SPC Geoscience Division

Regional partnerships to strengthen disaster risk management in the Pacific

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19 October 2016, Suva

Reducing the negative impacts of disasters on the people of the Pacific is at the core of this year’s Pacific Resilience Week beginning in Suva, Fiji, today.

Disaster managers from 15 Pacific Island countries, disaster risk reduction experts and humanitarian response partners are coming together to help create a more disaster-resilient Pacific. They aim to strengthen national and regional collaboration on disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery from disaster.

The first three days (19-21 October) will focus on humanitarian preparedness and response. The Pacific Humanitarian Partnership meeting, convened by the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), is focusing on  lessons learnt and way forward from previous disasters, as well as how to make the outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit count in the Pacific.


“The region has witnessed some of the largest recorded cyclones in history in the last 18 months with many in Fiji still reeling from the impact of Cyclone Winston.  The increased frequency of disasters and impact of climate change makes the need for effective long-term partnerships that work from disaster mitigation to preparedness, response and recovery critical and this joint event helps ensure we do that meaningfully,” Sune Gudnitz, Head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Regional Office for the Pacific (UNOCHA ROP) said.

Last Updated on Monday, 24 October 2016 10:54 Read more...
 

Vanuatu and Solomon Islands to conclude historic maritime boundary treaty

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7 October 2016, Port Vila

The Pacific Community (SPC) is welcoming the conclusion of 33 years of negotiations between Vanuatu and Solomon Islands with the signing of a Maritime Boundary Agreement between the countries.

 

A signing ceremony involving the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, the Hon Manasseh Sogavare, and the Prime Minister for Vanuatu, the Hon Charlot Salawai, is expected to take place in northern Vanuatu today.

 

Vanuatu government officials said the landmark agreement will provide legal and jurisdictional certainty for Solomon Islands and Vanuatu for better management of the ocean, while at the same time allowing the two nations’ cultural and historical linkages to remain solid.

 

In congratulating both governments, the Director of SPC’s Geoscience Division, Professor Michael Petterson, said it was also a special and rewarding occasion for SPC staff who had supported the complex negotiations over many years.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 October 2016 14:39 Read more...
 

New Framework to build resilience to climate change and disasters in the Pacific Islands

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16 September 2016, Suva - Pacific Leaders’ endorsement of the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP), the world’s first integrated regional framework to build resilience to climate change and disasters, has been applauded by Pacific regional and international organisations.

The Framework aims to ensure that climate change and disasters are understood as a development challenge with priority actions to address vulnerability to climate change and disasters and build resilience across all sectors.

The FRDP provides high level voluntary guidance to national governments and administrations, the private sector, civil society organisations, Pacific communities, regional organisations, and development partners.

Last Updated on Monday, 19 September 2016 10:54 Read more...
 

‘Time is right’ to boost capacity in Pacific ocean forecasting

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5 September 2016, Nadi

Weather forecasters, hydrographers, oceanographers, fisheries officers and maritime safety experts from around the Pacific region have gathered in Nadi, Fiji, today to take part in training to boost understanding, monitoring and forecasting of oceans and tides.

First Secretary of the Australian High Commission in Suva, Raymond Bojczuk opened the training, which is jointly organised by the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology under the Climate and Oceans Support Programme in the Pacific (COSPPac).

“The timing is right to boost regional capacity to monitor and forecast ocean conditions,” Mr Bojczuk noted, recognising the severe wave damage many coastal communities in Fiji experienced during Tropical Cyclone Winston and the numerous inundation events that have threatened low-lying atolls across the region in recent years.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 September 2016 14:54 Read more...
 

Improving Resilience with Aerial Imagery

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Source: https://hotosm.org/updates/2016-08-15_improving_resilience_with_aerial_imagery

Earlier this month Nate and I went to Suva to lead the kickoff meeting of the Pacific Drone Imagery Dashboard (PacDID) project funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. During the visit, we met and brainstormed with local geospatial experts and stakeholders around the issues of disaster management and aerial imagery. By the end of the week, we had a clear understanding of the challenges that Pacific Island Countries (PICs) face during natural disasters.

