SPC GeoScience Division


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.


Advancing the Pacific development agenda with smarter maps

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Suva, Fiji – Over 300 participants from about 30 countries will converge in Suva, Fiji next week to discuss advancements in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (GIS/RS) applications and their relevance to the management of resources in small Pacific Island countries and territories.

Bridging Information Gaps by Creating Smarter Maps’ is the theme of the conference jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Fiji Department of Lands and the University of the South Pacific (USP), at the Japan ICT Auditorium, Suva from 16th to 20th November.

The largest of its kind in terms of Pacific Island state participation, the weeklong conference brings together users of the two applications from Pacific Island governments, consulting companies and the private sector to discuss the latest software, hardware, data and methods available and how they can be optimised to suit customer needs.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 November 2015 10:54

Strategic Roadmap for Emergency Management in Niue

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The Strategic Roadmap for Emergency Management (SREM) in Niue is the result of extensive consultati ons, research and a stakeholder workshop to look at contemporary best practi ce within the Australasian region with the view to reform the emergency management arrangements in Niue.

The SREM process allowed us, for the fi rst ti me, to sit down as group and discuss the issues that face us collecti vely as a sector rather than as individual agencies like police, fi re and government departments. Our own experiences with signifi cant events like cyclone Heta and other overseas incidents show us clearly that successful emergency management can only occur when everyone knows what to do and can work together as a single interoperable unit.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 November 2015 14:46

Vanuatu builds capacity to coordinate emergency shelter

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23 September 2015

Port Vila, Vanuatu – Improving the quality and coordination of emergency shelter was the focus of a five day training course held in Vanuatu earlier this month (7-11 September) for government and civil society members of the Vanuatu Shelter Cluster and Evacuation Centre Working Group along with representatives from counterparts in Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga .

The training was provided by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies with support from the European Union through the SPC implemented Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project and Australian Red Cross’ Pacific Disaster Management Partnership.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 September 2015 16:19

Resilient urban development planning for Vanuatu

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Vanuatu participants

15 September 2015

Port Vila, Vanuatu – Increasing the climate and disaster resilience of urban development planning is the focus of a three day training being held in Port Vila this week (15-17 September) for representatives of national and municipal government.

As a country that experiences a range of natural disasters it is important that urban development in Vanuatu takes into consideration the risk of hazards such as flooding, earthquake and tsunami in order to reduce the impact of future disasters and create safer, more resilient towns and cities.

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 September 2015 20:06

Coastal protection project opened in Ailinglaplap, Marshall Islands

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Sea wall

3 November 2015, Majuro

The President of the Republic of Marshall Islands, His Excellency Christopher Loeak, today officially opened the Coastal Causeway Project in Woja Island, Ailinglaplap, as part of the country's efforts to build resilience to climate change.

The project has involved constructing a rock causeway combined with soft engineering measures, such as tree planting, to strengthen the vulnerable and narrow road link between the two parts of Woja Island.

The project is part of the European Union-supported regional €11.4 million Global Climate Change Alliance: Pacific Small Island States initiative, implemented in partnership with the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Government of the Republic of Marshall Islands.


Spotlight on Disaster Response and Risk Reduction in the Pacific

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Media coverage

Suva, Fiji, 26 October 2015

Hundreds of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian response partners from across the Pacific are gathering in Suva this week for a joint program of events around emergency management and regional resilience to disasters.

The week starts with the two-day Pacific Regional Disaster Resilience Meeting which brings together disaster management agencies and others to discuss the challenges of improving disaster management across the region with a view to saving lives and reducing disaster losses.

“The Pacific is a challenging environment for disaster risk management. It is very exposed to extreme weather events such as Cyclone Pam which hit Vanuatu hard earlier this year. Parts of the region are now suffering drought and water shortages because of El Niño while others are preparing for the strong likelihood that they will be hit by high winds, storm surges and heavy rainfall in the months ahead," Timothy Wilcox, Head of the Pacific office of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction said.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 October 2015 11:36

Resilient urban development planning for Fiji

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Participants review

23 September 2015

Nadi, Fiji Increasing the climate and disaster resilience of urban development planning is the focus of a three day training being held in Nadi this week (21-23 September) for representatives of national government and Nadi Town Council.

The training is facilitated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with New Zealand’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. Fiji’s high exposure to tropical cyclones and flooding means that urban planners must ensure future development is resilient to climate and disaster risks in order to reduce or prevent the impact of future natural disasters.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 10:18

Papua New Guinea completes mapping of its maritime boundaries

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8 September 2015

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea – The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, the Hon Peter O’Neill, and the President of Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), H.E. Peter M. Christian, have formalised an update to the Maritime Boundary Agreement between the two Pacific nations.

Given the importance of the ocean to economic development in the Pacific region, this agreement concludes an essential step in securing national jurisdiction over marine resources.

This significant milestone was achieved with technical training, support and advice from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) spanning more than a decade.

“I’m proud of the assistance that SPC has provided to our member countries to help them conclude this latest maritime boundaries agreement,” the Pacific Community Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, said in congratulating the two Pacific states at a signing ceremony in Port Moresby yesterday.

“Of the 49 overlapping Exclusive Economic Zones in the Pacific region, 36 of these boundaries have now been signed in the form of treaties. This means that nearly 75% of the maritime boundaries between neighbouring countries in the Pacific have now been concluded.”

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 September 2015 20:07
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2015 Pacific GIS/RS User Conference

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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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Should the Pacific Island nations celebrate World Water Day?


The recently established PREEN (Pacific Resource and Environmental Economics Network) unveiled its logo today at a prize giving ceremony hosted by the IUCN in Suva. The logo depicts land, sea, fish, turtles and mangroves. Also included in the logo is a scene of traditional fishers at work.