The National Capacity Assessment of SOPAC Member Countries: Tsunami Warning and Mitigation Systems project worked in collaboration with the member countries of SOPAC to assess their capacity to receive, communicate and respond effectively to tsunami warnings. The implementation of the project was led by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, in partnership with SOPAC and other key Australian and international tsunami and Disaster Risk Management partners. The project was funded by AusAID. The fourteen SOPAC member countries who participated in the project were the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The strength of the project was to bring together appropriate professionals, agencies, commercial, non-government and community based organisations from across each country to discuss tsunami warning and mitigation. The project involved some 500 people from 300 organisations across the 14 ountries involved. Participants came together to discuss their national needs and issues and used the opportunity to map a positive way forward to enhance the system within their country. Essentially, each national report now provides an improvement strategy which can be used by countries to guide both national projects and projects funded by development partners. In turn, this will assist in improving in-country systems for other natural hazards.