SPC Geoscience Division

Pacific Community receives international recognition for geospatial innovation

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The Pacific Community’s (SPC) Geoscience Division is being bestowed the Asia Geospatial Excellence Award for Disaster Management by Geosmart Asia, a leading conference and exhibition for the Asia-Pacific region showcasing the capabilities of geospatial technologies for national development and industry growth.


The award recognizes exemplary innovation and practices in geospatial information and technology in the Asia-Pacific region.


“The Pacific region is prone to the vagaries of nature and geospatial information has proven to play a significant role in preparedness and mitigating losses. In such a scenario, the vision and initiatives of SPC’s Geoscience Division to promote geospatial information for safeguarding the region are commendable,” Geosmart Asia Pacific Vice President, Prashant Joshi said, in announcing the accolade.


Last Updated on Thursday, 04 August 2016 16:45

Deep sea minerals frameworks to inform decision-making

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Noumea, 30 June 2016

Cobalt-rich-CrustsTwo frameworks released today will build knowledge of deep sea minerals and their governance, and support informed decision-making by Pacific Island countries.

They are the latest information resources developed for stakeholders interested in this emerging sector through the European Union-supported Deep Sea Minerals Project, implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

The Regional Financial Framework for Deep Sea Minerals Exploration and Exploitation is aimed at providing Pacific countries with a guide to the major issues to be addressed when setting up national financial frameworks.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2016 09:15

Pacific Resilience Programme launched

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Pacific Harbour, 21 June 2016

Pacific-ResilienceDelegates from the Pacific region came together today to officially launch the Pacific Resilience Program (PREP) – a series of projects to strengthen Pacific Island countries’ resilience to natural disasters and climate change.

The project was launched as part of a three-day workshop where participants from Pacific Island governments, regional bodies and project staff will receive training to support the implementation of the programme, which will include initiatives and activities related to early warning tools, risk reduction investments and financial planning for disasters.

“PREP allows us to work together with our Pacific neighbors, to take a pro-active approach to managing natural disasters in the region,” said Siaosi Sovaleni, Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga. “We are committed to strengthening Tonga against future natural disasters and being a partner in this initiative is an important part of that strategy.”


Pacific climate change project to feature at European Development Days in Brussels

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Suva, 14 June 2016
GCCAA climate change project implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) is being featured among the displays during the European Development Days taking place in Brussels, Belgium, this week.

The “Helping communities adapt to climate change” display at the European Development Days village on 15-16 June will showcase the work of the Global Climate Change Alliance: Pacific Small Islands States (GCCA:PSIS) project in nine countries: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia , Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Tonga and Tuvalu.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2016 11:39

Support for emergency response capacity in Vanuatu

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vanuatu response

Vanuatu’s ability to respond more effectively to disasters has been bolstered today with the handing over of three emergency boats, two vehicles and a flatbed truck.

The timely gesture to support response and relief following disasters, like Cyclone Pam, has been made possible through the European Union’s EUR 19.37 million Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project (BSRP), implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

European Union Ambassador to Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, H.E. Leonidas Tezapsidis, presented the heavy haulage flatbed truck, boats and vehicles to Lieutenant Colonel Acting Commander, Terry Tulang, of the Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF), the Director of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Shadrack Welegtabit, and the Director-General of the Ministry of Climate Change, Jesse Benjamin, in the capital, Port Vila.


Cyclone Pam report released for Vanuatu

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tc pam

Port Vila, 22 June 2016

A reflection on what worked well and what could be improved upon in the Government of Vanuatu’s response to tropical cyclone Pam has been released today.

The Vanuatu Lessons Learned Report is a collation of recommendations and reflections from a range of local and international representatives to improve disaster response in the region as a result of the lessons from Cyclone Pam.  These recommendations were made during a workshop help in Port Vila in June 2015.

The Lessons Learned Workshop was funded by the European Union through its EUR 19.37 million Building Safety and Resilience (BSRP) in the Pacific project, implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2016 09:15

Milestone report on “Sanitation, Drinking water and Health in Pacific Island countries” reveals troubling information

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Suva, 16 June 2016

A regional report entitled “Sanitation, Drinking-water and Health in Pacific Island Countries: 2015 update and future outlook” has found that almost 70% of people living in the Pacific are without access to improved sanitation, and almost 50% lack access to improved drinking water supplies.

Heads of agencies were quick to share their sentiments when the report was launched.  Dr Liu Yunguo, WHO Representative for the South Pacific based in Suva said “We are very pleased to launch this milestone report in collaboration with other UN agencies and the Pacific Community.”

“The report is a highly significant contribution to guide the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation in the Pacific,” said Dr Karen Allen, UNICEF Pacific Representative.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2016 11:40

Fiji hosts the Pacific’s own science and technology conference

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star meet

6 June 2016

Nadi, Fiji –  Geoscience and ocean experts from around the Pacific convene in Nadi from June 6-8 to share knowledge and practices, present original research, and advance regional collaboration at the 31st Science, Technology, and Resources (STAR) Conference, hosted by the Government of Fiji. The theme of this year’s conference is Geosciences, Geo-engineering and the Ocean in the Pacific Region.

“Fiji is pleased to host the region’s first STAR conference after a three year hiatus,” said Permanent Secretary for the Fiji Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources and current STAR Network chair, Mr. Malakai Finau. “Pacific delegates have missed this conference, as it provides a unique platform for showcasing regional research methods and findings, as well as networking and discussion.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2016 14:19

Lessons learned from Winston

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30 May 2016, Labasa

TC-WinstonThe devastation Tropical Cyclone Winston unleashed on Fiji is still a reality for many across the country.

To explore how Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) responded, and what could be improved upon for next time, a series of Lessons Learned Workshops will be held over the next four weeks, beginning in the Northern Division of Fiji today.

Parts of the Northern Division of the country were badly affected, with many communities in the direct path of Cyclone Winston, the strongest recorded cyclone in the Southern Hemisphere struck land on 20 February.

The Lessons Learned Workshops are funded by the €19.37 million (FJD 45 million) ACP-European Union Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 June 2016 16:31

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This year Kiribati, one of the least developed countries in the world, finalised maritime boundaries with the United States of America.

The successful outcome, in September, was the result of the work that the Pacific Island country, along with 12 others, undertook at the Maritime Boundaries and Ocean Governance working sessions at the University of Sydney.

The latest session is currently underway at the University and ends on 6 December.

"Technical and legal personnel from thesePacific Islandcountries have been coming to the University of Sydney for the last six years to secure rights to their marine spaces," said Professor Elaine Baker from the University's School of Geosciences, which hosts the meetings.

"Global interest in marine resources, including fisheries and seabed minerals, and the threat of climate change and sea level rise, has spurred Pacific Island countries to settle their maritime boundaries."

The Cook Islands, for example, has valuable deposits of seabed minerals, many of which are essential to new technologies such as renewable energy and communications equipment. In order for the Cook Islands to capitalise on these resources, they require sound governance frameworks and jurisdictional boundaries.