Fugro has been awarded a contract by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to perform high-resolution topographic lidar base mapping for the Republic of Palau. Located in the western Pacific Ocean and comprising 340 islands, Palau is recognised by the UN as a small developing island state (SIDS) whose remote location, low-lying landmasses and heavily populated coastlines make it especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
The new countrywide topography will establish an accurate baseline for climate resilience assessments, allowing Palau to create adaptation strategies that support economic and environmental sustainability.
Fugro will acquire Geo-data for the project early this year using concurrent airborne topographic and bathymetric lidar systems. This ‘topobathy’ approach will ensure accurate and seamless data collection over the entire 415 km2 project area, including nearshore and coastal areas. Fugro applied a similar technique on a UNDP mapping project for another SIDS, the Polynesian island country of Tuvalu, in 2019. That experience will inform this new project in Palau. As the principal user of the data, the Palau Automated Land and Resource Information Systems (PALARIS) will use the new mapping to inform all facets of infrastructure development, natural resource management and environmental monitoring.
“We are pleased to continue our work with the UNDP and look forward to delivering Palau its first topographic lidar base map,” said Edward Saade, President of Fugro in the US. “The use of this Geo-data is fundamental to informed decision-making and will help Palau meet its goals for a resilient, sustainable and equitable future.”