SPC Geoscience Division

Papua New Guinea completes mapping of its maritime boundaries

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8 September 2015

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea – The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, the Hon Peter O’Neill, and the President of Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), H.E. Peter M. Christian, have formalised an update to the Maritime Boundary Agreement between the two Pacific nations.

Given the importance of the ocean to economic development in the Pacific region, this agreement concludes an essential step in securing national jurisdiction over marine resources.

This significant milestone was achieved with technical training, support and advice from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) spanning more than a decade.

“I’m proud of the assistance that SPC has provided to our member countries to help them conclude this latest maritime boundaries agreement,” the Pacific Community Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, said in congratulating the two Pacific states at a signing ceremony in Port Moresby yesterday.

“Of the 49 overlapping Exclusive Economic Zones in the Pacific region, 36 of these boundaries have now been signed in the form of treaties. This means that nearly 75% of the maritime boundaries between neighbouring countries in the Pacific have now been concluded.”

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 September 2015 20:07 Read more...
 

SPC supports maritime boundary progress in the North Pacific

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3 September 2015, Pohnpei

This month the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is responding to requests from the Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) to assist these countries to formalise their maritime boundaries and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).

Under international law, a country has the right and responsibility to delineate and map its own maritime boundaries.

“In the Pacific, due to the close proximity of islands, Exclusive Economic Zones often overlap,” explained SPC’s Maritime Boundaries Technical Officer, Emily Artack.

“Thus, there’s a need for countries to negotiate maritime boundary agreements. Once an agreement or treaty is formalised and signed by the leaders, then the countries know exactly the limits of their own extended maritime areas,” Ms Artack said.

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 September 2015 20:07 Read more...
 

Needs of outer islands top climate change lessons learned at Pacific meeting

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Lessons learn

9 September 2015, Colonia

The special needs of outer island communities must be considered in the planning and design of climate change adaptation projects.

That was a clear message stressed by participants at the Global Climate Change Alliance: Pacific Small Islands States (GCCA: PSIS) project’s ‘lessons learnt’ meeting that recently concluded in Yap State in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with the European Union (EU) hosted this important reflective consultation involving 70 participants from Pacific Island states and other development partners.

Besides logistical challenges such as limited transportation, climate change adaptation projects must be sensitive to the particular customs and ways of life in outer islands, which include traditional governance structures and unique local languages.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 September 2015 09:54 Read more...
 

SPC takes action on domestic violence by supporting staff

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Domestic Violence Workshop

FWCC Coordinator, Shamima Ali addresses SPC staff on Domestic Violence

Suva, Fiji – In response to the death of an employee, Losana McGowan, earlier this year following an alleged domestic violence incident, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is taking action to build more awareness within the workplace.

“At SPC, we’re moving to ensure that our staff are better informed and that there are proper systems in place to provide resources and adequate support to staff who are experiencing domestic violence,” the Director of SPC’s Geoscience Division, Professor Michael Petterson, said.

A workshop was held this week in Suva by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC), as a pilot for SPC staff from the division that Losana had worked, to build on the healing process and awareness on the issues of domestic violence.

The workshop was led by FWCC Coordinator, Shamima Ali, following a request from SPC, and is part of the Centre’s ongoing outreach with many agencies and stakeholders.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 July 2015 10:34 Read more...
 

SPC advances drone use during disaster assessment in Vanuatu

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A specialised team from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has successfully completed its contribution to the Cyclone Pam damage assessment in Vanuatu, using unmanned aerial vehicles or drones.

The technical assessment team was deployed to assist with the Vanuatu Government’s damage assessment in April, tasked with determining damage to infrastructure and buildings, coastal inundation and three-dimensional shoreline change.

The team from SPC’s Geoscience Division included one expert flown in from Germany with a copter drone (which flies using eight rotating blades), financed by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with assistance from GIZ.

Using SPC’s own fixed-wing drone and the copter drone, the team was able to employ the latest techniques to conduct mapping surveys of affected areas, including 10 villages in north-east Efate and seven villages and settlements in south-east Tanna. Having returned to Suva in May, the team has since been analysing the data and sharing it progressively with the Vanuatu Government and other partners involved in the post-disaster assessment.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 13:25 Read more...
 

