SPC Geoscience Division

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SPC GEOSCIENCE PROGRAMMES

The Geoscience Division’s work focuses on providing assistance to Members in three technical programme areas: Geoscience for Development (formerly Ocean and Islands), Water and Sanitation and Disaster Reduction.

  • Geoscience for Development provides applied ocean, island and coastal geoscience services to support countries to govern and develop their natural resources, increase their resilience to hazards and facilitates data-based approaches to adaption. These vital technical services will be strategically deployed in response to specific Member requests to assist in the development, management and monitoring of natural resources and unique island environmental systems and processes.
  • Water and Sanitation Programme provides technical support to Members through capacity building, awareness and advocacy related to the management of water resources and the provision of water supply and sanitation services.
  • Disaster Reduction Programme provides Members with technical and policy advice and support to strengthen disaster risk management practices. The programme carries out this responsibility in coordination and collaboration with other technical programme areas within the Division and also with a range of regional and international development partners and donors.

Technical Support Services that cross cut the work of the three technical work programmes of the Geoscience Division are: natural resource economics; GIS and remote sensing; technical equipment and services; data management; and publications and library.

Corporate Services Support to the technical work programmes and technical support services of the Division are through ensuring effective policies and practices are in place for the orderly and efficient delivery of work. Corporate Services Support consists of finance, administration and IT support facilities, all of which would progressively integrate within the SPC beginning 1 January 2011.


 

Newsflash

Source: Matangi Tonga Online. Republished With Editor's Permission.

The Pacific Islands need to protect their deep sea minerals, Tonga's Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Samiu Vaipulu told a Pacific-ACP States Regional Workshop on Deep Sea Minerals Law and Contract Negotiations that opened at the Fa'onelua Convention Centre, in Nuku'alofa today on March 11.

Representatives of 15 Pacific States are attending the week-long workshop.

Mike Petterson the Director of SOPAC, the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), said today that the workshop will focus on the legislative and regulatory aspects of deep sea minerals.

He said the workshop is aimed at sharing information on a number of developments that SOPAC is working on, including developing legislation for the extraction of deep sea minerals. "What we want achieve is largely capacity building, as like any other economic activity, Pacific states are a little bit compromised by multinational and well-resourced companies coming in," he said.

"We need to know how to negotiate and drive a hard deal. We have to prepare ourselves as best we can by developing our negotiating skills, along with a network of people that we trust and know, and to work with industries and countries that we feel that will be responsible and want a long-term working relationship, and for our communities to benefit while the environment is protected as best we can."

Mike said some Pacific Island countries already had legislation for deep sea minerals. But it was a new thing for the Pacific Islanders to consider who has the rights to the minerals, who gains from it and how can we put in place a transparent system, while looking at the environmental issues, he said.

He said for decades the main issue had been the lack of knowledge as to where minerals are, what type of minerals are out there, as there are many deposits to discover in the ocean.

"But we are now at a point where there are few areas in the Pacific that have been identified to be attractive and that's a breakthrough. Now it is becoming an economic reality and to make sure that countries maximize the benefits, which is never easy and requires hard work so we want representatives to walk away armed with more knowledge and be aware of the range of issues we have to cope with," he said.