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Tonga’s Prime Minister launches the world’s first regional strategy for surveying and geospatial capacity development

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Tonga's first regional strategy for surveying

16 Apr 2018 | Nuku’Alofa

The Honourable Prime Minister of Tonga Samiuela ‘Akilisi Pōhiva officially launched the Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council Strategy 2017-2027 today in the presence of surveying and geospatial specialists from around the region and the globe. The 10-year strategy represents a global first, as it is the first geospatial and surveying strategy to be collectively produced and endorsed by a regional advisory body- the Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council (PGSC). “I am very pleased to be hosting this event here in Tonga. The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has been extremely busy with recovery work for the past two months, but I commend them also in their dedication to the long-term regional vision of the PGSC,” the Hon Samiuela ‘Akilisi Pōhiva said during the launch.The Prime Minister recognised the launch as timely given the aftermath of Cyclone Gita and the importance of geospatial information and surveying in the immediate damage assessment stages and also in the mid-to-long term rebuilding plans.

 

“There will always be natural disasters and hazards in our region and that we must continue to build our national and regional capacities to anticipate and respond to these,” he added.

The PGSC meetings are organised by the Pacific Community (SPC) with support from the Australian-funded Climate and Oceans Support Programme in the Pacific (COSPPac). “Australia is committed to enabling sustainable and climate resilient development in the Pacific Islands,” the Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, Mr Andrew Ford said at the event. “Given the key role geospatial information plays in this work, I can assure the Council that Australia will remain a committed partner in implementing the Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Strategy in the years ahead.”

For any country, geospatial information plays a key role strategic planning and financing that contributes towards informed decision-making and sustainable growth. “The growing number of initiatives in recent years and the launch of this strategy are signs of a strong regional voice for geospatial and survey professionals,” said Mr Akuila Tawake, Deputy Director for Geo-resources and Energy.  “SPC will continue to work with member countries to implement this strategy.”

The Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council Strategy highlights the development priorities of Pacific Lands and Survey, Geospatial Information Management, and Hydrographic Departments and provides the strategic direction for strengthening the capacities of these agencies. The PGSC meeting will conclude at the end of the week, and is held in conjunction with United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) International Workshop on Legal & Policy Framework for Geospatial Information.

 

Media contacts:

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 April 2018 10:13  

Newsflash

05 September 2013, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands - At the occasion of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), European Union Commissioner for Climate Action Mrs Connie Hedegaard and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Director General Dr. Jimmie Rodgers and the Secretary General of the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, Mr Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, have signed the "ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific" programme.

The European Union (EU) will provide 20 million Euro to support the Pacific states in addressing the impacts of climate change and the urgent need to improve resilience to natural disasters.

The high vulnerability of Pacific Island Countries to disaster is well known. This is further exacerbated by their often small land areas as well as their narrow, subsistence based fragile economies. Natural hazards undermine development and the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This Programme responds to these challenges and will strengthen the capacity of the Pacific states to address existing and emerging challenges with regard to the risks posed by natural hazards and related disasters, while maximising synergies between disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA).

"For the Pacific people, climate change is not about a distant future. It has become the new normal. This programme will help the Pacific states in their efforts to adapt to this new climate reality. The Pacific states can count on Europe to continue its climate cooperation in the region”, said European Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard.