SPC Geoscience Division

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 Read more...
 

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 Read more...
 

SOPAC attends the PWWA Workshop

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The Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) attended the Pacific Water and Wastes Association (PWWA) workshop on benchmarking and matchmaking on the 6th and 7th of July 2010. The workshop was co-facilitated and co-funded by PWWA and UN-HABITAT.

As part of the Global Water Partnerships Alliance, UN-HABITAT are proposing to establish a Water Operators Partnership (WOP) in the Pacific, with PWWA as the facilitators.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 11:30 Read more...
 

SOPAC conducts water scoping mission in Pitcairn Island

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SOPAC undertook a scoping mission to Pitcairn Island from the 30 May to 10 June 2010. The main purpose of this mission was to undertake assessments of water in order to address water security on the island as long term droughts are known to affect the 48-person strong population.

In the past, droughts have restricted domestic water supply which is mainly supplied by water tanks (water harvesting) and water available for irrigating crops (mostly from springs). Recently the only borehole and water springs on the island had dried up. This led to the request for solutions to improve their water supply and sanitation on the island.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 17:13 Read more...
 

Strengthening Disaster Information Management Systems

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On Friday 18th June the SOPAC Director Dr Russell Howorth handed over 8 desktops, 8 laptops, a photocopy machine, Printer and Server to the Permanent Secretary for Provincial Development, Multi Ethnic Affairs, National Disaster Management and Sugar Mr Manasa Vaniqi in support of disaster information management in Fiji.

Present at the handover were the Commissioners for the four divisions: Central, Eastern, Northern and Western. Each division will be allocated a desktop and a laptop for use in their respective Divisional Emergency Operation Centres. A Memorandum of Agreement was also signed at the handover outlining the roles and responsibilities of SOPAC and the Ministry in support of the initiative "Strengthening Disaster Information Management Systems".

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 June 2010 14:46 Read more...
 

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 Read more...
 

Press Statement - Island Vulnerability

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In response to the recent negative press, particularly from the media outside of the Pacific islands, regarding the vulnerability of our islands to climate change and sea-level rise, the Director of the SOPAC Secretariat, Dr. Russell Howorth, convened a press conference to correct this misconception.

Specifically, these media (and others) have made reference to a recently published article in an international scientific journal co-authored by a senior staff member of the SOPAC Secretariat. Copies of the brief prepared by the senior staff member by way of a response were circulated. The response emphasises that the article addresses the ongoing change in shape, size, and position on the reef platform of 27 low-lying coral islands on four atolls over the past 19-61 years based upon studies of historic air photographs and recent high-resolution satellite imagery. In no way does it make sweeping conclusions that the vulnerability of our islands is reducing particularly with regard to predictions about future impacts of sea-level change.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 07:10 Read more...
 

Announcement - Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management 2010

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The Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) wishes to announce the Pacific Platform for DRM from 9th – 13th August, 2010. This years Pacific Platform for DRM is jointly organised by the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), the Pacific Sub Regional Office of the Secretariat for the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), the United Nation Development Programme Pacific Centre (UNDP PC), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), The Asia Foundation/USAID/Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (TAF/OFDA), the International Federation for Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as well as the European Union (EU) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) as members of the Pacific Disaster Risk Management Partnership Network.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 June 2010 11:18 Read more...
 

Footprints - Newsletter of the Pacific Disaster Risk Management Partnership Network

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Bula Vinaka and Welcome to Footprints – the official newsletter of the Pacific Disaster Risk Management Partnership Network. Since reintroducing the newsletter in the last quarter of 2007, we have ‘reinvented’ the publication in an effort to be more reader-friendly in 2010. The changes include a new layout. The title reflects the collective ‘steps’ taken by the partners, working with Pacific island country representatives, toward achieving the desired outcomes of the Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Framework for Action 2005-2015.In taking each step we leave behind ‘footprints’ as a record of where we have been, what we have done and what we have accomplished. I invite all partners to contribute regularly to Footprints.

Mosese Sikivou
Programme Manager - Community Risk
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 June 2010 12:09 Read more...
 


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Newsflash

NADI, Fiji -The first Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable is being held 8–11 July at the Sofitel Hotel in Denarau, Nadi, Fiji.

Michael Petterson, Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Applied Geoscience and Technology Division, says the joint meeting demonstrates the fact that the region is now leading on the integration of disaster risk management and climate change adaptation efforts.

‘For several years our Disaster Reduction Programme has been working in close collaboration with regional partners, such the UNDP Pacific Centre and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, to help Pacific Island countries develop joint national action plans for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation,’ he says

Petterson says joint national action plans (JNAPs) integrating climate change and disaster risk management provide countries with a powerful planning tool to help them consider disaster and risk across a range of ministries.

‘At the end of the day, if your house falls down because of a climatic or another type of disaster, you don't care initially about the cause – you just want help. Experts in climate change and disaster risk management are seeking ways to work together to make the Pacific a safer place. The JNAP offers a roadway for deciding priorities, actions and partnerships, and several [country representatives] have shared their personal satisfaction with how this tool is now supporting a whole raft of government thinking,’ he says.