SPC Geoscience Division

Home

Fiji hosts the Pacific’s own science and technology conference

E-mail Print PDF

star meet

6 June 2016

Nadi, Fiji –  Geoscience and ocean experts from around the Pacific convene in Nadi from June 6-8 to share knowledge and practices, present original research, and advance regional collaboration at the 31st Science, Technology, and Resources (STAR) Conference, hosted by the Government of Fiji. The theme of this year’s conference is Geosciences, Geo-engineering and the Ocean in the Pacific Region.

“Fiji is pleased to host the region’s first STAR conference after a three year hiatus,” said Permanent Secretary for the Fiji Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources and current STAR Network chair, Mr. Malakai Finau. “Pacific delegates have missed this conference, as it provides a unique platform for showcasing regional research methods and findings, as well as networking and discussion.”

STAR is an independent conference, hosted by the Pacific Science, Technology and Resources (STAR) Network. Current STAR Network Steering Committee Members include representatives from the Government of Fiji, independent technical advisers, and the Pacific Community (SPC).

At the Regional Geoscience Meeting in Nadi in April 2015, Pacific Island delegates strongly supported the re-invigoration of STAR.

“It is critical that those science-based ministries within the Fijian Government apply robust science to address the problems we face in the Pacific, such as disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and land and mineral development,” said Mr. Finau. “Conferences such as this can help to develop that capacity.”

The Science, Technology and Resources (STAR) Network was first founded in 1984 as a joint initiative between the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). The STAR Conference was hosted in conjunction with SOPAC annual sessions until 2013. Following the integration of SOPAC into the Pacific Community (SPC) as the Geoscience Division, the STAR Network has had to reconsider the format and hosting of the STAR Conference.

“STAR aspires to be more than the region’s own scientific conference,” says Director of SPC Geoscience, Professor Michael Petterson. “We hope that the conference will serve as a springboard for the creation of genuinely collaborative geoscience for development programmes between the global science community and Pacific Island practitioners on-the-ground.”

Participants at this year’s STAR Conference will present research on a variety of topics including: Ocean Science, Technology, Management and Governance; Pacific Cyclones and their Impacts; Geothermal Resources; Pacific Volcanoes: Science, Hazards and Impacts; and Geo-resources and Engineering, among others.

Media contacts

Malakai Finau, Permanent Secretary, Min. of Lands & Mineral Resources [email protected] //

Raijeli Taga, Acting Director, Mineral Development  [email protected] //

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2016 14:19  

Newsflash

The unique freshwater challenges facing many small islands in the Pacific are highlighted in a new report released today by the UN Environment Programme and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

The report, “Freshwater under Threat – Pacific Islands”, written by David Duncan, Regional Environmental Engineer at SPC SOPAC’s Water and Sanitation Programme, found that the almost total reliance on rain-fed agriculture across all islands puts economies and livelihoods at risk.  Nearly 10% of deaths of children under five in the region are attributable to water related causes; 90% of these deaths, according to the report, can be traced to poor sanitation treatment systems.

The delivery of water supplies and sanitation services in many Pacific countries currently falls well short of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets. According to the report, access to improved drinking water sources in Fiji and Papua New Guinea (at 40% and 47%, respectively) is about half the global average and it is anticipated that both countries will fall significantly short of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for improved drinking water access.