SPC GeoScience Division

SPC GEOSCIENCE PROGRAMMES

GeoScience for Development

Water and Sanitation

Disaster Reduction

Provides applied ocean, island and coastal geoscience services to support countries to govern and develop their natural resources, increase their resilience to hazards and facilitates data-based approaches to adaptation. Provides technical support through capacity building, awareness and advocacy related to the management of water resources and the provision of water supply and sanitation services. Provides technical support to strengthen disaster risk management practices.

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical agency supporting development in the Pacific, proudly owned and governed by its 26 members including all 22 Pacific Island countries and territories.



 

Palau Develops Pool of Post-Disaster Needs Assessors

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10 April 2015 - What is the true cost of a disaster in human and economic terms? Once we know, what can we do to support the recovery of affected people? These are the questions to be considered next week by a group of 25 participants as they complete Palau’s first national training course in Post Disaster Needs Assessment, as part of Palau’s preparations for the forthcoming typhoon season.

The training is supported by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union (EU) through a joint project called ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific. Starting on Monday, the week-long training will increase Palau’s ability to calculate the cost of damage and loss from future disaster events and to use this data to inform the identification of long term recovery and reconstruction needs and solutions.

Widely accepted as the international standard, Post Disaster Needs Assessments are comprehensive assessments that reveal the true cost of disasters by identifying all the impacts and calculating the cost of the damage and associated losses.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2015 09:20 Read more...
 

Pacific Islands GIS/RS Newsletter March 2015

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Read Online | Download (6Mb)

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2015 07:20
 

Pacific Disaster Net provides daily updates in wake of cyclone Pam

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18 March 2015, Suva - The Pacific’s largest and most comprehensive information management resource on disaster risk management and national sustainable development has commenced daily email updates in the wake of cyclone Pam.

Anyone wanting to subscribe to the Pacific Disaster Net service can do so online at http://lists.spc.int/mailman/listinfo/pdn. The portal is updated daily by a dedicated team at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Suva, Fiji, on behalf of an international partnership initiative.

“The main target audiences for Pacific Disaster Net are National Disaster Management Officers, government officials, emergency responders and communities to help them prepare for, and manage, natural disasters in the Pacific Islands region,” the Director of SPC's Geoscience Division, Professor Michael Petterson, said in Suva today.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 15:04 Read more...
 

Kiribati Broadcasting Authority tests ability to deliver services in emergency

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6 March 2015 – Thirteen personnel from Kiribati’s Broadcasting and Publication Authority, Kiribati Red Cross Society, the Office of Te Beretitenti and Newspapers; Kiribati Independent, Kiribati Update and Kiribati Newstar have today tested their readiness to stay on air and provide vital public information during a major emergency or disaster.

The staff, including journalists, media technicians, and administrative staff participated in a table top exercise to test new Climate and Disaster Resilience Plans that they developed earlier this week through a two-day workshop led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

National broadcasters play a pivotal role in providing public information and warnings about emergencies and disasters.

The Climate and Disaster Resilience Plan supports the ability of the Broadcasting and Publication Authority to perform its duties in the event of an emergency or disaster in Kiribati by setting out ways to increase the resilience of the authority’s infrastructure, operations and personnel.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 05:52 Read more...
 

Pacific progresses partnerships for water and sanitation at the 7th World Water Forum

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17 April 2015, Gyeongju - World Water ForumPacific representatives at the 7th World Water Forum in Gyeongju, Korea, have stressed the importance of effective partnerships to the region achieving development goals for water and sanitation.

The World Water Forum, held every three years, brings together Governments, international organisations and civil society to progress solutions to the world’s most pressing water and sanitation issues.

While the recent impacts of cyclones made participation difficult for many in the Pacific, representation by the Governments of Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Samoa ensured that Pacific issues and solutions were communicated to Forum delegates.

Messages from the Pacific were further supported at a side session convened by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Water and Sanitation Programme, enabling dialogue on issues affecting the water security of Small Island Developing States.

In addressing the Ministerial process of the Forum, the Hon Faamoetauloa Lealaiauloto Dr Faale Tumalii MP, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment for Samoa, highlighted the region’s success in applying Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approaches to addressing water and sanitation issues.

“IWRM has a lot of benefits for the small island states of the Pacific, and it is our hope that development partners will continue to be more involved in strengthening water and sanitation approaches,” the Hon Minister said.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2015 14:04 Read more...
 

