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Advancing the Pacific development agenda with smarter maps

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Suva, Fiji – Over 300 participants from about 30 countries will converge in Suva, Fiji next week to discuss advancements in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (GIS/RS) applications and their relevance to the management of resources in small Pacific Island countries and territories.


Bridging Information Gaps by Creating Smarter Maps’ is the theme of the conference jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Fiji Department of Lands and the University of the South Pacific (USP), at the Japan ICT Auditorium, Suva from 16th to 20th November.


The largest of its kind in terms of Pacific Island state participation, the weeklong conference brings together users of the two applications from Pacific Island governments, consulting companies and the private sector to discuss the latest software, hardware, data and methods available and how they can be optimised to suit customer needs.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a computer-based tool used to collect, combine and overlay information from up-to-date satellite images and data for the construction of easily understood maps, whereas Remote Sensing (RS) is the collection of information from sensors on aircraft, satellites, ships and other vessels. 

Both GIS/RS are increasingly being recognized as a powerful tool to inform policies and decision making by providing a visual framework for conceptualizing, understanding, and prescribing action. Timely and relevant imagery and data allows for rapid and accurate assessments of resources, land use, and environmental issues such as applications in disaster reduction and climate change adaptation.

The combination of the two applications can be used to make critical decisions about particular areas of interest, such as forestry, land use planning, fisheries, disaster management as well as infrastructure and urban planning.

The Pacific GIS/RS Conference has been held annually since 1999. Financial contributions from satellite data and GIS/RS software vendors, regional partner agencies, and various departments of the Fiji Government, have allowed the participation of Pacific Island nationals and partners at the conference.



Media are invited to all sessions of the conference which starts on Monday 16 October at 08.30 a.m.


Information about the conference is available online: http://gsd.spc.int/gisconference twitter: https://twitter.com/PacificGISnRS

Media contact:

Wolf Forstreuter, SPC GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or +679 332 2193

Dr John Lowry, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment, USP,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .f or +679 323 2549

Zhiyad Khan, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 April 2016 16:39  


We finally turned the corner with our major consultative event for 2013: the Joint Meetingof the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management & Pacific Climate Change Roundtable which was held in Nadi, Fiji from 8th - 11th July, preceded by a series of 5 separate technicalmeetings from 1st - 5th July also in Nadi.

It took us about 8 months to make preparations and I think this paid off - big time!!. A number of participants from around the region and from other parts of the world were pleased to be able to participate and to achieve really good outcomes such as the re- commitment by the region to integration and the articulation of some key areas of challenge and interest which will be used to help shape a strategy for disaster and climate resilient development for the region by 2015.

This is the second issue of Snapshots for 2013 and we have for you a number of interesting stories. We cover some of the results of the meetings in July and also the work that is on going on DRM within our Pacific island countries and territories.

We showcase some of the exciting work being done at the regional level and also work done by our partners whom we are proud to work with.

Last but not least we are now also inviting our partners to contribute to future editions of Snapshots and look forward to receiving updates on their efforts in DRM implementation in the Pacific island countries and territories.

I hope you enjoy this issue.

Mosese Sikivou
Deputy Director
Disaster Reduction Programme