Ocean Services prioritised by Pacific Meteorological Council
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 July 2015 14:30
Professional surfers often know more about the big waves that threaten our coasts than our own Pacific Meteorological Services and communities.This was a concern raised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) at the Third Meeting of the Pacific Meteorological Council in Nuku’alofa last week.
“World-class surfers like Kelly Slater have the technology and expert knowledge to track waves days in advance, so they can travel to Pohnpei, Fiji, or Cook Islands in time to catch those waves,” said Jens Kruger, a senior SPC oceanographer. “Meanwhile, our own Pacific Island coastal communities are often unaware and unprepared when large waves are rolling in, due to the poor telecommunications infrastructure, especially in remote locations,” Mr Kruger said.
SPC called for increased resources for National Meteorological Services to enable them to generate and communicate impact-based early warnings for extreme wave and coastal inundation events, to better protect lives, livelihoods and property in the Pacific Island region. In response, the Pacific Meteorological Council has agreed with SPC’s recommendation to establish a working group on coastal inundation and marine weather forecasting, to be named the Pacific Islands Marine and Ocean Services (PIMOS) Panel.
SPC takes action on domestic violence by supporting staff
Last Updated on Friday, 24 July 2015 10:34
FWCC Coordinator, Shamima Ali addresses SPC staff on Domestic Violence
Suva, Fiji – In response to the death of an employee, Losana McGowan, earlier this year following an alleged domestic violence incident, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is taking action to build more awareness within the workplace.
“At SPC, we’re moving to ensure that our staff are better informed and that there are proper systems in place to provide resources and adequate support to staff who are experiencing domestic violence,” the Director of SPC’s Geoscience Division, Professor Michael Petterson, said.
A workshop was held this week in Suva by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC), as a pilot for SPC staff from the division that Losana had worked, to build on the healing process and awareness on the issues of domestic violence.
The workshop was led by FWCC Coordinator, Shamima Ali, following a request from SPC, and is part of the Centre’s ongoing outreach with many agencies and stakeholders.
SPC advances drone use during disaster assessment in Vanuatu
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 13:25
A specialised team from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has successfully completed its contribution to the Cyclone Pam damage assessment in Vanuatu, using unmanned aerial vehicles or drones.
The technical assessment team was deployed to assist with the Vanuatu Government’s damage assessment in April, tasked with determining damage to infrastructure and buildings, coastal inundation and three-dimensional shoreline change.
The team from SPC’s Geoscience Division included one expert flown in from Germany with a copter drone (which flies using eight rotating blades), financed by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with assistance from GIZ.
Using SPC’s own fixed-wing drone and the copter drone, the team was able to employ the latest techniques to conduct mapping surveys of affected areas, including 10 villages in north-east Efate and seven villages and settlements in south-east Tanna. Having returned to Suva in May, the team has since been analysing the data and sharing it progressively with the Vanuatu Government and other partners involved in the post-disaster assessment.
Federated States of Micronesia reviews disaster risk management lessons from typhoons
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 13:52
Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is reviewing its disaster response in the wake of the three typhoons which hit the country between April and May this year.
The review, which involves representatives from the four states of FSM and partners, including the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union, is part of the Second FSM Disaster Risk Management Platform being held in Yap State between 8 and 12 June, 2015.
In April this year, typhoon Maysak severely impacted Chuuk and the outer islands of Yap. This was followed by typhoon Noul , which hit the main island of Yap. Typhoon Dolphin caused heavy damage on Kosrae and Pohnpei in May.
The Second FSM Disaster Risk Management Platform is funded by the European Union, as part of the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project, implemented by SPC.
The forum is being led by the respective state disaster coordinating officers, and assisted by staff of the Weather Service Office and Red Cross.
SPC and International Seabed Authority seal new agreement
Last Updated on Friday, 24 July 2015 12:15
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) which is currently holding its 21st annual session in Jamaica.
The MOU expresses the mutual interests of SPC and ISA in developing regional and national frameworks that support the interests of both organisation’s Pacific member states, and efforts to regulate and manage deep sea mineral activities in ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction; conducting marine scientific research and analysis results; and participating in capacity-building initiatives and sharing seabed resources information.
Chief Geoscientist at SPC, Dr Kifle Kahsai, said the MOU will strengthen partnership of the two organisations.
“The decision of the Council to approve the proposed MOU between the Authority and the Pacific Community is a vibrant testimony of the remarkable relationship established between the two organizations over the years,” Dr Kahsai said.
Solomon Islands media receives training in climate change and disaster reporting
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 July 2015 09:18
25 June 2015, Honiara, Solomon Islands
Newsroom journalists received training in climate change and disaster reporting at the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) in Honiara this week. Coordinated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with the Secretariat of Pacific Community (SPC), FFA, and the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, the journalists received valuable training in understanding climate change, disaster risk management, and how these affect one of Solomon Islands’ biggest industries, tuna fishing.
More than ten journalists from local media attended the training, and as part of the workshop, presentations from the Climate Change Division, FFA, SPREP and SPC covered understanding climate change, eco-based adaptation to climate change, the effect of climate change on fisheries, climate change and gender, disaster risk management, and understanding national warning systems from the National Disaster Management Office.
Vanuatu reviews disaster response following cyclone Pam
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 14:19
One hundred days since tropical cyclone Pam swept through the Pacific, the Government of Vanuatu is reviewing its disaster response arrangements.
A Lessons Learnt Workshop, hosted by the National Disaster Management Office, will take place in Port Vila on 24 to 25 June to inform the development and implementation of improved procedures for disaster management in Vanuatu.
The workshop is funded by the European Union as part of the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project, an initiative implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
It will examine the coordination, early warning, information management, logistics and assessments that took place in the immediate aftermath of tropical cyclone Pam – all essential discussion topics following a disaster event of this magnitude.
Lessons from Cyclone Pam help Vanuatu media prepare for future events
Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 14:17
Vanuatu broadcasters and media came together with the National Disaster Management Office, and the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazard Department to plan and prepare their Climate and Disaster Resilience Plans this week.
Funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through ABC International and PACMAS, the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme, and implemented in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Communty (SPC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), this training seeks to assist Pacific broadcasters in eight countries in preparing plans that will help them be more resilient to the effects of climate change and disasters.
Having the very recent experience of category five Tropical Cyclone Pam, the broadcasters and government ministries were able to share their experiences and lessons learnt to help develop plans.
This will help them continue broadcasting warnings and information to the public during times of disaster when people need this service the most.