SPC Geoscience Division

The Pacific explores the links between water and energy on World Water Day

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Did you know that 8% of global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers?  Did you also know that most of the electricity generated in the Pacific Islands Countries and Territories is from water?

The links between these two scarce and important resources – water and energy – is the theme of this year’s World Water Day, celebrated globally on 22nd March.

Each year, World Water Day is acknowledged throughout the Pacific with the support of awareness materials prepared and distributed by the GSD Division of SPC.  This year’s theme draws attention to the vital role of water and energy sources to the sustainable development of Pacific Island Countries and Territories.

While energy is needed to pump, treat and distribute water to Pacific households, water is also an important energy source in several Pacific Island Countries, where the energy of rivers and streams is harnessed by hydro-electric facilities at the municipal, village and even household scale.

Solomone Fifita, head of the SPC Economic Development Division’s Energy Programme, noted the close linkages that exist between the conservation of water and energy resources.  “The choices we make every day on our water and energy use are closely related, and decisions on the supply, distribution, price and use of water and energy impact one another,” he said.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 13:27 Read more...
 

Post-Cyclone Rapid Assessment Assists Tongan Emergency Authorities

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12 March 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji – A rapid post-disaster assessment recently conducted by specialists from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) will help Tongan emergency managers better understand the impacts of Cyclone Ian and prepare for future storms.

In early January, Cyclone Ian devastated parts of Tonga, particularly in the Ha’apai island group. The category-five storm killed one person, injured 14 others, displaced more than 4,000 people, and destroyed food crops and infrastructure.

In the wake of this storm, Tongan authorities requested assistance from SPC’s Geoscience Division (GSD) to assess damages on island of Lifuka in the Ha’apai Group.

‘They wanted us to provide technical data on the extent of inundation and erosion in coastal zones as well as water supplies and groundwater contamination in Lifuka,’ SPC Senior Technical Assistant and Oceanographer Zulfikar Begg explains. ‘They also asked us to train their geology staff so that they could do the same rapid assessments in the outer islands.’

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 13:28 Read more...
 

Feedback: Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development in the Pacific (SRDP)

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The Pacific Region is in the process of preparing a Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development in the Pacific (SRDP). The SRDP is at the forefront of the region's efforts to take a lead role globally in addressing climate change and disaster risk management in a more integrated manner.

WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!  A global consultation process is now underway and will close on the 3rd of March 2014. Please join this consultation to provide your comments and insights – we welcome feedback from everyone and you can provide as much or as little detail as you wish.

Visit www.pacificdisaster.net/srdp now to read a draft of the SRDP and provide your insights.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 10:48
 

Prospect Issue 3 January 2014 - Deep Sea Minerals Project Newsletter

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The third issue of The Prospect is pleased to bring you news and developments from the SPC-EU Pacific Deep Sea Minerals Project and its participating member countries.

In This Issue:

  • Nadi Workshop Focuses on Environmental Management of Deep Sea Minerals
  • Launch of the SPC-UNEP/GRID-Arendal Pacific Marine Minerals Assessment Report
  • Q&A with Cindy Van Dover – Deep Sea Biologist
  • Deep Sea Minerals feature in Pacific Plan Review Report
  • GSD Annual Meeting calls for Forum Leaders to Address Deep Sea Minerals as High Regional Priority Cook Islands Enters New International Seabed Minerals Arrangement in Cooperation with GSR of Belgium
  • Winner of the Cook Islands Youth Debate Meets EU Ambassador
  • New documentary focuses on environmental impacts of deep sea mining
  • Staff Profile of the project's new Environment Advisor, Alison Swaddli

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Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 13:30
 

GSD Newsletter July - December 2013

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Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 13:30
 

First Annoucement: 2014 Pacific Platform For Disaster Risk Management & 20th Regional Disaster Managers Meeting

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The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) are pleased to announce the 2014 meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management which will be held from 2nd – 4th June 2014 at the Novotel Hotel in Suva, Fiji. The Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management is the annual opportunity for Pacific island countries and territories, development partners and donors, civil society, private sector as well as other stakeholders to share experiences and knowledge in building the resilience of their communities to disasters. In addition, the SPC will also convene the 20th Regional Disaster Managers Meeting also at the Novotel Hotel from 5th – 6th June 2014.

