which have impacts on the economy, the environment, and make it harder to achieve national development goals.

Ms Wahlstrom says she was impressed by the new standard of roads being built in Samoa since Cyclone Evan.

"These are a new type of road. They have drainage, they are stronger and are better quality and that's an investment in the future. Very often these types of catastrophic events also serves to change the mindset. As this happens every three, four or five years, it's going to accrue very quickly to an unacceptable impact on our development plans."

Margareta Wahlstrom of the UN