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Newsflash

Distinguished Guests, and Colleagues,

It is with much pleasure as Director of the SOPAC Division of the SPC that I present to you this morning the Keynote Address for this Conference, the largest of its kind in the region and which was set up to showcase new tools and concepts for improved data collection, capabilities and analysis in GIS and Remote Sensing. At the same time I would like to acknowledge Dr Jimmie Rodgers the Director General of the SPC who is unable to be here today and he gives his apologies.

Firstly, however it would be remiss of me if I did not take this opportunity to welcome all of you here this morning to the Opening of this Conference, and in particular I extend a welcome to all representatives of island governments and administrations, donor partner representatives, representatives of CROP organisations, educationalists, scientists and technologists from other stakeholder groups including NGOs. In particular I would like to highlight the many representatives from the private sector, including satellite data providers, image resellers, software and hardware companies. We have gathered here in the room a genuine mix of providers, developers and users.

Secondly, I would like to acknowledge that I have been privileged to address this conference over recent years and in that context I would like to acknowledge that having something different to say has never been difficult. GIS and Remote Sensing is one of the fastest developing technologies no matter whether you are a provider, and developer or a user.

On the global agenda the outcome of Rio+20 this year "The Future We Want" contains a particular paragraph of relevance:
274. We recognize the importance of space-technology-based data, in situ monitoring, and reliable geospatial information for sustainable development policy-making, programming and project operations.

And here in the region and for the benefit of Pacific island countries and territories we are all striving to stay at the "cutting edge of the technology."  In this regard the theme of this Conference focusing on mapping Pacific resources is very timely.