SPC Geoscience Division

Seabed minerals could be mined soon

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With the first mining of Seabed Massive Sulphides (SMS) deposits less than three years from startup in Papua New Guinea, Pacific Island countries have been urged to encourage mineral exploration within their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by SOPAC’s Akuila Tawake, SOPAC’s Aggregate Geologist.

EEZ is the two hundred nautical miles internationally recognized ocean zone reaching out from a coastline of a Pacific island country.  All economic activity within the zone belongs to that country including its mineral wealth.

Mr. Tawake, speaking at the SOPAC/STAR meeting held in Nadi this week, said that based on the results of previous studies, a number of the island countries have marine mineral potential.

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

Major initiative to reduce risks in Pacific

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A recent initiative could have a major influence on how Pacific Island countries deal with natural disasters. Pacific Disaster Risk Assessment is an ambitious 20-month-long project that has included the Pacific island countries of Fiji, the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Niue, Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Kiribati and Timor Leste.

It also involved a team of 15 researchers who began last February to gather information on the precise number of natural disasters that have taken place in each of the participating countries, based on records collected since 1830.

Earthquakes, tropical cyclones, tsunami, severe local storms, floods, storm surges, and landslides, totaling 448 natural disasters, all feature in the inventory. The research team also used the countries’ most recent census figures, key for estimating human casualties and displacement.

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

Disaster Workshop for Vanuatu

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A five-day workshop to determine the economic cost of natural disasters in the Pacific will be held in Vanuatu from November 29th through December 2nd. The workshop has been organized to support Pacific island countries towards a clearer understanding of the economic impact of disasters.

“This information is of major importance in helping to organize recovery and rehabilitation efforts,” said Paula Holland, SOPAC’S Manager Natural Resources.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 October 2010 08:16 Read more...
 

Observer role for SOPAC on French survey vessel L’Atalante

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SOPAC’s Emily Artack, Project Officer and Cartographer of SOPAC’s Maritime Boundaries Project, is on board the French multi-purpose Research Vessel L’Atalante, as it sails throughout the EEZs of Tuvalu, Wallis & Futuna and Tokelau. SOPAC provides assistance to 19 Pacific countries and territories through applied geoscience and technology.

“In the true spirit of regional cooperation, SOPAC has been invited to participate in this expedition in an observer capacity. As well, Mr Faatasi Malologa and Mr Vakafa Lupe of the Tuvalu Department of Lands and Survey have also been invited to take part in the French Government-funded survey cruise,” said Ms Artack. Our participation in this survey was possible through funding from the University of the Sea programme, based from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Last Updated on Friday, 01 October 2010 15:50 Read more...
 

Flood alert system now installed in Rewa River

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With the continued danger of flooding from the Rewa River, SOPAC, through its Pacific HYCOS project has funded the installation of an ‘upgraded’ Flood Forecasting and Warning system to provide adequate time for those living downstream to take necessary precautions.

Flooding is an ongoing danger affecting Fiji with an average of 10 casualties and close to $20 million in direct damage every year to infrastructure, agriculture and homes; it also is a major interruption to, transportation and inland communications as well as tourism that was seriously affected in 2008, according to HYCOS Project Coordinator Llyod Smith.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:05 Read more...
 

Updated data could lead to Fiji's first oil well

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Akura Ltd. could begin drilling for gas in Fiji as early as next year, subject to the necessary approvals, according to its Managing Director, Bill Brook.

Mr. Brook made the announcement at the SOPAC/STAR meeting now being held in Nadi.  
SOPAC provides assistance to 19 island countries in the Pacific region through applied geoscience and technology.

Akura is a largely Fiji-owned company that has been given an exclusive 5 year exploration licence to search for oil over a 17,600 square kilometre area from August last year.

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

How SPC and SOPAC will function under the new structure

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In a wide ranging interview with SPC’s Director-General, Dr. Jimmie Rodgers, and SOPAC’s Director, Dr. Russell Howorth, the two leaders explain the way forward in the latest issue of Island Business (October, 2010)

Three years ago, the Pacific Islands Forum members decided to rationalize the operation of SOPAC (Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission) into SPC (Secretariat of the Pacific Community) and SPREP (Pacific Regional Environment Programme).  While the decision of rationalisation was made, how the organisational restructure would work was not.

Read full article here at islandbusiness.com

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:04 Read more...
 

SOPAC victorious at mini-Olympics

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In a historic victory that humbled the competition that included aid agencies, high commissions and embassies, the ebullient SOPAC team walked away with top honours at the 2010 Mini Olympics held at Yat Sen School in Suva recently.

The team was hosted to a celebration lunch at SOPAC headquarters last Friday where some of the winning team posed for this picture (below).

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:05 Read more...
 

One million dollar grant to SOPAC

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SOPAC has received a grant from The Asia Foundation of US$1,059,696, over three years, in support of the SOPAC’s Disaster Reduction Programme.

At the signing of the Letter of Agreement and Project Document, SOPAC Director, Dr Russell Howorth, said that the grant would enable SOPAC to further develop its leadership role in disaster risk management training for Pacific island countries, as well as strengthen SOPAC’s support to its island Members in disaster risk reduction capacity building.

Read more...
 


Page 42 of 47


Newsflash

Quarrying for sand gravel in Kiribati’s most populated atoll island South Tarawa will soon be replaced by a safer and a more sustainable alternative – lagoon dredging.

The Kiribati Government, through its European Union-funded Environmentally Safe Aggregates for Tarawa (ESAT) project, implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s SOPAC Division, hopes to phase out beach aggregate mining on South Tarawa. The mining has caused severe coastal erosion problems on the already vulnerable atoll island.

Beach aggregate is a combination of sand, gravel, pebbles and stones primarily used in making concrete, road maintenance, the building industry and most general construction.

Through its Oceans and Islands Programme, SOPAC has undertaken technical work on coastal vulnerability on South Tarawa for many years. During this time, a continuing stress highlighted since the 1980s has been the damaging impact of beach mining on shoreline systems, caused by intense and unsustainable extraction of aggregates.

The ESAT project, which was established to explore alternative sources of beach aggregates, has identified Tarawa’s lagoon.