SPC Geoscience Division

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...
 

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...
 

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...
 

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...
 

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...
 


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Newsflash

Prof. Michael Petterson has taken up his appointment as Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) succeeding Dr Russell Howorth, whose tenure with the organization officially ended on 31st January 2013

Before taking up this position with SPC, Prof. Petterson, who is from the United Kingdom, held a Professorship of Applied and Environmental Geosciences at the University of Leicester, from 2009, before which he was Director of Science, Skills and Facilities at the British Geological Survey for five years.

Holding a PhD in geology (1984) and a post graduate certificate in education (1985), Prof. Petterson is a chartered geologist, a chartered engineer, Fellow of the Geological Society of London, Member of the Institute of Materials, Mining and Metallurgy, life member of the Association of Geoscientists for International Development, Member of the Society of Economic Geologists, and he is a member of the STAR network.