SPC Geoscience Division

Kiribati Addresses Sanitation Problems

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A recent outbreak of typhoid in Kiribati highlights how water borne diseases continue to be a major threat in the Pacific islands, especially in low-lying atolls. The capital island of Kiribati, Tarawa, has also received almost no rainfall over the last three months, putting additional stress on limited water supplies.

However, recent actions by Kiribati to put in place a National Sanitation Policy means it is showing the rest of the Pacific the way forward to address these problems.

Mr Riteti Maninraka, Secretary of the Ministry of Public Works and Utilities, said that having a National Sanitation Policy and Implementation Plan in place should provide direction on how the nation will work with the community and development partners to help solve its sanitation problems in Tarawa and the country’s outer islands.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 November 2010 12:45 Read more...
 

Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment Meeting, November 18 - 19, Suva, Fiji

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SOPAC will host the second project meeting on a joint initiative by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and SOPAC on Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing.

The purpose of the meeting is to review progress in collecting building, infrastructure, population and crop data to determine the level of risk faced by Pacific island countries.

Last Updated on Saturday, 13 November 2010 10:01 Read more...
 

Howorth in for another year with SOPAC

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Dr. Russell Howorth will continue as Director of SOPAC (Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission) for another year. He is an internationally recognized earth scientist, and retired as Deputy Director of SOPAC in 2005, after serving the region with the Commission for over 26 years.

Members of the SOPAC Governing Council confirmed the extension of his contract during their 39th Annual Session held in Nadi recently.

Dr. Howorth had initially accepted the Directorship at the beginning of this year in order to assist Council Members with the way forward to implement the decision by Pacific Island Forum leaders to integrate SOPAC into the operations of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Pacific Islands Environment Programme (SPREP).

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:01 Read more...
 

Study finds no contaminants in Niue’s groundwater

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A recent analysis of Niue’s groundwater that tested for selected chemical and organic pollutants has found that the country’s water supply is very good and well within global standards.  

The study focused on all 16 boreholes used to pump Niue’s drinking water, three monitoring boreholes located on the island’s central, northern and southern areas and a borehole found on Vaiea farm.

Due to local concerns of pollution from pesticides like paraquat, groundwater was tested for traces of all pesticides used on the island. The study found that there was no contamination from pesticides with levels recorded well within the United States Drinking Water Standard.

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International Geological Congress 2012 - First Circular issued

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The IGC Planning Committee has issued the first Circular regarding the Draft program for the 34th IGC. Read the circular here.

This large and prestigious Geoscience World Congress will be held in Brisbane, Australia, from 5-10 August 2012. The scientific program will cover all aspects of the geosciences. It will demonstrate how geoscience knowledge and applications are contributing directly to meeting societal needs, for example through innovation in the resources and energy based industries, better informed land and water management, enhanced understanding and mitigation of climate change and geohazards, and building major cities and infrastructure.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:02 Read more...
 

Continental shelf issues addressed by SOPAC

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A SOPAC-organised workshop, supported by technical partners and funded by AusAID, is taking place in Sydney to help Pacific Island countries develop their Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) submissions to the United Nations.

Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, an island country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extends 200 nautical miles from its coastal baselines, which is calculated from the lowest tide levels. Article 76 of the Convention sets out criteria upon which an island country may establish an Extended Continental Shelf that extends beyond the 200 nautical mile limit.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:00 Read more...
 

Snapshots #63 October 2010 - Disaster Reduction Programme

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We have recently completed the final SOPAC Governing Council meeting which was held from 16th – 21st October at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.

The major outcome of the meeting in terms of SOPAC’s integration as the Applied Geoscience & Technology Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is that the Member Countries have decided that the SOPAC be suspended rather than dissolved.

This will allow for the reconstitution of SOPAC as an organisation in the future should Member Countries so decide. But, for the moment, we are all geared up to be a part of the SPC family and look forward to the challenges and opportunities that this will bring.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 November 2010 11:45 Read more...
 

Palau adopts risk management plan

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KOROR (Palau Horizon, Oct. 28, 2010) - President Johnson Toribiong has signed an Executive Order adopting the 2010 Palau National Disaster Risk Management Framework (PNDRMF) on Tuesday. Executive Order (EO) No. 287 repeals the existing EO 166-99 that was adopted on the Sept. 18, 1998 as the Republic of Palau National Disaster Management Plan.  It was issued on May 10, 1999.

That plan addressed a comprehensive response and recovery arrangement. It acts as the mechanism for incorporating disaster risk reduction and mitigation measures to achieve sustainable national development planning mandated in the 2020 Palau National Master Development Plan.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:01 Read more...
 

Fijian ring ditch at Monasavu

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When Robert Smith as Senior Advisor Marine Geophysicist at SOPAC began his exploration of the Monasavu Hydro to determine the amount of sedimentation in the lake, as part of a survey that he began in 1991, in reviewing the data collected with state of the art mapping tools he found more than sedimentation, he discovered a Fijian ring ditch.

The use of the Fijian ring ditch was used for fortification, found all over the country and dates back hundreds and hundreds of years.

Mr. Smith shared his find during his presentation to participants in the SOPAC/STAR meeting in Nadi recently.

Because the lake was never cleared of trees and bush when it was filled, the ring ditch was never discovered. But it is now very much a part of the lakebed sitting under 10 metres of water at Monasavu.  The ring ditch is shown in the lower centre end of the reservoir (circled)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:02 Read more...
 


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Newsflash

The small Polynesian island nation of Tuvalu has been the focus of climate change impacts for years.  The four reef islands and five true atolls that make up Tuvalu only just break the surface of the surrounding Pacific Ocean and have an average height of 1 metre above sea level. Tuvalu’s geography and location poses many challenges to the people that live there.

The atolls are regularly inundated by high tides and storms and freshwater is scarce. The contamination of groundwater from septic pollution, salt water intrusion and piggeries means rainwater is the only reliable source of drinking water. Population growth and development has resulted in food security issues and problems with waste management.