Our main local partner in this project, the Pacific Community (SPC), is a scientific and technical development organisation governed by 26 countries and territories of the region. Within SPC, the Geoscience Division supports member countries in every aspect of Disaster Management (DM), from preparedness, to response, to recovery. Their experienced staff provides geospatial and remote sensing services to many Pacific countries and directly works with ministries, non-government organizations and National Disaster Management Offices (NDMOs) before, during and after a disaster.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 August 2016 13:54 Read more...
 

PacSAFE Project

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The PacSAFE project is a response to demand from Pacific Island Countries for tools to better understand disaster impacts. The project will engage with representatives from national disaster management offices and related agencies who are involved in planning, preparing and responding to natural disasters. Geoscience Australia, as Australia’s technical implementing partner, will continue development of the functionality of the PacSAFE software tool. PacSAFE is a desktop tool based on QGIS and InaSAFE, designed and developed for non‑GIS users.

Geoscience Australia, as Australia’s technical implementing partner, will continue development of the functionality of the PacSAFE software tool. PacSAFE is a desktop tool based on QGIS and InaSAFE, designed and developed for non‑GIS users. PacSAFE1 was initially developed by the Pacific Community for urban planners to enable hazard data and asset data, such as the Pacific Catastrophic Risk and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI) asset database. In the current project, the PacSAFE tool will be enabled to produce realistic disaster impact scenarios by combining spatial hazard with exposure data. It will provide a simple tool for users to interrogate hazard and impact scenarios within the context of the local knowledge of their communities. This will support users in making informed decisions for disaster response and to develop evidence-based policies for enhancing disaster resilience

Last Updated on Friday, 30 September 2016 14:52
 

PNG Geothermal Energy Potential

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Source: EMTV Online

Hydro-power at present makes up 40 percent of Papua New Guinea’s installed power capacity, due to the optimal conditions and terrains for hydro-power plants.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 September 2016 10:47
 

Queensland Fire support Pacific disaster preparation

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2 September 2016, Brisbane

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is today hosting a professional development workshop with disaster managers from 15 Pacific Island countries to help strengthen the region’s ability to best respond to disasters.

This comes just months after the strongest recorded cyclone in the Southern Hemisphere slammed into Fiji causing widespread devastation and challenging the country’s ability to respond to such a large disaster on a huge scale.

The training has been organised in partnership with the Pacific Islands Emergency Management Alliance (PIEMA), focused on strengthening emergency management across the region by creating sustainable, long-term partnerships with agencies like QFES.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 September 2016 14:47 Read more...
 

Pacific Community Maritime Boundaries Officer selected for International Leadership Program

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17 August 2016, Suva

The Pacific Community’s Emily Artack is representing Fiji in an international delegation participating in the prestigious International Visitors Leadership Programme on Law of the Sea and Maritime Security in the United States.

The three-week programme, which starts this week in Washington D.C., will include exploring how customary law applies in the South China Sea and the Pacific, assessing the roles of international stakeholders, observing interagency coordination and approaches to maritime security operations, and discussing multilateral policy and cooperative efforts in South China Sea territorial and maritime disputes.

The international programme will also take the 12-country delegation to Baltimore, New York, Florida, Seattle and Honolulu to meet with professional counterparts and explore various perspectives on the impact of the Law of the Sea Convention.

Last Updated on Friday, 19 August 2016 12:06 Read more...
 


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Newsflash

Press Release: Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, Cook Islands, 23 July 2010

The Hon. Robert Wigmore, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for seabed mining activities has today announced concrete steps aimed at progressing seabed mining in the Cook Islands.

“The Government is totally committed to the development of our rich seabed mineral resources for the benefit of the present and future generations of Cook Islanders,” stressed the Deputy Prime Minister.  “To do that we must ensure that in the pioneering field of seabed mining we have in place sound developmental policies to guide seabed mining activities and regulations in force that will enable us to control and protect the wealth that belongs to the people of the Cook Islands as well as our marine environment before any exploratory or other mining activities begin.  It must be the Government and people of the Cook Islands that have control over seabed mining, not outside interests.”