Example for Calculating Replacement Costs − Agricultural Sector

The Applied Geoscience and Technology Division incorporates the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) and includes information on the areas of water and sanitation, disaster management, seabed resources, maritime boundary delimitation and monitoring of ocean processes. This database is the most comprehensive exposure dataset for the Pacific and is hosted by SPC-SOPAC.

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The following approach was applied for calculating the average replacement costs:

  • Subsistence farmers are assumed to invest only a fraction of the costs incurred by an average producer in the region. Therefore, the replacement costs for subsistence producers have been reduced to one-fourth of the traditional cost.
  • Commercial producers that invest heavily in technology with export-oriented production are assumed to have higher replacement costs than the average crop production systems. For commercial farmers, the replacement costs have been increased by half of the traditional cost.

The LULC databases, with information on all vegetation, were used to create the cash crop exposure database. Cash crops were indexed by sampling the LULC data on an 80-by-80 metre grid for most countries. For the larger countries (Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Fiji), the sampling grid was taken at 270-by-270 metres. These different sampling resolutions balanced accuracy and economy, allowing for the detection of cash crops in small atolls. In addition, the crop types indicated in the LULC maps, which sometimes included multiple crops in one area, were mapped appropriately to a similar crop classification in which the replacement costs and damage functions could be easily assigned.

In general, the different crops in the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) react distinctly when affected by cyclones, tsunamis or flooding. For example, it has been documented that recently introduced crops, which are used to serve export markets, are very susceptible to damage from cyclonic winds or salt spray compared to more resilient, native crops or those that have been cultivated over centuries by the PICs farmers.

The Pacific Risk Information System (PRIS) has been developed under the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI). PCRAFI aims to provide PICs with disaster risk modelling and assessment tools for enhanced DRM and to engage in a dialogue with PICs on integrated financial solutions to increase their financial resilience to natural disasters and climate change.

The PRIS is the result of a three-year effort to collect detailed information on assets, population, hazards and risks. Physical inspections of more than 80,000 buildings and digitization and inference from satellite imagery of more than three million buildings and assets have been undertaken to create an exposure dataset of buildings, major infrastructure, major crops and population. The PRIS also includes the most comprehensive regional historical hazard catalogue (115,000 earthquake and 2,500 tropical cyclone events) and regional historical loss database ever developed for major disasters