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Geology, Minerals & Hydrocarbons

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The livelihoods and well-being of Pacific Islands are inextricably linked to the optimal and responsible exploitation of ocean, coastal and land-based resources, especially mineral resources. However, management of some "non-traditional" resources such as deep sea minerals and hydrocarbons are in many cases beyond the present capacity of SPC Member states and there is poor awareness of the necessary policy, legislation and environmental, fiscal, taxation management regimes needed to ensure Pacific Island interests and environments are protected.

Developing sustainable aggregate resources has been an important focal area for the Ocean and Islands Programme (OIP) over the years in recognition of the devastating impact of uncontrolled beach mining especially evident in urban atoll settings. In these settings, beach mining has increased as demand for building material has also increased. This example highlights the need for development of not only technically sound alternatives, but alternatives which are economically viable and socially appropriate. OIP will continue to deliver integrated technical solutions which include social and economic considerations.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 15:00  


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.