Guidance for coastal protection works in Pacific island countries

PRIF Guidance for coastal protection works in Pacific island countries

The Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) has recently released “Guidance for coastal protection works in Pacific island countries”. Working with the PRIF and NZ consultants Tonkin + Taylor, WRL contributed to the development of these technical guidelines through physical modelling of a range of innovative coastal protection options; that aim to maximise the use of local Pacific materials and labour, while minimising the need for imported materials and equipment.

This investigation also aligns with our ongoing research program looking at coastal processes and coastal protection design for reef mediated coastlines typical of Pacific islands. The guidelines are available for download from the PRIF website:

This technical guidance report provides an overview of the design process including how to identify a coastal erosion issue, determine the most appropriate mitigation solution, and assess design conditions. It also outlines the required steps for ensuring robust engineering design of protection works, assessing environmental effects, obtaining the necessary construction documentation, and monitoring throughout the process.

In addition to the technical design of selected coastal protection options, the report also provides concept-level design guidelines for selected conditions, general specifications, design drawings, proposed construction methodology, and information on maintenance requirements.

While not intended to replace comprehensive design manuals and expertise, the guidance report aims to assist government public works departments, coastal managers, consultants, non-government organisations and contractors, to understand the issues around coastal erosion and the required steps to successfully implement coastal protection works.

The guidance report follows on from an earlier publication titled Affordable coastal protection in the Pacific islands, also available for download from the PRIF website:

This desktop review undertaken by Tonkin + Taylor and WRL, presents a comprehensive evaluation of coastal protection systems currently used throughout the Pacific region, including a country-based evaluation of protection methods for a range of technical, social and environmental criteria.

For further information contact:

Matt Blacka | Principal Engineer - Coastal |

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