SPC Geoscience Division


Geoscience for Development

Water and Sanitation

Disaster Reduction

Provides applied ocean, island and coastal geoscience services to support countries to govern and develop their natural resources, increase their resilience to hazards and facilitates data-based approaches to adaptation. Provides technical support through capacity building, awareness and advocacy related to the management of water resources and the provision of water supply and sanitation services. Provides technical support to strengthen disaster risk management practices.

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical agency supporting development in the Pacific, proudly owned and governed by its 26 members including all 22 Pacific Island countries and territories.


Vanuatu and Solomon Islands to conclude historic maritime boundary treaty

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7 October 2016, Port Vila

The Pacific Community (SPC) is welcoming the conclusion of 33 years of negotiations between Vanuatu and Solomon Islands with the signing of a Maritime Boundary Agreement between the countries.


A signing ceremony involving the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, the Hon Manasseh Sogavare, and the Prime Minister for Vanuatu, the Hon Charlot Salawai, is expected to take place in northern Vanuatu today.


Vanuatu government officials said the landmark agreement will provide legal and jurisdictional certainty for Solomon Islands and Vanuatu for better management of the ocean, while at the same time allowing the two nations’ cultural and historical linkages to remain solid.


In congratulating both governments, the Director of SPC’s Geoscience Division, Professor Michael Petterson, said it was also a special and rewarding occasion for SPC staff who had supported the complex negotiations over many years.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 October 2016 14:39

New Framework to build resilience to climate change and disasters in the Pacific Islands

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16 September 2016, Suva - Pacific Leaders’ endorsement of the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP), the world’s first integrated regional framework to build resilience to climate change and disasters, has been applauded by Pacific regional and international organisations.

The Framework aims to ensure that climate change and disasters are understood as a development challenge with priority actions to address vulnerability to climate change and disasters and build resilience across all sectors.

The FRDP provides high level voluntary guidance to national governments and administrations, the private sector, civil society organisations, Pacific communities, regional organisations, and development partners.

Last Updated on Monday, 19 September 2016 10:54

‘Time is right’ to boost capacity in Pacific ocean forecasting

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5 September 2016, Nadi

Weather forecasters, hydrographers, oceanographers, fisheries officers and maritime safety experts from around the Pacific region have gathered in Nadi, Fiji, today to take part in training to boost understanding, monitoring and forecasting of oceans and tides.

First Secretary of the Australian High Commission in Suva, Raymond Bojczuk opened the training, which is jointly organised by the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology under the Climate and Oceans Support Programme in the Pacific (COSPPac).

“The timing is right to boost regional capacity to monitor and forecast ocean conditions,” Mr Bojczuk noted, recognising the severe wave damage many coastal communities in Fiji experienced during Tropical Cyclone Winston and the numerous inundation events that have threatened low-lying atolls across the region in recent years.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 September 2016 14:54

Improving Resilience with Aerial Imagery

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Source: https://hotosm.org/updates/2016-08-15_improving_resilience_with_aerial_imagery

Earlier this month Nate and I went to Suva to lead the kickoff meeting of the Pacific Drone Imagery Dashboard (PacDID) project funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. During the visit, we met and brainstormed with local geospatial experts and stakeholders around the issues of disaster management and aerial imagery. By the end of the week, we had a clear understanding of the challenges that Pacific Island Countries (PICs) face during natural disasters.

Our main local partner in this project, the Pacific Community (SPC), is a scientific and technical development organisation governed by 26 countries and territories of the region. Within SPC, the Geoscience Division supports member countries in every aspect of Disaster Management (DM), from preparedness, to response, to recovery. Their experienced staff provides geospatial and remote sensing services to many Pacific countries and directly works with ministries, non-government organizations and National Disaster Management Offices (NDMOs) before, during and after a disaster.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 August 2016 13:54

PacSAFE Project

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The PacSAFE project is a response to demand from Pacific Island Countries for tools to better understand disaster impacts. The project will engage with representatives from national disaster management offices and related agencies who are involved in planning, preparing and responding to natural disasters. Geoscience Australia, as Australia’s technical implementing partner, will continue development of the functionality of the PacSAFE software tool. PacSAFE is a desktop tool based on QGIS and InaSAFE, designed and developed for non‑GIS users.

Geoscience Australia, as Australia’s technical implementing partner, will continue development of the functionality of the PacSAFE software tool. PacSAFE is a desktop tool based on QGIS and InaSAFE, designed and developed for non‑GIS users. PacSAFE1 was initially developed by the Pacific Community for urban planners to enable hazard data and asset data, such as the Pacific Catastrophic Risk and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI) asset database. In the current project, the PacSAFE tool will be enabled to produce realistic disaster impact scenarios by combining spatial hazard with exposure data. It will provide a simple tool for users to interrogate hazard and impact scenarios within the context of the local knowledge of their communities. This will support users in making informed decisions for disaster response and to develop evidence-based policies for enhancing disaster resilience

Last Updated on Friday, 30 September 2016 14:52

PNG Geothermal Energy Potential

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Source: EMTV Online

Hydro-power at present makes up 40 percent of Papua New Guinea’s installed power capacity, due to the optimal conditions and terrains for hydro-power plants.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 September 2016 10:47

Queensland Fire support Pacific disaster preparation

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2 September 2016, Brisbane

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is today hosting a professional development workshop with disaster managers from 15 Pacific Island countries to help strengthen the region’s ability to best respond to disasters.

This comes just months after the strongest recorded cyclone in the Southern Hemisphere slammed into Fiji causing widespread devastation and challenging the country’s ability to respond to such a large disaster on a huge scale.

The training has been organised in partnership with the Pacific Islands Emergency Management Alliance (PIEMA), focused on strengthening emergency management across the region by creating sustainable, long-term partnerships with agencies like QFES.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 September 2016 14:47

Pacific Community Maritime Boundaries Officer selected for International Leadership Program

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17 August 2016, Suva

The Pacific Community’s Emily Artack is representing Fiji in an international delegation participating in the prestigious International Visitors Leadership Programme on Law of the Sea and Maritime Security in the United States.

The three-week programme, which starts this week in Washington D.C., will include exploring how customary law applies in the South China Sea and the Pacific, assessing the roles of international stakeholders, observing interagency coordination and approaches to maritime security operations, and discussing multilateral policy and cooperative efforts in South China Sea territorial and maritime disputes.

The international programme will also take the 12-country delegation to Baltimore, New York, Florida, Seattle and Honolulu to meet with professional counterparts and explore various perspectives on the impact of the Law of the Sea Convention.

Last Updated on Friday, 19 August 2016 12:06
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TUESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2012 - ‘It really is very simple. The workshop is about improving the safety of life at sea.’

Dr Russell Howorth of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) made this comment in his opening address of the Hydrographic Surveying and Nautical Charting Workshop, taking place at Fiji’s Naval Headquarters from 24 September to 5 October.

Dr Howorth, Director of SPC Applied Geoscience and Technology Division, said that the aim of the workshop, funded by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and organised by SPC, is to assist the participating countries to meet the basic requirements of navigation and safety as required and regulated by IMO’s International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.

‘We must support campaigns to raise awareness of the safety and economic importance of hydrographic surveying and nautical charting services in the region,’ said Dr Howorth.

Hydrographic surveys refer to mapping the seabed, while nautical charts show maritime areas and include features of the seabed, navigational hazards and other details; charts being to ships what roadmaps are to cars.