SPC Geoscience Division

SOPAC addresses unsafe drinking water in Pacific islands

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Almost 52% of nearly 10 million people living in the Pacific island countries continue to face threats from unsafe drinking water resulting from water-borne diseases.

Unsafe drinking water has been the primary cause for the 2800 deaths per year (most our children under the age of 5) from diarrhoea and related illnesses, and poor sanitation and hygiene are major contributing factors.

Additionally periods of drought that is currently being experienced in many island countries have aggravated the situation.SOPAC, working with the World Health Organization has introduced a plan into the region that has shown positive results in combating water carrying diseases.

“It’s no miracle drug, but a common sense approach to educate people throughout the region of how to determine if their drinking water is safe, how to clean it, and protect it so that that there is no danger that the water can continue to cause illness,” said SOPAC Director, Dr Russell Howorth.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:06 Read more...
 

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Projects Portal proving useful for partners

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At the August launch in Suva of the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Projects Portal for Asia and the Pacific, host of the new portal, Mr Loy Rego, Deputy Executive Director of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in Bangkok, Thailand, emphasised in his opening address that, “The success of the system depends upon the usage by all partners for ongoing and proposed DRR initiatives, with regular input and update of project information.”

Launched at the fifth Pacific Disaster Risk Management Partnership Network meeting, this requirement for the portal’s success is being met. Of the 300-plus project information records in the DRR Projects Portal, more than 170 relate to the Pacific, and cover initiatives and activities of the Pacific Disaster Risk Management Partnership Network.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 September 2010 16:02 Read more...
 

Kiribati EEZ surveys carried out on Kiritimati Atoll

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“This work is part of the regional technical support and assistance that SOPAC has been providing to member countries for their work on maritime boundaries initiatives, especially for bilateral negotiations of shared Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) between neighbouring and adjacent states,” said Ms Emily Artack, SOPAC’s Project Officer, Maritime Boundaries Project.

Ms Artack was commenting on her recent visit to Kiritimati (Christmas) Island in the Line Island Group, Kiribati, where, at the request of the Kiribati Government, she worked with a team of government surveyors and fisheries officers, to assist with the high accuracy Global Positioning System (GPS) survey of the baseline from which Kiribati’s maritime limits are to be calculated.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:08 Read more...
 

Snapshots 61, Community Risk Programme, August 2010

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Welcome to August issue of Snapshots! We’ve just completed a very useful and rewarding series of meetings under the Pacific Platform for DRM 2010. This year the Platform consisted of the 16th Regional Disaster Managers Meeting (which took the form of a professional development workshop for the disaster managers) and the 5th Annual Meeting of the Pacific DRM Partnership Network. Many of the participants to both meetings expressed their gratitude and satisfaction with the opportunity to exchange ideas and to learn of the many happenings in DRM around the Pacific as well as globally.

Presentations from partner organisations from the Caribbean added to the rich diversity of the exchanges that took place.

One of the important parts of the meeting was the opportunity afforded to SOPAC to share its Strategic Plan with regional disaster managers. We look forward to their feedback to value add to the current draft. This will be presented to the SOPAC Governing Council for endorsement in October 2010.

I hope you enjoy this edition.

Mosese Sikivou

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 07:09
 

SOPAC GIS training in Tuvalu builds capacity

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Twenty-nine Tuvalu government employees successfully completed a 10 day training workshop in the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) conducted by technical officers from SOPAC from August 4 to the 17th  in Funafuti.

SOPAC provides assistance to 19 island countries and territories in the Pacific region through applied geoscience and technology which includes GIS training.

GIS is a relatively new computer-based decision making tool that stores and displays information in an image such as a picture or a map format. “This allows policy or decision makers to better understand technical data and contribute to providing improved management solutions,” said  SOPAC Director, Russell Howorth.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:09 Read more...
 

SOPAC helps build Kiribati Environment Division capacity

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As a part of the Kiribati Government’s commitment to achieving sustainable land management on Kiritimati Atoll, (Christmas Island), staff of the Environmental Division recently undertook training conducted by the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), in Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

“We are so fortunate to get this training,” said Ms Ratita Bebe, of the Kiritimati Conservation Department. “The Kiribati Government recognizes the need to map land degradation sites and protected conservation areas so that we can identify ways to achieve sustainable land use practices.”

Ms Bebe explained that Global Positioning Systems (GPS) use information gathered from satellites circling the earth to locate the correct co-ordinates of any location, while Geographic Information Systems (GIS) combine maps and data to manage, store, analyze and display all forms of geographical information.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:06 Read more...
 

SOPAC reviews disaster risk management in Kiribati

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SOPAC is carrying out a review of the Kiribati national disaster risk management governance arrangements following a request from the Office of the President.

SOPAC provides assistance to 19 countries and territories in the Pacific region through applied geoscience and technology.

A major part of the review was a three-day workshop attended by 29 participants from Government ministries, Non-Government (NGOs) as well as church organizations that was held in Tarawa recently.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:07 Read more...
 

Caribbean delegation shares climate change and disaster experiences

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A delegation from the Caribbean that represented four Disaster Risk Management organizations recently visited SOPAC for a briefing to better understand the range of services and products that it provides the 19 countries and territories in the Pacific region through applied geoscience and technology.

The delegation was in Fiji to share their experiences with their Pacific counterparts as part of a South-South cooperation project between Pacific and Small Island Developing States on Climate Change Adaption and Disaster Risk Management funded  through and in collaboration with the UNDP Pacific Centre.

At a luncheon hosted by SOPAC they were briefed by its Director, Dr. Russell Howorth, and representatives from the organization’s three programmes, Ocean and Islands, Water and Sanitation and Disaster Reduction as well as Natural Resources Economics.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:08 Read more...
 

Protecting the Pacific: 2010 Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management Meetings address concerns of the region

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Mr. Mosese Sikivou, Manager of the SOPAC Disaster Reduction Programme, said that the meeting “allowed for better risk management training and capacity building programmes that specifically target the heads of disaster offices and the disaster management support structures in the Pacific.

“Tropical cyclones affect the region on an annual basis. Events like the September 2009 tsunami that devastated Samoa and Tonga, and floods that submerged Fiji’s Western Division in January 2009, are constant reminders that people and governments must be prepared to deal with natural disasters at a moment’s notice,” said Mr Sikivou.

With Regional Disaster Managers coming from the Pacific Island countries and territories of the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, New Zealand, Australia, and, for the first time, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna, the meeting took the form of a professional development workshop.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 August 2010 08:45 Read more...
 


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Newsflash

Tuesday, 24 June 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva - A broad range of geospatial data experts, managers and stakeholders from the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP), as well as partner agencies convened for the 2nd CROP Spatial Data Infrastructure meeting. The session was held at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Suva on June 17th to 18th 2014.

The meeting was opened by Prof Michael Petterson, Director of SPC’s Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (AGTD), where he highlighted the various challenges facing effective geospatial data management in the Pacific. Such challenges cited were under-skilled staff, limited understanding by responsible personnel of available datasets, and obsolete formats of residing data. He encouraged the meeting to bring about some positive outcomes to address these and the many other challenges.