SPC Geoscience Division

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...
 

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...
 

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...
 

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...
 

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...
 


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Newsflash

The first three of six boreholes planned for Tongatapu have been drilled to a depth of approximately 50 metres near the international airport and at the Mataki‘eua wellfield in Tonga.

Funded by the EU Disaster Risk Reduction Project in Eight Pacific ACP States (B-Envelope) and implemented by the Applied Geoscience and Technology (SOPAC) Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the project is working closely with Tonga’s Ministry of Lands, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources to bore holes that will be used to monitor water quality on Tongatapu.