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SOPAC and the UNISDR Secretariat launch the biennial progress review

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SOPAC and the UNISDR Secretariat launch the biennial progress review of the Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Framework for Action 2005 – 2015 as well as the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005 – 2015.

A workshop to launch the mid term reviews of the Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Framework for Action 2005 – 2015 (Regional Framework) as well as the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005 – 2015 (HFA) was conducted at the Tanoa Plaza in Suva on Tuesday 13th April 2010.

The workshop followed discussions that had taken place during the 2009 meeting of the Pacific Platform for Diaster Risk Management which was held in Nadi in May 2009. The Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) made a commitment to carry out a review of the Regional Framework for Action at mid-point in 2010 which will ultimately inform the mid-term review of the HFA. The SOPAC Governing Council endorsed the review at its meeting held in Port Vila Vanuatu in October 2009.

The workshop was opened by the SOPAC Director, Dr. Russell Howorth. In his opening Dr. Howorth acknowledged the presence of a representative of the Fiji National Disaster management office and representatives of partner’s organisations for their support. He mentioned that SOPAC is required to lead the review process and that it welcomes the partnership with the UNISDR and also UNISDR’s financial assistance to facilitate the workshop.

Dr. Howorth noted that the implementation of the RFA has reached mid point. A number of very useful outcomes have been achieved in this first 5 years and SOPAC has been able to support implementation in a number of ways such as through the development and implementation of DRM National Action Plans. He further mentioned that “SOPAC also has been able to adequately keep track of progress as is evidenced by reports that have been submitted regularly to the Pacific Platform for DRM and the Global Platform for DRR which met in June 2009 in Geneva. In addition, the Pacific region contributed to the Global Assessment Report for DRR and will do so again as an outcome of this process”.

During the one-day launch workshop a Fiji NDMO representative and regional partners were introduced to the RFA/HFA progress review and reporting process for the biennium 2009-2011 in the Pacific region. The workshop covered:

  • Presentations on the online monitor developed for the Regional Framework for Action (RFA) which has been cross-referenced with the 'HFA Monitor';

  • Introduction to the set of indicators to measure progress; and

  • Provide an overview of the mid-term review of the Pacific Regional Framework for Action and HFA which will be conducted in 2010

SOPAC and UNSDR also discussed possible opportunities for collaboration and assistance in the review process with partner organisations. In addition, the organisers encouraged the Pacific country counterparts to also provide support and to assist their efforts in gathering the necessary information, lessons learned.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 14:14  


In the years leading up to 2010, the Pacific Island leaders decided to integrate the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (formerly known as CCOP/SOPAC) into the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. To implement this historical alignment of the two organisations, the leaders called to arms an internationally renowned geoscientist, who immediately left his well deserved retirement on Viti Levu's Coral Coast and reported to duty at Mead Road, Suva.

The then-incumbent, Dr. Russell Howorth, had been an integral part of SOPAC from its early years in the 70's, and still continues to be one of the main stalwarts of the organisation. Over the years, he has been instrumental in bringing about the prestige and recognition that SOPAC has in the region today.

A native of Yorkshire, Great Britain, Dr. Howorth did his PhD. in Geology from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, after a brief stint as a mining geologist in Zambia. He first visited the fledgling CCOP/SOPAC while on secondment at the University of South Pacific (USP) in early 1979. CCOP/SOPAC was then a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional project with less than 10 staff members.

During his early years in the South Pacific, he was best known for his achievement in establishing the Certificate in Earth Science and Marine Geology. The Certificate brought three organizations -- CCOP/SOPAC, USP, and Victoria University of Wellington -- together in the early eighties to offer what was a unique opportunity for an academic course with a practical focus for geologists and technicians in the region.