The Coastal Inundation Forecasting Demonstration Project (CIFDP) has been developing and implementing a Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (MHEWS) for coastal flooding, from both rivers and the ocean, for the last ten years. Since its establishment in 2009, three demonstration projects have been completed – Bangladesh (2017), Caribbean (2018), Indonesia (2019) – and a fourth, Fiji, is on-track for completion by the end of 2019.
CIFDP uses an integrated approach for monitoring, forecasting and impact-based warnings that is consistent with the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. This innovative and unique approach brought the hydrological, oceanographic and meteorological communities together to develop an enhanced capability for effective coastal warnings. The capability was developed with the needs of the end-user in mind. The warnings – designed in partnership with national emergency and community management authorities, a range of government agencies and NGOs – are accessible, easy to understand and actionable by communities at risk.
The completed projects demonstrate the value of having national forecast providers and a team of international experts work in partnership with the end-user community from the outset. As a result, there is a true sense of ownership that supports sustainability and further enhancement of the Coastal Inundation Forecasting system within the national meteorological services.
Coordinated by the (WMO-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO) Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) and the WMO Commission for Hydrology, the project recognizes the critical need for effective user-centric early warning systems that can be sustainably managed and maintained at a national level.