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Using improved maps and data to meet the Sustainable Development Goals

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GIS Conference

18 November 2016

Suva, Fiji – Experts from around the world will gather in Suva, Fiji, later this month to exchange innovation in the use of satellite data, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), open source software and other tools that assist decision-making in land use and disaster management.

Recent developments in technology and practices to improve maps and data that support sustainable development and economic growth will also be at the forefront of discussions at the upcoming 17th Pacific GIS/RS (Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing) User Conference, co-hosted by the Pacific Community (SPC), The University of the South Pacific (USP) and Fiji’s Ministry of Lands.

 

 

 

The largest of its kind in terms of Pacific Islands region participation, this week-long conference (28 November - 1 December) will bring together producers and users of geospatial data and information such as representatives from Pacific Island governments, international agencies, consulting companies and the private sector.

When the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed upon by 193 countries in September last year, the United Nations stressed the importance of increasing the availability of high quality, timely and reliable data  (e.g. population and health), disaggregated by geographic location.

Experts stated that geographic information about people and the planet is critical for better decision making and using resources more wisely as this will be an indispensable element in achieving the 17 global goals.

Geospatial, or geographic information shows where social, environmental and economic conditions occur.

It helps answer questions such as: where are people at risk of rising sea levels and climate change? How do we protect people living there? How many hectares of forests are there? Are we managing them sustainably? How do we manage natural resources in an effective and sustainable manner? How do we assess impacts of hazards and assist disaster planning, preparedness and response activities for Pacific Island Countries?

“The Pacific can greatly benefit especially from the collective wisdom of the scientific and technical practitioners in remote sensing and GIS technologies,” SPC Geoscience Division Director, Professor Micheal Petterson, said.

“This conference connects the Pacific region with the expertise and global development challenges and solutions of scientific organisations in larger regions.

“Linking the wider Pacific geospatial community with these international technical agencies demonstrates development and scientific leadership from the Pacific Community,” Prof Petterson added.

Financial contributions from satellite data and GIS/RS software vendors, regional and international partner agencies, USP and the Fiji Government, have allowed participation of Pacific Island nationals, stakeholders and partners at this conference.

“We are delighted to support the Pacific Islands GIS/RS community to improve the sustainability and resilience of our Pacific Island countries. I wish the conference great success,” The University of the South Pacific, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rajesh Chandra said.

The Pacific GIS/RS User Conference has been held annually since 1999.

 

Media contacts:

Wolf Forstreuter, Geoscience Division, Pacific Community(SPC)                 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sachindra Singh, Geoscience Division, Pacific Community (SPC)                  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

John Lowry, School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment, USP      This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Useful link:

http://gisconference.gsd.spc.int/

Last Updated on Friday, 18 November 2016 15:26  

Newsflash

From 8 to 12 March, representatives of the French Pacific territories* met to discuss one of the most significant natural hazards for their territories, i.e. the tsunami risk.

This work, which was made possible with the support of European funding, was conducted in collaboration with scientists from the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD), the Geophysics Laboratory (CEA) and the French Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (SHOM) under the guidance of SPC’s Applied Geoscience and Technology Division. A delegate from the French Polynesian Corporation for the Promotion of Municipal Districts and a representative of the French Ministry of Overseas Departments and Territories (délégation générale à l’outre-mer) also took part in the meeting.

The participants exchanged and shared scientific knowledge on the tsunami risk, the lessons learnt and the wide range of responses used to protect communities, e.g. educational measures,   communication materials, alarms, signs.

The conclusions of this week long working sessions are part of the efforts underway in this area and will be further developed during the 2013 edition of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management, which SPC will be hosting in July.