SPC Geoscience Division

Regional Review of Progress in Disaster Risk Management

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Six Pacific island countries are in the process of reviewing the progress made in relation to their disaster risk management action plans and strategies.

The Cook Islands, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are carrying out the reviews to determine advances made towards disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery as well as the management of hazard risks.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 November 2010 07:50 Read more...
 

2010 Pacific Islands GIS/RS Conference opens

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Close to 200 participants were told by SOPAC’s Director, Dr. Russell Howorth, that the development of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing will continue to be a major part of the SOPAC technical support service work programme.

SOPAC provides assistance to 21 island countries in the Pacific region through applied geoscience and technology.

Dr. Howorth was speaking at the 2010 Pacific Islands Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) Conference being currently being held in Suva, Fiji.

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

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...
 


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Newsflash

President of the Republic Of Palau, His Excellency Johnson Toribiong, National Authorising Officer, Darren Fritz, Distinguished Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen

On behalf of the Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Dr. Jimmie, Rodgers, I extend a warm welcome to all who are here to witness this occasion. This unveiling ceremony of a plaque to recognise the key stakeholders in the establishment of this National Emergency Operations Centre in Palau. The key stakeholders namely the Government and people of Palau as beneficiaries, the European Union as the development partner, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (more commonly referred to as the SPC) as your facilitating regional organisation.

Mr President, It gives me great pleasure to be here today to participate in this important ceremony. I am accompanied by Mr Amena Yauvoli the Manager of the SPC North Pacific Regional Office, he of course is well known to many of you.

I have had the privilege over many years to 2005 to work with Palau in my capacity as Deputy Director of SOPAC, then the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission. In March 2007, I was here as a consultant for SOPAC, and my mission was to work with the Office of the Vice President and staff of the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO), to develop the implementation plan for a Project which included the construction of a National  Emergency Operations Centre. In my capacity here today as the Director of SOPAC, now the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division of the SPC, it gives me a unique pleasure to be able witness the completion of this building.