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Water and Sanitation Programme

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A long-term programme of capacity building, advocacy and awareness in sustainable water management for Pacific Island Countries.

SOPAC, the regional agency mandated to coordinate water and sanitation in the Pacific, provides support to its member countries through three components: Water Resources Management; Water and Sanitation Services; and Water Governance.

Pacific Island countries have uniquely fragile water resources due to their small size, lack of natural storage, competing land use and vulnerability to natural hazards.


Pollution of freshwater resources, unsafe drinking water supplies and inadequate sanitation can have a significant impact on public health, quality of life, the environment and economic development.


Urbanization, rural development, growing populations, climate change and increased demand from industry and agriculture is putting further pressure on the region’s freshwater resources, threatening the long term viability of communities and islands.


Natural disasters exacerbate water issues. Excessive rainfall, often linked to cyclones and typhoons, causes flooding and disruption of drinking water supplies. Small islands that rely on groundwater and/or rainwater harvesting are highly vulnerable to droughts, often linked to El Niño or La Niña triggered climatic disruptions. Both situations – too much or too little water – compromise the safety of drinking water supplies and increase the risk to public health.

www.pacificwater.org

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 June 2010 12:44  


Newsflash

13th September 2012 - A deep-sea minerals training workshop to address issues associated with deep-sea minerals and mining, was recently held in Nadi as part of a series of capacity building activities aimed to develop and enhance regional knowledge on geological, technological, biological and environmental aspects of deep-sea minerals.

The workshop was organised by the EU-funded, SPC Deep Sea Minerals (DSM) Project. Participants included Government officials, primarily from Ministries of 13 island countries associated with minerals, natural resources, environment and fisheries, as well as representatives from regional civil society groups. These included the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO),  Ipukarea Society (TIS) and the Civil Society Forum of Tonga (CSFT).

Scientists from the United States, Korea, Australia, Belgium, New Zealand, SPREP and SPC were also in attendance.

Dr Russell Howorth, the Director of the SOPAC Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) said that the workshop played an important role in providing participants with a better understanding of deep-sea environments, the nature of those seabed mineral deposits and the biological communities associated with them.

‘The protection of the ocean environment and the preservation of rare and fragile ecosystems and ocean habitats must be balanced against the emerging new economic opportunity presented for Pacific Island countries by exploring for deep sea minerals and their possible future exploitation,’ said Dr Howorth. ‘The precautionary approach must prevail particularly in the exploration and potential exploitation of seabed mineral deposits.’