SPC GeoScience Division

SPC GEOSCIENCE PROGRAMMES

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.



 

Pacific community marks World Water Day

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20 March 2015, Suva - On 22 March each year, Pacific Island countries and territories pause to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of their fresh water resources to sustainable development.

However, with World Water Day on Sunday falling a little over a week since the region experienced a severe tropical cyclone, the thoughts of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and people across the Pacific are with those affected by cyclone Pam.

The cyclone has left thousands with limited or no access to safe drinking water and sanitation, dramatically demonstrating the region’s vulnerability to the water-related impacts of climate variability and climate change.

The extent of the drinking water and sanitation needs for those affected by the cyclone – in particular in Kiribati, Tuvalu and Vanuatu – is being determined by their respective governments who are leading the response.

The World Health Organisation and UNICEF recently estimated that around half the population of the Pacific has access to improved water supplies, while only one-third has access to improved sanitation.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 March 2015 09:43 Read more...
 

While TC Pam causes damage, Pacific Islands work together to build resilience

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Monday 17 March 2015, Sendai Japan - With Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam dominating world headlines, there has been strong interest in the Pacific Islands at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai Japan.  

Showcased at a special Pacific Islands event ‘Building Resilience to Disasters and Climate Change in the Pacific for Sustainable Development’, H.E President of Kiribati, Anote Tong highlighted the devastating impacts in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Republic of Marshall Islands, and Kiribati after Tropical Cyclone Pam

He stressed the importance of bringing climate change and disaster risk management together for the Pacific region noting that category five cyclones in the region have been more frequent over the last 10 years.

“Natural disasters and climate change are inter-related and integrated – they cannot and should not be taken as separate entities, for if we do, we can never fully achieve inclusivity and we can never hope to have sustainable development for reasons that are obvious.”

Labelled as pioneers, the island region is the very first to develop an integrated strategy that brings climate change and disaster risk management together under a regional framework in the context of sustainable development.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 06:09 Read more...
 

SPC Ramps Up its Disability Capacity at the Opening of SPC Geoscience Division's Publications and Library Section

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Wednesday 4 December 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) headquarters, Noumea, New Caledonia - The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) strengthened their commitment in building their capacity to meet the needs of disabled persons with the official opening of the Publications and Library Section at the Geoscience Division (GSD) – GSD’s first facilities with disabled access.

In conjunction with an official visit to the Division by SPC’s Director General on Wednesday 24 November 2014, Dr Colin Tukuitonga officially opened the newly refurbished facilities with a ribbon cutting and a strong commitment by SPC to enable those with disabilities through improving SPC’s facilities to meet their needs. Speaking to staff and honoured guests, Dr Tukuitonga recognised the efforts of GSD.

‘What you've done in effect is give meaning and a concrete example and acknowledgement of the fact that we somehow need to be much more practical in our thinking about enabling people with disabilities,’ Dr Tukuitonga said.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:59 Read more...
 

Pacific Resource and Environmental Economics Network Newsletter: Issue 11, December 2014

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Welcome to the December 2014 edition of the PREEN Newsletter. This edition has been compiled by the new ODI Fellow of SPC’s  Geoscience and Division (GSD), James Jolliffe, who joined GSD in October 2014 after the departure of out-going PREEN coordinator, Anna Rios Wilks. Anna has now returned to the UK and we would like to thank her for all her support to the PREEN, as well as wish her every success in her new life.

This edition includes details of current projects in the field including the economics of coastal management and climate finance for Pacific forest management. You will find information on recently released reports, as well as recent training events in locations throughout the Pacific.

We welcome new articles as they emerge so please do share your new findings, projects and events with us to keep the network informed of developments in the Pacific.

Best wishes for a merry Christmas and a happy new year,
James Jolliffe
PREEN coordinator

Read Online | Download

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 13:04
 

Pacific Disaster Net provides daily updates in wake of cyclone Pam

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18 March 2015, Suva - The Pacific’s largest and most comprehensive information management resource on disaster risk management and national sustainable development has commenced daily email updates in the wake of cyclone Pam.

