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THE Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Choiseul Bay Township, Choiseul Province, has claimed three awards, including the Overall Winner Award, in the Queensland-wide Planning Institute of Australia’s (PIA) 2014 Awards for Planning Excellence.
At a ceremony held in Brisbane on Friday 7 November, The University of Queensland, the Department of the Environment, BMT WBM and Buckley Vann Town Planning Consultants were honoured for their outstanding work on the Climate Change Adaptation Plan with three awards – Overall Winner, Best Planning Ideas – Small or Local Project and the Public Engagement and Community Planning Award.
The plan outlines the necessary steps to relocate the small Solomon Islands community from a high-risk tsunami area prone to flooding, to higher land on the main island.
PIA State President (Qld) Kate Isles said the Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Choiseul Bay Township was recognised for multiple awards because it demonstrated excellence across many aspects of planning.
“The planners’ work will be used as a benchmark for future climate change adaptation initiatives in the Pacific region, where rising sea levels and the increasing frequency of extreme events threaten Pacific Islands, 50% of whom live within 1.5km of the ocean,” Ms Isles said.
“The project developed a clear methodology to address a new challenge for local area planning in the Asia-Pacific region and, in turn, a transferable approach to climate change that can be adopted in similar settings.
“The judges were particularly impressed by the development of an easy-to-follow action plan for the community and proactive nature of the project, being the first of its kind in the Pacific Region.
“In formulating the plan, the project illustrated best-practice engagement and consultation of local people, and developed long-term outcomes to meet the vision and desires of all members of the community.”
Ms Isles said the calibre of entries in this year’s awards were very high.
“We’ve been thrilled with the quality and diversity of the entries in this year’s awards, which demonstrate just how many projects are contributing to a brighter future for Queensland,” Ms Isles said.
“Congratulations go to each individual and project team who have received an award – your projects have been recognised as being outstanding among a very strong and deep field of quality entries.”
The Planning Institute of Australia is the national body representing the planning profession. Through education, communication and professional development, PIA is the pivotal organisation serving and guiding thousands of planning professionals in their role to create better communities.