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SPC trainers in Solomon Islands to boost emergency response coordination

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Gideon Solo of Solomon Islands Red Cross draws the ideal emergency responder

Honiara, Solomon Islands – In Honiara last week, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) led training to develop 21 new Emergency Response Team trainers for the Solomon Islands.

The participants engaged in eight days of training on the various activities Emergency Response Teams are expected to perform and also learnt how to provide this training to other personnel in their respective Provinces or organisations.

The training reflects collaboration at the local, regional and national levels with SPC and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), working together to prepare the training materials, which were reviewed by the Solomon Islands Red Cross Society (SIRCS) and National Disaster Management Office (NDMO)  before being delivered to participants representing Red Cross and Solomon Islands Government at the provincial level, as well as NGOs such as Oxfam, Save the Children and World Vision.

Following the training, participants will receive support from Red Cross and the NDMO to provide multi-agency Emergency Response Team training in their home provinces.

In opening the training, the Secretary-General of Solomon Islands Red Cross, Joanne Zoleveke, and the Director of the NDMO, Loti Yates, challenged participants to take the opportunity afforded by this training to strengthen relationships between partners and to prepare to co-deliver Emergency Response Team (ERT) training at a provincial level.

Mr Yates emphasised that with the majority of the Solomon Islands’ population in the Provinces, local response to disasters is of critical importance.

He said it was essential that all agencies worked together, according to the same standards and procedures in line with the Solomon Islands National Disaster Risk Management Arrangements to allow information to be shared and effective response measures put in place to support people affected by disasters.

The training was facilitated by Dr Kirstie Méheux (SPC), Douglas Clark (New Zealand Red Cross), Cameron Vidu (Solomon Islands Red Cross) and George Baragamu (National Disaster Management Office).

The training was organised by French Red Cross and Solomon Islands Red Cross as part of the Together Becoming Resilient! Project made possible with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is implemented in partnership with the National Disaster Management Office, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and SPC.

Media contact: Dr Kirstie Méheux, Secretariat of the Pacific Community This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +677 875 4237 (to 27/06/15)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 June 2015 13:25  


The Kingdom of Tonga this month became the first country in the world to put in place a law that manages seabed mineral activities within its national marine space and under its sponsorship in international waters.

Tonga’s Seabed Minerals Act 2014 was prepared with the assistance of the Deep Sea Minerals Project a partnership between the European Union (EU) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and 15 Pacific Island countries. The Act received Royal Assent from the King of Tonga on 20 August 2014. This pioneering law, championed by Tonga’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources and his staff, and led by the Kingdom’s Attorney-General’s Office, with SPC support, positions Tonga at the forefront of good governance for this emerging new industry.

Tonga, like Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Solomon Islands, has already received significant commercial interest in the seabed mineral potential within its national seas. Companies are currently conducting exploratory activities to learn more about Tonga’s ‘seafloor massive sulphide’ deposits. These chimney like structures, formed by hydrothermal activity at the seafloor thousands of metres below sea-level, are being feted as a new source for metals in global demand (such as copper, zinc, gold and silver) – and, if mined, would bring a new source of revenue for Tonga.

The industry is however an untested one: deep sea mining has not yet occurred anywhere in the world; its viability and environmental impact are yet to be determined.