SPC Geoscience Division

NATURE - Testing the resilience of Pacific Island People

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Much has been said about rising sea levels and predicted impacts on low lying Pacific Island communities.As Pacific islanders we need to be more informed about what directly affects us and our livelihoods. The population of the Pacific islands is estimated to be over 8.6 million people, most of which are coastal dwelling and are therefore dependant on the ocean and its resources. So it is vital that we understand our ocean.

The Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), hosts the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project alongside other initiatives aimed at improving our scientific knowledge of ocean and island ecosystems for the sustainable management of natural resources.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 14:55 Read more...
 

SOPAC helps survey every well in Nauru

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Between March and April 2010 SOPAC and the Government of Nauru conducted a survey of every well in Nauru to determine water quality, usage, and possible areas of contamination.
Nauru has no significant surface water resources, limited groundwater resources, and is extremely vulnerable to drought.

Water for domestic use comes from a mixture of desalinated water delivered by truck, rainwater harvested from roofs, non-potable coastal groundwater, seawater and limited use of the thin freshwater lens found under Nauru’s central plateau. Two locally based teams surveyed 336 wells by going house to house over 5 weeks. 30% of Nauru’s population rely on water from domestic wells for bathing, washing, general cleaning, and toilet flushing.

click hereexternal  link for full story.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 14:39
 

Regional Coordination, another success for the Pacific

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SOPAC and technical partners coordinated assistance to help four Pacific Island Countries make recent maritime sovereignty history. In April 2010, representatives from the governments of Papua New Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands and the Kingdom of Tonga made successful presentations to the United Nations for their respective extended seabed areas. These submissions are made pursuant to the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea.

Two presentations were made in New York; the first was a joint presentation by the governments of Papua New Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia and the Solomon Islands for the joint Art 76 submission on the Ontong Java plateau. The second was a presentation by The Kingdom of Tonga for the south eastern area of the Kermadec Ridge.
The area claimed in the joint submission is for over 600,000 sq km of shared pacific seabed. The area claimed is larger than the combined land mass of the three pacific islands countries involved. It is also significant that for the first time, three Pacific Small Island Developing States have successfully worked together to conclude a joint MOU and submission to the United Nations.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 14:29 Read more...
 

SOPAC and the UNISDR Secretariat launch the biennial progress review

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SOPAC and the UNISDR Secretariat launch the biennial progress review of the Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Framework for Action 2005 – 2015 as well as the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005 – 2015.

A workshop to launch the mid term reviews of the Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Framework for Action 2005 – 2015 (Regional Framework) as well as the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005 – 2015 (HFA) was conducted at the Tanoa Plaza in Suva on Tuesday 13th April 2010.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 14:14 Read more...
 

Pacific Island water quality in the spotlight this World Water Day

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Suva, Monday 22 March, 2010: Today the world focuses its attention on water, the natural resource most vital to life. World Water Day, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, is used as an opportunity to highlight critical water issues facing the planet. This year’s theme, “Clean Water for a Healthy World”, aims to raise global awareness on the importance of water quality for human health and the environment.

The impacts of recent natural disasters on water quality, outbreaks of typhoid in Fiji and Samoa, and a cholera epidemic in Papua New Guinea show that access to clean, safe water continues to be a major issue in the Pacific.

Last Updated on Monday, 19 April 2010 16:17 Read more...
 

SOPAC Director appointed to Circum-Pacific Council

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SOPAC Director, Dr Russell Howorth, was appointed to the Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources at its recent meeting in Wellington, New Zealand. In accepting the appointment he expressed his pleasure at being able to strengthen a partnership between the Council and SOPAC that goes back some 30 years.

The Council was founded 1972. It is a non-profit international organisation of earth scientists and engineers. The Council develops and promotes research and cooperation among industry, government and academia for the sustainable utilisation of earth resources in the Pacific Region.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 14:31 Read more...
 

The Asia Foundation : Grant and Financial Management Training

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Ms Kathryn Hawley, The Asia Foundation's Director - Pacific Program welcomes SOPAC staff to the grant and financial management workshop. Manila based TAF staff: Ms Maricel Dela Cruz and Ms Cynthia Ramirez are pictured with the workshop participants.

The Asia Foundation conducted Grant and Financial Management Training this month for SOPAC as part of the Foundation’s commitment to it’s partners. The two half-day session were conducted by the Director of Finance and Administration, Maricel Dela Cruz, assisted by Cynthia Ramirez, the Grants & Administrative Assistant, both from the Foundation’s Philippines office. Their visit was coordinated by TAF’s Director Pacific Program, Kathryn Hawley. The training provided those who attended a greater understanding of how the Foundation makes and manages grants in support of project activities. At the end of the sessions, the participants, from both the finance unit and the community risk program, have a stronger appreciation and clearer perspective on how to more effectively manage grants – substantively and financially.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 14:24
 

Remarks from Director SOPAC Dr Russell Howorth at the LOA Signing Ceremony, 31 March 2010

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Representatives of Member Countries, CROP colleagues (Forum Secretary General, SPC Director General, SPREP Deputy Director, Staff of SOPAC Staff of SPC, friends…..Let me first welcome you all to the SOPAC Secretariat this afternoon to witness this Signing Ceremony as part of the Regional Institutional Framework (RIF) reform process as a result of which we will action the transfer SOPAC functions into SPC and SPREP.

I would like to call on the Deputy Director General of SPC (Suva) Fekita Utoikamanu to bless this occasion with a short prayer.

I was invited to present a history of SOPAC to the delegates attending the STAR Meeting held in close association with the last SOPAC Meeting in Port Vila and ended with a quote from Shakespeare:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 April 2010 12:46 Read more...
 

Regional Institutional Framework (RIF) Reform transfers SOPAC functions into SPC and SPREP

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PRESS RELEASE

Regional Institutional Framework (RIF) Reform transfers SOPAC functions into SPC and SPREP

30 March 2010: Dr Jimmie Rodgers, Director-General of SPC, Mr David Sheppard, Director of SPREP and Dr Russell Howorth, Director, Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC),will at the SOPAC Secretariat at 3 pm on Wednesday, 31st March 2010 sign three Letters of Agreement which together comprise full implementation of substantive elements of the Regional Institutional Framework (RIF) Reform agreed to by Pacific Island Leaders at recent Forum Meetings (Annex D of the 2009 Cairns Forum Communiqué refers).

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 March 2010 14:39 Read more...
 


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Newsflash

A SOPAC-organised workshop, supported by technical partners and funded by AusAID, is taking place in Sydney to help Pacific Island countries develop their Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) submissions to the United Nations.

Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, an island country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extends 200 nautical miles from its coastal baselines, which is calculated from the lowest tide levels. Article 76 of the Convention sets out criteria upon which an island country may establish an Extended Continental Shelf that extends beyond the 200 nautical mile limit.