SPC Geoscience Division

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

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

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

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

Director of SOPAC’s Address at the Opening of the Pacific Regional Seismic and Tsunami Hazard Training Course, Suva, Fiji

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12-23 July 2010

I would like to begin by acknowledging the Government of Germany for providing the resources for this Pacific regional training course co-hosted by the Government of Fiji and GFZ1 Potsdam1. SOPAC is happy to have been invited to assist with the logistical arrangements including the travel for the regional participants. I would also like to acknowledge other partners including Geoscience Australia, the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences of New Zealand, and the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, in Noumea.

SOPAC’s work in the region in cooperation with Germany goes back many years indeed almost to the origin of CCOP/SOPAC in 1972. Marine geophysical cruise surveys utilizing the RV Sonne are well documented throughout SOPAC history. Regrettably, this direct assistance from Germany has waned. I am hopeful that this training course will re-invigorate those historic ties.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 12:06

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

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

Mosese Sikivou

Last Updated on Monday, 26 July 2010 14:00

Pacific meets in Palau to improve water management

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Koror, Thursday, July 22, 2010: “I’m not an expert, but I know that without water no one can survive. Even when scientists look for life on Mars the first thing they look for is water.” With these words Palau’s President, His Excellency Johnson Toribiong, opened a regional meeting on water management currently being held in Palau. He reminded delegates from 13 Pacific island countries that water is one resource that no one can take for granted.

“The availability of freshwater is important to the quality of life, and I will go further, it is critical to the economic development of every country,” Mr Toribiong said. “So I urge all of you to take this conference as a serious collective effort by all of us in the Pacific region to address these important challenges.”


Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:12

Improved water quality monitoring data management

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The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) received training on the use of the Water Quality Monitoring (WQM) database on the 15th July 2010. The training was facilitated by the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) at the WAF national conference room.

The electronic Access-based WQM database has been developed as part of the regional water quality monitoring and drinking water safety planning programmes of SOPAC and WHO. The database was developed for regional use in partnership with the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) and the New Zealand Ministry of Health and trialled and tested in the selected Pacific island countries of Niue, Cook Islands, Samoa and Marshall Islands.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:13

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Disaster risk management and damage assessment: a training session for those working in those areas in New Caledonia

A disaster risk management and damage assessment training session is being held this week at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Headquarters in Noumea.  It is being run by SPC trainers who are disaster risk specialists and by civil safety officials from Vanuatu and Fiji.

This training programme responds to a request from the New Caledonian Government and is comes within the framework of the French Government’s transfer of powers for the civil protection area to New Caledonian authorities. It is designed to build knowledge about risk prevention/mitigation and post-disaster response.  It also provides a window onto the disaster risk management models that exist in other countries in the region.

Funded by The Asia Foundation and USAID (with the support of the European Union for the session in New Caledonia), over the past 15 years this training course has been held in 14 Pacific countries and territories with more than 7000 participants. The region faces many hazards such as tropical cyclones, flooding and tsunamis, which are often devastating and costly for the Pacific islands, so this training course helps ensure improved disaster risk management.

For further information, please contact: Jean-Noël Royer, SPC Assistant Communications Officer: [email protected], tel. (direct line) 26 01 71: [email protected]