SPC Geoscience Division

Fiji hosts the Pacific’s own science and technology conference

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6 June 2016

Nadi, Fiji –  Geoscience and ocean experts from around the Pacific convene in Nadi from June 6-8 to share knowledge and practices, present original research, and advance regional collaboration at the 31st Science, Technology, and Resources (STAR) Conference, hosted by the Government of Fiji. The theme of this year’s conference is Geosciences, Geo-engineering and the Ocean in the Pacific Region.

“Fiji is pleased to host the region’s first STAR conference after a three year hiatus,” said Permanent Secretary for the Fiji Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources and current STAR Network chair, Mr. Malakai Finau. “Pacific delegates have missed this conference, as it provides a unique platform for showcasing regional research methods and findings, as well as networking and discussion.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2016 14:19 Read more...
 

Support for emergency response capacity in Vanuatu

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Vanuatu’s ability to respond more effectively to disasters has been bolstered today with the handing over of three emergency boats, two vehicles and a flatbed truck.

The timely gesture to support response and relief following disasters, like Cyclone Pam, has been made possible through the European Union’s EUR 19.37 million Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project (BSRP), implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

European Union Ambassador to Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, H.E. Leonidas Tezapsidis, presented the heavy haulage flatbed truck, boats and vehicles to Lieutenant Colonel Acting Commander, Terry Tulang, of the Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF), the Director of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Shadrack Welegtabit, and the Director-General of the Ministry of Climate Change, Jesse Benjamin, in the capital, Port Vila.

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Advancing Pacific Ocean data networks and applications

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Ocean science experts from the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Institute of Research for Development (IRD) are among those convening in Noumea this week to build understanding of ocean processes, ocean observations and data applications, and advance the design of a Pacific Islands ocean observation network.

The Pacific Islands Training Workshop on Ocean Observations and Data Applications, being held at the IRD offices, will contribute to increasing the capability within the Pacific region to collect, analyse, and communicate oceanographic data across a number of sectors, such as meteorology and climate services, fisheries, marine trade and tourism.

The workshop is organised by the Joint World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) in coordination with IRD, SPC and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP).

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EU will provide FJ$10 million through SPC towards recovery and rehabilitation after Cyclone Winston

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colin and eu

The European Union (EU) will provide an initial FJ$ 10 million through the Pacific Community (SPC) to complement the Fijian Government's efforts in relief, recovery and rehabilitation following the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

The funds will immediately be made available from EU-SPC projects for communities and businesses in the most severely affected regions of Fiji.

"The FJ$10M is a direct, practical short term response to the needs of Fijian citizens in the affected areas", says EU Ambassador for the Pacific Andrew Jacobs. "The EU and SPC have joined forces to identify other resources, whether it is through an existing joint programme or a new source that could be expedited and channelled towards re-building peoples' lives".

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 March 2016 14:33 Read more...
 

Building Pacific capacities to promote and facilitate marine scientific research

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korea

14 December 2015, Busan - Marine science and marine scientific research play a critical role in the sustainable development of the oceans, seas and their resources.

This is consistently recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in its annual resolutions on oceans and the law of the sea, the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and by the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway adopted in 2014.

Marine scientific research is also at the core of the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ and the Sustainable Development Goal 14a officially adopted by the General Assembly in September 2015.

To address this, the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (DOALOS) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (IOC-UNESCO), in partnership with the Pacific Community (SPC) European Union supported Deep Sea Minerals Project and the Korea Maritime Institute (KMI), recently organised a first of its kind training workshop for Pacific Small Island Developing States government officials and scientists in Busan, Republic of Korea.

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015 17:25 Read more...
 

Lessons learned from Winston

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30 May 2016, Labasa

TC-WinstonThe devastation Tropical Cyclone Winston unleashed on Fiji is still a reality for many across the country.

To explore how Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) responded, and what could be improved upon for next time, a series of Lessons Learned Workshops will be held over the next four weeks, beginning in the Northern Division of Fiji today.

Parts of the Northern Division of the country were badly affected, with many communities in the direct path of Cyclone Winston, the strongest recorded cyclone in the Southern Hemisphere struck land on 20 February.

The Lessons Learned Workshops are funded by the €19.37 million (FJD 45 million) ACP-European Union Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 June 2016 16:31 Read more...
 