Pacific countries discuss financial management options for deep sea minerals development

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26 August 2015, Nadi

Deep sea mining is an emerging industry in the Pacific region and has the potential to become a major new revenue stream for Pacific Island countries.

Effective management of this revenue will be critical to ensure that long term benefits are realised.

Through the European Union Deep Sea Minerals Project, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is partnering with the International Monetary Fund and the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre to hold a workshop in Nadi this week (24-27 August) that focuses on the management of revenue emanating from deep sea minerals development.

Representatives from 14 Pacific Island countries, civil society groups, the private sector, finance officials and experts have been invited to participate.

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 September 2015 20:07 Read more...
 

SPC and International Seabed Authority seal new agreement

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The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) which is currently holding its 21st annual session in Jamaica.

The MOU expresses the mutual interests of SPC and ISA in developing regional and national frameworks that support the interests of both organisation’s Pacific member states, and efforts to regulate and manage deep sea mineral activities in ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction; conducting marine scientific research and analysis results; and participating in capacity-building initiatives and sharing seabed resources information.

Chief Geoscientist at SPC, Dr Kifle Kahsai, said the MOU will strengthen partnership of the two organisations.

“The decision of the Council to approve the proposed MOU between the Authority and the Pacific Community is a vibrant testimony of the remarkable relationship established between the two organizations over the years,” Dr Kahsai said.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 July 2015 12:15 Read more...
 

Solomon Islands media receives training in climate change and disaster reporting

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Solomon Islands media training

25 June 2015, Honiara, Solomon Islands

Newsroom journalists received training in climate change and disaster reporting at the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) in Honiara this week.  Coordinated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with the Secretariat of Pacific Community (SPC), FFA, and the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, the journalists received valuable training in understanding climate change, disaster risk management, and how these affect one of Solomon Islands’ biggest industries, tuna fishing.

More than ten journalists from local media attended the training, and as part of the workshop, presentations from the Climate Change Division, FFA, SPREP and SPC covered understanding climate change, eco-based adaptation to climate change, the effect of climate change on fisheries, climate change and gender, disaster risk management, and understanding national warning systems from the National Disaster Management Office.

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 July 2015 09:18 Read more...
 

Vanuatu reviews disaster response following cyclone Pam

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One hundred days since tropical cyclone Pam swept through the Pacific, the Government of Vanuatu is reviewing its disaster response arrangements.

A Lessons Learnt Workshop, hosted by the National Disaster Management Office, will take place in Port Vila on 24 to 25 June to inform the development and implementation of improved procedures for disaster management in Vanuatu.

The workshop is funded by the European Union as part of the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project, an initiative implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

It will examine the coordination, early warning, information management, logistics and assessments that took place in the immediate aftermath of tropical cyclone Pam – all essential discussion topics following a disaster event of this magnitude.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 14:19 Read more...
 


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Newsflash

Monday 13 October 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji -  The Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) formed an Interim National Seabed Minerals Management Board (INSMB) on 2 October 2014. The board members, consisting of a small team of government officers and non-governmental representatives, are tasked by Cabinet to develop national policy and law for the appropriate governance of the nation’s deep sea resources. The Board will receive financial support and technical assistance from the Deep Sea Minerals (DSM) Project: a partnership between the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union (EU).

Old tales of treasure at the bottom of the ocean did not sound so fanciful in Majuro two weeks ago, when INSMB held its inaugural meeting to discuss the precious metals known to exist in the nation’s deep seabed.

INSMB Chairperson Rebecca Lorennij (Secretary for the Ministry of Resources and Development) thanked those at the meeting: ‘The RMI government and its people would like to thank SPC and the EU through the SPC–EU DSM Project for the ongoing support provided during the past few years.

The INSMB will now progress further with the national policy on deep seabed mining and the Seabed Management Bill before approval by the RMI government, a prerequisite to establish responsible governance and management of these resources.’