Anyone wanting to subscribe to the Pacific Disaster Net service can do so online at http://lists.spc.int/mailman/listinfo/pdn. The portal is updated daily by a dedicated team at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Suva, Fiji, on behalf of an international partnership initiative.

“The main target audiences for Pacific Disaster Net are National Disaster Management Officers, government officials, emergency responders and communities to help them prepare for, and manage, natural disasters in the Pacific Islands region,” the Director of SPC's Geoscience Division, Professor Michael Petterson, said in Suva today.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 15:04 Read more...
 

Kiribati Broadcasting Authority tests ability to deliver services in emergency

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6 March 2015 – Thirteen personnel from Kiribati’s Broadcasting and Publication Authority, Kiribati Red Cross Society, the Office of Te Beretitenti and Newspapers; Kiribati Independent, Kiribati Update and Kiribati Newstar have today tested their readiness to stay on air and provide vital public information during a major emergency or disaster.

The staff, including journalists, media technicians, and administrative staff participated in a table top exercise to test new Climate and Disaster Resilience Plans that they developed earlier this week through a two-day workshop led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

National broadcasters play a pivotal role in providing public information and warnings about emergencies and disasters.

The Climate and Disaster Resilience Plan supports the ability of the Broadcasting and Publication Authority to perform its duties in the event of an emergency or disaster in Kiribati by setting out ways to increase the resilience of the authority’s infrastructure, operations and personnel.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 05:52 Read more...
 

Resilient Futures - BSRP Newsletter Issue 1

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Building Safety & Resilience in the Pacific, Bi-Monthly Newsletter

Issue 1 November 2014

Read Online | Download English | Download French

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 January 2015 05:51
 

SPC Highlights Technology and the Positive Advances Facing Pacific Regional Development at the GIS and Remote Sensing Conference

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Thursday 27 November 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Suva, Fiji - The Pacific region continues to face development issues and technology of all kinds is assisting many areas of decision making, wealth generation and job creation. This was the focus of opening remarks delivered by Professor Michael Petterson, Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (AGTD) at the Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing (GIS & RS) conference.

The GIS & RS conference opened on Tuesday, 25th November at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji with the theme “Empowering Pacific Communities through Improved Geospatial Data”, and where approximately 280 participants were in attendance with representatives from countries and agencies from the Pacific and beyond.

‘Although we have some way to go because of limited capacity and resources, organisations like SPC have made a solid start in developing modern databases, applying new technologies, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, multivariate satellite spectra and bathymetric instruments. These technologies allow for rapid coverage of land and lagoon, enabling experts to determine land use, forestry cover, areas of mineralisation, sites for geothermal energy and to assist with planning decisions,’ Petterson described.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 January 2015 05:18 Read more...
 
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SOPAC In The News

The following random SOPAC-related news articles are aggregated from various online third-party sources; SOPAC is in no way responsible for the editorial content, opinions and validity of the articles.

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Newsflash

Monday, 14 October, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) - From 14th to 17th October, a team from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) will be visiting French Polynesia. They will report on the results of a series of studies designed to reduce the risk of storm surge in the Tuamotu Islands, a strategic area for pearl culture, tourism and environmental conservation.

This project was implemented over a two-year period and is now entering its final phase. Its objective was to define with more accuracy the impact of storm surge in coastal areas in order to enhance community safety.

Based on proven scientific techniques, four studies were conducted to determine the risk of flooding during an extreme tropical cyclone. Flood hazard was assessed using bathymetric, oceanographic and topographic data collected in strategic areas of the Tuamotu Islands. These data were used to produce a bathymetric chart of Rangiroa, the largest atoll in French Polynesia, detailing the depth of the lagoon and channels. SPC experts also produced inundation maps by modelling storm surge in a number of key areas.