SPC Geoscience Division

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GeoScience for Development Programme

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The GeoScience for Development Programme (G4D) provides vital applied ocean, island and coastal geoscience services to SPC member countries. These technical services are strategically deployed in response to member requests for assistance in the development, management and monitoring of natural resources and unique island environmental systems and processes.

We help members to better:

  • Govern and develop their natural resources;

  • Increase their resilience to natural hazards;

  • Access data-based approaches to adaptation.

Services

G4D is unique in the region. We maintain and deliver specialist skills, tools and services through flexible, integrated approaches designed to meet the needs of pacific island communities and environments. G4D is committed to bringing these services to members in an effective and timely manner. We continually strive to build "hands-on" capacity in the countries where we work, in all sectors of ocean and island applied geosciences.

Some of these services include:

  • Ocean and coastal resource characterisation, resource use solutions, monitoring and development;

  • Provision of science-based ocean and coastal policy and governance support and advice;

  • Provision of strategic communication and advocacy for coastal and ocean resource policy;

  • Strategic alliances with regional and international parters in technical, research and development assistance;

  • Capacity building via specific initiatives or through "hands-on" joint implementation of works;

  • Science-based vulnerability assessments particularly in shoreline and coastal zones;

  • Science-based adaptation responses;

  • Continued secure investment in instrumentation, tools and support services as the only regional technological facility in geoscience.

Critical Issues

In addition to the above, the following five critical issues are embedded throughout the G4D's work program:

  1. Coastal development, Urbanisation and Vulnerability
  2. Maritime Boundaries
  3. Climate Change and Adaptation
  4. Natural Resource Development
  5. Information Management and Analysis

The strong applied geoscience capacity of G4D also provides support for scientific and research interaction with other regional and international technical entities. We maintain a number of unique research and development partnerships, acting as a conduit for improved understanding of pacific island research needs to development partners and the international arena. G4D will continue to create, maintain and disseminate geoscience knowledge to provide technical advice to pacific island governments and to support policy development and decision making.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:13  


Newsflash

From March 11-15th 2013, the Kingdom of Tonga is to host a regional workshop on “Law and Contract Negotiations for Deep Sea Minerals” in Nuku’alofa, on behalf of the SPC-EU Pacific Deep Sea Minerals Project.  

The Pacific Deep Sea Minerals Project is funded by the European Union and managed by SOPAC, the Applied Geoscience & Technology Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The project includes 15 Pacific Island Countries: the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Hannah Lily, Legal Adviser for the Pacific Deep Sea Minerals Project, says a main objective of the Tonga workshop is to provide government officials with the knowledge, skills and confidence to negotiate effectively with well-resourced deep sea mining companies.  Ms. Lily says the Project stresses the importance for countries to put in place robust law and regulatory mechanisms for the national management of deep sea minerals before any negotiations take place.

“We strongly recommend that countries have these mechanisms in place before any individual project negotiations commence. Dedicated seabed minerals legislation will assist the country to meet its obligations under international law, such as the protection of the marine environment. It will also provide clarity and stability to that country’s operating environment and what it expects from mineral companies.”

“Seabed mineral resources represent an exciting new economic opportunity for Pacific Island States. But, in order to make the most of this opportunity, governments will need to find responsible exploration and mining companies, and work to set terms that provide sufficient protection and financial return to the country,” she says.