SPC Geoscience Division

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SPC Geoscience Overview

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The SPC GeoScience Division (GSD) is new, and began operation on 1 January 2011.

The mission of the SPC is "to help Pacific island people position themselves to respond effectively to the challenges they face and make informed decisions about their future and the future they wish to leave for the generations that follow."

The goal of the SPC Geoscience Division is to apply geoscience and technology to realise new opportunities for improving the livelihoods of Pacific communities.

In the GSD context, geoscience means any science concerned with the Earth. This includes geological, physical, chemical and biological processes that occur at the earth's surface or in its interior. It includes the tools used in GSD to assess whether the use of resources is viable, and to study natural disasters and their impact on island communities.

The SPC Geoscience Division (GSD) has been established as an outcome of the regional institutional framework reform process called for by the Pacific Island Leaders Forum over recent years. Part of that process was to transfer and integrate the core work programme of the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (GSD) (GSD "The Commission") into the SPC.

The purpose of establishing SPC Geoscience "The Division" is to ensure the preservation of the identity of the GSD work programme that has built up an excellent reputation, amongst both Members and donor partners over nearly 40 years.

GSD "The Commission" Governing Council has agreed to this, and both the Commission and SPC have agreed that the Division will operate from the existing campus of the GSD Secretariat on Mead Road, Nabua, Fiji. Currently the offices on this campus accommodate close to 100 staff.

GSD "The Commission" has come a long way since its establishment in 1972, first as a United Nations Development Programme Regional Project, then in 1990 as an independent inter-governmental organisation, and from 2011, to be a new Division in the SPC. Initially the work programme focused on the assessment of deep-sea minerals and hydrocarbon potential. Over the years, the work programme of GSD expanded to include the assessment of the potential of ocean and onshore mineral resources, coastal protection and management, and geohazard assessment. Over the past decade, its mandate broadened further to include water, wastewater, sanitation, energy, and disaster risk management.



The purpose of the SPC Geoscience Division (GSD) is to ensure the earth sciences are utilised fully in order to fulfill the SPC Mission.  In the island context the earth sciences comprise geology, geophysics, oceanography and hydrology.

To fulfill this, the division has three technical work programmes:

  • Geoscience for Development
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Disaster Reduction

These three programmes share common technical support services:

  • Natural Resource Economics
  • GIS and Remote Sensing
  • Technical Equipment and Services
  • Data Management
  • Publications and Library

The work programme is reviewed annually by a technical advisory group consisting of members, Secretariat representatives and a Science, Technology and Resources Network (STAR).



Member countries are American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji Islands, France, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Stated of America, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna Any island member country can request assistance from the GSD Division. Benefits accrue to island member countries directly through the provision of basic geological knowledge and indirectly, through improvements in land and ocean use, leading to improved health through water and sanitation provision, wealth generation through the development of mineral resources, hazard and disaster management and sustainable development by taking into account the geo-environmental impacts of development.


GSD is funded by member-country contributions and supported by the following donors: Australia, Fiji Islands, Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, USAID / Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the European Union, and certain UN agencies.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 March 2015 07:13  


From the Manager’s Desk

We’ve passed the mid-point for 2012 and have developed a few stories from the work we’ve done over July and August which we hope you will find interesting. These recent months have also seen a hive of activity for us in terms of our preparations for the 4th session of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Regional Water & Sanitation Consultations which are coming together this year in Noumea, New Caledonia on 17th – 21st September. We hope to have some interesting results from that meeting and look forward to sharing these with you in our next edition.

In July, SOPAC DRP bade farewell to our Training Support Officer, Vuli Gauna. During his time with the programme he visited a number of Pacific Island countries to assist with the development of national trainers and to implement DRM training courses in support of national capacity building efforts. Vuli recently led the completion and implementation of the new Disaster Risk Reduction course – a major undertaking.

Vuli has taken up a position with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) regional delegation in Suva, as the Regional Disaster Management Programme Manager, and can be contacted at [email protected]

We wish Vuli all the best in his future endeavours and know that his disaster management training expertise will still be utilized across the region in his new career.

I hope you will enjoy reading this edition.

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Mosese Sikivou
Deputy Director, Disaster Reduction Programme