SPC Geoscience Division

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...
 

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...
 

Pacific Resource and Environmental Economics Network Gets New Logo May 2010

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The recently established PREEN (Pacific Resource and Environmental Economics Network) unveiled its logo today at a prize giving ceremony hosted by the IUCN in Suva. The logo depicts land, sea, fish, turtles and mangroves. Also included in the logo is a scene of traditional fishers at work.

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 June 2010 15:55 Read more...
 

Altimetry satellite data matches media reports of 8-m waves during Cyclone Tomas

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There have been recent reports in the media that particular shorelines in Vanua Levu have experienced significant erosion from wave action since Tropical Cyclone Tomas in March 2010, threatening infrastructure and ancient burial sites. As a result, villagers have been advised to take into account global warming and to relocate to higher grounds (Fiji Times, Saturday, May 15, 2010)

Cyclones are among the most frequently occurring natural disasters in the tropical Pacific, and they are characterised by high waves and strong winds. At the time of tropical cyclone Tomas ocean surface waves up to eight meters high were reported to inundate villages on Vanua Levu. Such an extreme event can lead to coastal erosion or accretion, depending on the configuration of the particular shoreline. It is however difficult to imagine such large waves, and even more difficult to assess their impact without direct measurements in the location concerned.

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 May 2012 09:45 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
 

Snapshots 58: Community Risk Programme May 2010 Updates

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Welcome to the May 2010 issue of Snapshots. This month we highlight some of the progress that we’ve made in relation to DRM mainstreaming particularly through our efforts in Papua New Guinea.
This issue will also highlight: steps being undertaken to improve water security in Nauru; the re-establishment of the Disaster Risk Management Training Advisory Committee in Fiji; the on going
discussions with the World Bank on a Pacific Catastrophe Risk Financing Initiative;
the 10th meeting of the World Bank’s GFDRR Results Management Council; the training undertaken by the Pacific DRM Training Programme of The Asia Foundation/US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, and; the on-going development of a regional exposure database jointly being implemented by SOPAC, ADB, World Bank, AIR Worldwide, GNS Science New Zealand and the Pacific Disaster Center in Hawaii. Enjoy!


Mosese Sikivou
Programme Manager - Community Risk

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 June 2010 13:52 Read more...
 

Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Mainstreaming in Papua New Guinea

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The second country engagement to establish a DRM Mainstreaming for PNG took place on the 3rd-14th May 2010 with representatives from SOPAC, UNDP Pacific Centre and UNDP PNG. This was a follow up mission to the first country engagement in February this year. The intention of the first mission was to scope out a process for the development and implementation of a DRM National Action Plan.

However, in the initial stages of the mission, stakeholders dispelled the prospects for the development of a comprehensive national approach to mainstreaming as would normally be undertaken through the mainstreaming exercise. The geography and population of PNG make the concept of DRM mainstreaming difficult. The need to strengthen DRM in PNG is heightened by the fact that nearly 25% of the natural disasters occurring in the Pacific between 1950-2008 were in PNG (EM-DAT1).
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 June 2010 12:50 Read more...
 

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 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...
 


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Newsflash

Monday 8 July 2013: Nadi, Fiji – The first Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable has been officially opened at the Sofitel Resort and Spa in Nadi, Fiji.

Marking the occasion, the Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. Samiu Kuita Vaipulu, received a ceremony of traditional welcome from the Government of Fiji. The meeting was officially opened by the Acting Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Mr. Aiyaz Sayad-Khaiyum. Also present at the opening ceremony were the Hon. Mark Brown, Minister for Finance and Economic Management of the Cook Islands, Hon. Thomas Laken, Minister for Planning & Climate Change Adaptation of the Republic of Vanuatu and Ms. Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction.

With this meeting the Pacific region has achieved a world first by bringing together the two principal regional conferences on disaster risk management and climate change. The joint meeting will contribute to the formulation of an over-arching regional strategy and framework for climate and disaster-resilient development to be considered for endorsement by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in 2015.

An integrated approach to addressing disaster risk reduction and climate change concerns will mean better use of national and regional capacities and resources to address the risks posed by hazards, whether they are extreme weather events such as cyclones and droughts or ‘slow onset’ events such as rising sea levels or ocean acidification associated with climate change. The strategy will further progress the agenda of enabling the Pacific Islands region to build resilience to our changing climate.