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International company gets multimillion dollar deal

Tuesday 12 July 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Economy, National

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International company gets multimillion dollar deal
Photo: Melina Etches/22040702

The mapping data and products will assist Infrastructure Cook Islands in advancing sustainable infrastructure, improving disaster and climate resilience, and updating nautical charts.

International architecture, engineering, geospatial and strategic consulting firm Woolpert has been contracted by Infrastructure Cook Islands (ICI) to collect topographic and bathymetric lidar data and aerial imagery across the Cook Islands.

The multimillion-dollar contract is funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Green Climate Fund.

In a statement, Woolpert said the data and products developed under this contract will help ICI improve and advance sustainable infrastructure development, environmental monitoring and assessment, natural hazard planning and mitigation, disaster and climate resilience, and nautical charting.

ICI project manager Jake Langdon said the data and imagery will support better management and planning.

“Lidar data enables us to model the landscape and seascape and understand how they both change over time to identify specific regions most at risk to natural disaster, climate change and other environmental issues," Langdon said.

“We can use this information to focus our resources, reinforce emergency transport routes, protect people and infrastructure in harm's way, and mitigate the overall impact of natural disasters before they strike."

This project will cover approximately 229 square kilometres, including terrestrial, lagoon and offshore components across the 12 inhabited islands of the Cook Islands.

To support work in the remote northern islands, Woolpert project manager Constance Solemani is working closely with regional partners and ICI to coordinate complicated logistics, including the prepositioning of jet fuel for acquisition efforts.

This project is the latest in Woolpert's geospatial data acquisitions across the Pacific, including recent collections in Vanuatu and Tonga. As with Tonga, Woolpert will be supported by aerial services provider Kiwi Air of New Zealand. This acquisition is scheduled to occur between July and October.