Cyclone Winston survey sets new baseline for damage data

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1 April 2016, Suva

Coastal hazard experts from the Pacific Community (SPC) have surveyed wind and wave damage from tropical cyclone Winston in more than 40 communities across the provinces of Bua, Cakaudrove, and Lomaiviti in Fiji last week, producing detailed data that will have immediate and long-term benefits for Fiji and the region.

As part of SPC’s assistance to the Government of Fiji following the devastating category 5 cyclone, two teams of oceanographers and damage assessment specialists designed and carried out simultaneous surveys, covering roughly 250 km of coastline over five days.

Planned in collaboration with Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and Mineral Resource Department and with support from the World Bank, the surveys assessed building damage, the status of water and sanitation, and the extent of coastal inundation on the island of Ovalau and the southern coast of Vanua Levu.

Last Updated on Friday, 01 April 2016 11:49 Read more...
 

‘Pacific Community’ name adopted

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1 February 2016, Noumea

Expect to see and hear a lot more about the Pacific Community.

This follows the decision that the ‘Secretariat of the Pacific Community’ should be known simply by its formal name, the ‘Pacific Community’.

“By adopting the ‘Pacific Community’ as our public name we’re essentially going back to the future, as this was the legal name chosen by our members back in 1997, replacing the ‘South Pacific Commission’ title,” the Pacific Community Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, said.

“Reverting to our organisation’s formal name reflects the Pacific Community’s inclusive mandate and broad Pacific region coverage, and promotes greater ownership by our 26 country and territory members, beyond the secretariat.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 February 2016 12:23 Read more...
 

Australia and Pacific Islands cooperate to update maritime boundaries in world’s largest ocean

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4 December 2015, SydneyPacific Representatives of 12 Pacific Island countries are meeting in Sydney this week with maritime experts from Australia and the Pacific Community (SPC) to negotiate maritime boundary agreements and refine their claims to areas of continental shelf.

Pacific Island countries have limited land areas but vast space entitlements in the Pacific Ocean, leading Pacific leaders to coin the phrase “Large Ocean Island States”.

Delimiting maritime zones is an important process for countries to secure their rights over ocean space and marine resources, including fisheries and seabed minerals.

The hands-on workshop will enable the technical and legal teams from each country to work with a group of advisers from SPC, Geoscience Australia, the University of Sydney, the Australian Attorney-General’s Department, the Commonwealth Secretariat, GRID-Arendal and the Forum Fisheries Agency.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 December 2015 14:17 Read more...
 


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Newsflash

Kia Orana and Salutations:

Delegates representing Members of the SPC
Director General of the SPC, Dr Jimmie Rodgers
Director of the SOPAC Division, Dr Russell Howorth
Members of the STAR scientific and technical network
Representatives of partner and donor organisations
SPC Staff
Friends

I must say from the outset that Noumea occupies a special place in my heart and it’s a great pleasure to return to be among friends from around the region, and to be a guest of Director General Dr. Jimmie Rodgers.  

The only down-side is that this visit has to be a very brief one as I must return home to Parliamentary duties.  But it’s great to be back and to be included in this week’s organised gatherings of esteemed representatives from around the Pacific and beyond.

Following the STAR Network Meeting address yesterday, my pleasure doubles this morning in providing a few welcome remarks and a short Outgoing Chair's Address for this opening plenary session of the Second Meeting of the SPC Applied Geoscience and Technology Division – more commonly referred to – as SOPAC.

It is pleasing to welcome delegates representing most of the SPC Members here today. I also extend a welcome to all those delegates representing partners and donors that provide the support, including financial resources for the Division to carry out its extensive work programme.  In particular, I recognise the Chair of STAR, Professor John Collen and his colleagues from the Science, Technology and Resources (STAR) Network.  

Thank you for the privilege of addressing the STAR Meeting last evening.  I’ve noted that some 40 scientific and technical papers were presented over the course of the 2-day meeting.  

Likewise Professor Gary Greene, Chair of the Programme Monitoring and Evaluation Group (PMEG), who are drawn from the STAR Network to provide for Members the invaluable independent annual ongoing overview of the Division and its work.

I am aware you have been carrying out your monitoring and evaluation over the past week with staff at the Division Offices in Suva and here in Noumea amongst the Members.  On behalf of the Members, I extend to your team our sincere appreciation.