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USP’s Santo Centre in Vanuatu organises Switzerland’s ETH University Presentation

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Mr Danny Nef, Researcher, ETH University, Switzerland with Dr Krishna Kotra, Science Programme Coordinator.

The University of South Pacific’s Vanuatu’s Santo Centre hosted a presentation by Mr Danny Nef, Researcher of Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH University, Zurich, Switzerland on 28th June, 2017.

Dr Krishna Kotra, Science Programme Coordinator who organised the presentation said that in line with the University’s Strategic Plan, USP is taking science courses to the outer islands.

Being a field-based study for community resilience towards adverse natural calamities in the northern parts of Vanuatu, Dr Kotra requested for a collaborative approach to make science students and staff of USP become a part of the project study.

“USP has been engaging students from the science streams to be part of such research projects and thus equip them for various job demands,” he remarked.

Mr Nef gave his presentation on his engagements in the Torres Islands of Vanuatu saying that his visits particularly to Hiw and Moto Lava Islands gave an insight of the community’s strategies in coping with various natural calamities.

“My experiences of TC Pam and El Nino in these islands raised the ideas to develop community-based solutions for the challenges raised by climate change,” Mr Nef noted.

His pilot projects there raising endangered coconut crabs, sandalwood plantations and setting up of a telecommunications receiver has shown some potential community-based advantages.

Mr Nef also pointed out that the impacts of TC PAM and El Nino were severe on these projects and on the islands as a whole, adding that he would not be surprised to see the damage again due to the recent TC Donna.

He stressed that the development of models based on the landscapes should be made with community knowledge in compacting the natural calamities and that without the participation of local community, any resilience model would not last long.

“Transfer of knowledge based on community engagement would engage in the best model and results are long standing in dealing with the impacts of climate change in the Pacific,” he noted.

He concluded that resilience models should be made in line with the local landscape and from the community demands as well.

Mr Danny said that he recognised the role of USP as the key link in the Pacific research stream and welcomed the participation of students and staff in his upcoming project.

He further added that USP’s engagement would mean a lot for the project as it is the perfect partner in the Pacific. He thanked Dr Kotra for facilitating the presentation and his willingness to be part of the collaborative project.

USP’s Santo Centre’s staff, students, school teachers, community members attended the presentation. 

This news item was published on 3 Jul 2017 02:47:56 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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