Pacific community marks World Water Day

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20 March 2015, Suva - On 22 March each year, Pacific Island countries and territories pause to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of their fresh water resources to sustainable development.

However, with World Water Day on Sunday falling a little over a week since the region experienced a severe tropical cyclone, the thoughts of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and people across the Pacific are with those affected by cyclone Pam.

The cyclone has left thousands with limited or no access to safe drinking water and sanitation, dramatically demonstrating the region’s vulnerability to the water-related impacts of climate variability and climate change.

The extent of the drinking water and sanitation needs for those affected by the cyclone – in particular in Kiribati, Tuvalu and Vanuatu – is being determined by their respective governments who are leading the response.

The World Health Organisation and UNICEF recently estimated that around half the population of the Pacific has access to improved water supplies, while only one-third has access to improved sanitation.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 March 2015 09:43 Read more...
 

While TC Pam causes damage, Pacific Islands work together to build resilience

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Monday 17 March 2015, Sendai Japan - With Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam dominating world headlines, there has been strong interest in the Pacific Islands at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai Japan.  

Showcased at a special Pacific Islands event ‘Building Resilience to Disasters and Climate Change in the Pacific for Sustainable Development’, H.E President of Kiribati, Anote Tong highlighted the devastating impacts in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Republic of Marshall Islands, and Kiribati after Tropical Cyclone Pam

He stressed the importance of bringing climate change and disaster risk management together for the Pacific region noting that category five cyclones in the region have been more frequent over the last 10 years.

“Natural disasters and climate change are inter-related and integrated – they cannot and should not be taken as separate entities, for if we do, we can never fully achieve inclusivity and we can never hope to have sustainable development for reasons that are obvious.”

Labelled as pioneers, the island region is the very first to develop an integrated strategy that brings climate change and disaster risk management together under a regional framework in the context of sustainable development.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 06:09 Read more...
 

SPC Ramps Up its Disability Capacity at the Opening of SPC Geoscience Division's Publications and Library Section

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Wednesday 4 December 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) headquarters, Noumea, New Caledonia - The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) strengthened their commitment in building their capacity to meet the needs of disabled persons with the official opening of the Publications and Library Section at the Geoscience Division (GSD) – GSD’s first facilities with disabled access.

In conjunction with an official visit to the Division by SPC’s Director General on Wednesday 24 November 2014, Dr Colin Tukuitonga officially opened the newly refurbished facilities with a ribbon cutting and a strong commitment by SPC to enable those with disabilities through improving SPC’s facilities to meet their needs. Speaking to staff and honoured guests, Dr Tukuitonga recognised the efforts of GSD.

‘What you've done in effect is give meaning and a concrete example and acknowledgement of the fact that we somehow need to be much more practical in our thinking about enabling people with disabilities,’ Dr Tukuitonga said.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:59 Read more...
 
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SOPAC In The News

The following random SOPAC-related news articles are aggregated from various online third-party sources; SOPAC is in no way responsible for the editorial content, opinions and validity of the articles.

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Newsflash

Thursday 19 September 2013, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji – On 19 September, guest lecturer Dr. Tom Durrant of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology presented his wave modelling research to students at USP Marine Science Campus. This new research provides a better understanding of ocean wave movements across the Pacific and will be used by SPC’s Applied Geoscience and Technology (SOPAC) Division to enhance development planning and disaster management in the region.

According to Durrant, “Waves and wave climate have significant implications for coastal security, marine resources, and alternative energy options. Waves on the ocean, Durrant explained, range in period from tidal waves, with periods of 12 and 24 hours, to Tsunamis, with periods around 15 minutes, to wind driven waves with periods of around 2 to 20 seconds.

In the case of wind driven waves, the focus of Durrant's work,  the longer the wind blows over a greater area, the bigger the waves. Pacific Islands are affected not only by local, short period, wind-generated waves but also by long period swells generated by far away storms.

Long period swell waves are fast-moving waves caused by distant storms that can pile up when they reach land. Such waves have caused widespread flooding, damage and loss of life in the Pacific, for example, in the Mortlock Islands of Papua New Guinea in 2009 and in the Marshall Islands in 2012. “These events haven’t been studied much because of lack of data,” said Durrant.

To this end, Durrant has been working under the AusAid-funded Pacific and Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning (PACCSAP) Programme to develop wave models for the Pacific that can in turn be used to assess wave-induced coastal inundation events in detail.