SPC Geoscience Division

Kiribati benefits from maritime boundaries project

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Staff of the Oceans and Islands Programme of SOPAC, the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission, is engaged in working with technical personnel from the Government of Kiribati in order to update the Kiribati maritime boundaries database. This work is part of the SOPAC Maritime Boundaries Project, and follows similar survey work in Fiji and Papua New Guinea in 2009.

Mr Andrick Lal, SOPAC Senior Project Surveyor, has just returned, having spent two weeks on the atolls of the North Gilbert Group, Butaritari and Little Makin, where he has provided training to develop expertise in the use of the latest technology in Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in order to establish baseline data essential for computing Kiribati’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Last Updated on Friday, 27 August 2010 13:40 Read more...
 

Fiji gains from Pacific Disaster Net training

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The SOPAC-organized Pacific Disaster Net user-training was held recently for the staff of the Fiji National Disaster Management Office as well as other selected Government employees. SOPAC provides assistance to 21 island countries in the Pacific region through applied geoscience and technology.

The Pacific Disaster Net is a website that provides Disaster Risk Management partners in the Pacific, in-country information that addresses disaster management issues as well as assisting in development decision making. The partners include government agencies, regional bodies, non-government organizations and international agencies.

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

EU and Pacific boost their cooperation in deep-sea minerals

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The European Union (EU) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) have today signed a Contribution Agreement worth €4.4 million for a project titled 'Deep Sea Minerals in the Pacific Islands Region: a Legal and Fiscal Framework for Sustainable Resource Management'. This project is funded under the 10th European Development Fund and aims to further the effective management and use of deep-sea mineral resources of the Pacific.

'The Ocean and its mineral resources is a most valuable asset for the Pacific. The aim of the project we sign today is to support the people of this region to make efficient and sustainable use of this great asset by fostering better governance and use of marine non-living resources of the Pacific,' said Christian Leffler, Deputy Director­-General of the European Commission's Directorate General for Development at the official signing ceremony in Port Vila.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:10 Read more...
 

PNG first deep sea mining country

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PAPUA New Guinea will become the first country in the world to go into deep sea mining when offshore miner Nautilus Minerals Inc. is awarded a mining licence today (Thursday)
Mining Minister John Pundari announced on Tuesday that he would sign and award the licence today.

It (mining licence) is a permit from the Government to allow Nautilus to start mining as soon as all related issues and matters are completed. The ML is a sign that the Government agrees for Nautilus to complete all preparations to start mining.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:11 Read more...
 

Snapshots 60: Community Risk Programme July 2010 Updates

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Welcome to the July 2010 issue of Snapshots. We’ve come halfway through the year and the Pacific continues to be a hive of activity in DRM capacity building.

In this edition of Snapshots we provide you with an account of the work being done in the Cook Islands, Solomon Islands and Tonga. In addition, we highlight the first dedicated country-level user training for the Pacific Disaster Net which has just been concluded for Fiji. August will also reveal a lot of interesting initiatives which the CRP is collaborating on with its many partners and of course with Pacific island countries.

The major upcoming event on our calendar is the 2010 Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management which will be held from 9th – 13th August. In this year’s meeting we hope to broaden the membership of the Pacific DRM Partnership Network and also welcome back colleagues from the Caribbean that also attended the 2009 meetings. We’re certainly making good progress with South-South cooperation.

Later on in the year we plan to reveal more about the CRP as it transits with the rest of SOPAC into SPC. So, watch this space... .

Read Full Issue Here

Enjoy!
Mosese Sikivou

Last Updated on Monday, 26 July 2010 14:00
 

SOPAC launches its new website

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With the launching of its new website, SOPAC has improved access to its range of scientific, technical and developmental information, according to its Director, Dr. Russell Howorth.

Dr. Howorth said that the website is evolving and that it reflects the current changing status of SOPAC as it becomes the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division of the SPC from 1 January 2011 .

“There are really two themes to the website. First, core information that essentially communicates what we do. Secondly, an improved overview of SOPAC, its services, its staff and its member countries with easy navigation between links.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:10 Read more...
 

SOPAC and SPC sign Letter of Understanding

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In Port Vila, at the Plenary Session of the 41st Pacific Island Leaders Meeting, Wednesday 4th August, the Director of SOPAC, Dr Russell Howorth and the Director General of SPC, Dr Jimmie Rodgers, signed a Letter of Agreement to transfer and integrate the core work programme of SOPAC into SPC as a new Applied Geoscience and Technology Division to commence operations on 1st January 2011.

Witnessing the signing on behalf to the SOPAC Governing Council was the current chair Vanuatu represented by the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Honourable Edward Natapei. The SPC Conference was represented by the current chair Tonga, represented by the Prime Minister of Tonga, Honourable Feleti Sevele.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 August 2010 18:06 Read more...
 

United Nations declares access to water and sanitation a universal human right: The Pacific could do more.

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Suva, August 4, 2010: Last week, by a vote of 122 countries in favour and none against, the United Nations (UN) adopted a resolution that saw the access to water and sanitation become a fundamental human right. It is, however, a right that many in the Pacific don’t enjoy.

The region’s access to improved drinking water and sanitation lags behind the rest of the world. About 46% of Pacific populations have access to improved drinking water compared to the global average of 87%. Similarly only 48% of Pacific populations have access to improved sanitation compared to 62% globally.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 August 2010 18:39 Read more...
 

Cook Islands Government approves establishment of seabed minerals task force

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Press Release: Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, Cook Islands, 23 July 2010

The Hon. Robert Wigmore, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for seabed mining activities has today announced concrete steps aimed at progressing seabed mining in the Cook Islands.

“The Government is totally committed to the development of our rich seabed mineral resources for the benefit of the present and future generations of Cook Islanders,” stressed the Deputy Prime Minister.  “To do that we must ensure that in the pioneering field of seabed mining we have in place sound developmental policies to guide seabed mining activities and regulations in force that will enable us to control and protect the wealth that belongs to the people of the Cook Islands as well as our marine environment before any exploratory or other mining activities begin.  It must be the Government and people of the Cook Islands that have control over seabed mining, not outside interests.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:12 Read more...
 


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Newsflash

1st August 2014 – Secretariat of the Pacific Community – Koror, Palau: This morning, delegates to the 45th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting in Palau witnessed the signing of a maritime boundary treaty between the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the United States of America (USA) to delimit the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) between the two countries. Signing the treaty on behalf of FSM was Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert; the United States of America was represented by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dennise Mathieu.

The agreement, which has taken one and a half years to formulate, provides definitive legal status to the boundaries between the overlapping EEZs of FSM and the US Territory of Guam in the North Pacific Ocean.

This agreement underscores the importance of clearly establishing national areas of jurisdiction and limits under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which provides the foundation for improved governance, protection, conservation and management of national ocean resources.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community, through its Applied Geoscience and Technology Division, assists member countries in this process in close coordination with a large consortium of partners who combine resources to deliver comprehensive service and expertise, including the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, Geoscience Australia, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) GRID-Arendal centre, Australian Attorney General’s Office, and the University of Sydney.

The Pacific Islands region has approximately 48 shared maritime boundaries where neighbouring EEZs overlap. With the addition of this signed treaty, 32 of these boundaries are formalised and subject to treaty.