In 2011, the Pacific islands region agreed to develop a Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development in the Pacific (SRDP) by 2015 to succeed the Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Framework for Action 2005 – 2015 and Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change 2006 – 2015. The new strategy will provide a new approach on how to efficiently address DRM and Climate Change within the context of risk resilient development. The process of developing this new strategy has become known as the ‘Roadmap’.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 March 2014 13:17 Read more...
 

Improving Drinking Water on Kiritimati Island

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The Water and Sanitation Programme has commenced implementation of the “Improving Drinking Water Supply for Kiritimati Island” project. The objective of the project is to improve livelihoods and secure safe and sustainable drinking water with the focus on infrastructural upgrade of the reticulated supply to the two main communities of London and Tennessee. The project is funded by the European Union with a budget of €4.8 million to be implemented over a four year period.

The Contribution Agreement between the EU and SPC was signed in January 2014 with the Project Coordinator, George Beck, now based in Kiritimati Island. The project will be working closely with the Ministry of Line and Phoenix Islands Development (MLPD), Government of Kiribati, including other key stakeholders to improve the supply of drinking water to the two main communities on Kiritimati Island.

The first task will involve rehabilitating the existing reticulated infrastructure to improve the flow of water and collect data so as to better understand the status of the groundwater lenses. The project will also focus on building capacity at MLPD and undertake awareness in promoting good management and conservation practices.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 09:52 Read more...
 

Out Of Darkness - A Deep Sea Minerals Project Documentary

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"Out of Darkness" documentary focuses on environmental impacts of deep sea mining.

Following the success of its first documentary "Under Pressure", the SPC-EU Deep Sea Minerals project has now produced a second 25-minute film that focuses on the potential environmental issues related to the extraction of deep sea mineral resources.

This new film, titled “Out of Darkness”, includes some spectacular underwater footage and interviews with leading scientists such as Dr Malcolm Clarke from NIWA, Dr Jim Hein from the US Geological Survey and Dr Ray Binns from CSIRO.

The film can be viewed on the Deep Sea Minerals Project website and free copies of the DVD can be obtained by emailing: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Last Updated on Sunday, 16 February 2014 12:36
 

Mapping Pacific Maritime Boundaries

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This year Kiribati, one of the least developed countries in the world, finalised maritime boundaries with the United States of America.

The successful outcome, in September, was the result of the work that the Pacific Island country, along with 12 others, undertook at the Maritime Boundaries and Ocean Governance working sessions at the University of Sydney.

The latest session is currently underway at the University and ends on 6 December.

"Technical and legal personnel from thesePacific Islandcountries have been coming to the University of Sydney for the last six years to secure rights to their marine spaces," said Professor Elaine Baker from the University's School of Geosciences, which hosts the meetings.

"Global interest in marine resources, including fisheries and seabed minerals, and the threat of climate change and sea level rise, has spurred Pacific Island countries to settle their maritime boundaries."

The Cook Islands, for example, has valuable deposits of seabed minerals, many of which are essential to new technologies such as renewable energy and communications equipment. In order for the Cook Islands to capitalise on these resources, they require sound governance frameworks and jurisdictional boundaries.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 December 2013 12:42 Read more...
 


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Newsflash

Tuesday 14 October 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji: Last week in Port Vila, the Republic of Vanuatu commenced on a national consultation on a draft Deep Sea Minerals Policy. This is the first in a series of consultations to be held in every province.

Past studies in Vanuatu’s waters revealed the presence of seafloor massive sulphide deposits within its exclusive economic zone, which could contain significant quantities of copper, gold, zinc, silver and other commercially viable minerals. The presence of such minerals could present a potential economic opportunity for Vanuatu if deep sea mining activity is properly conducted and balanced with appropriate environmental, legal and financial management.

The draft Policy sets out Vanuatu’s vision and strategic goals in relation to its deep sea minerals, and will form the basis for future drafting of laws in line with the policy. The draft Policy has been prepared by the Ministry of Lands with advice from the Deep Sea Minerals (DSM) Project: a partnership between the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union (EU).

The DSM Project works to assist 15 Pacific Island countries to improve governance and management of their deep-sea mineral resources, including through the development of national policies and laws.