New Caledonia

 The inhabitants of the small island Ouen are directly impacted by the retreat of the coastline, at Ouara Bay, where the tribe is located. Several constructions have already disappeared, while the tribe is often flooded during the high tides or heavy rain.


The Management Committee asked Paul Sabua, in charged of heritage matters of the Great South as well as piloting the World Heritage site of the Ouen Island, to organised a training and sensibilisation day on coastal erosion, along with INTEGRE support.


Three members of the management committee of the Isle of Pine were invited to participate, coastal erosion being a serious threat to their island as well. In addition, the Department of Land and Planning of the South Province and Michel Allenbach, a specialist in coastal erosion from the University of New Caledonia, participated to training day, bringing their expertise on the phenomenon happening in Ouen Island as well as answers to the inhabitants questions.


The event was also an opportunity to discuss the results of a study on the coastal line, conducted by the Department of Mines and Energy of New Caledonia and the BRGM, as part of the observatory of the littoral of New Caledonia programme. The study was based on aerial photos taken between 1954 and 2013. It shows that the beach in front of the tribe has fallen by one meter each year, confirming the inhabitants' worry.

A construction, serving as a fisherman cooperative, disappeared; its concrete slab is now on the coastline, with the water digging underneath.


The members of the management committee were then trained to a simple method to record the coastal line and its evolution. The new formed members can now put in place a participatory observation, like the reef in Ouvea.


The event was filmed by the South Province and can be watched here (french version) :







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