SPC Geoscience Division

Home News & Media Releases Latest Australia and SPC support Pacific Climate and Oceans Awareness

Australia and SPC support Pacific Climate and Oceans Awareness

E-mail Print PDF

Friday 23 May 2014, Nadi, Fiji - Many Pacific Islands have excellent weather records that can be used to understand and predict events that affect our communities such as droughts, El Niño, La Niña, and sea level changes. Making this information more available and user-friendly is the critical next step that countries face.

Representatives from 11 Pacific Island meteorology services and land survey departments met in Nadi from 19 to 21 May to discuss this issue. The countries represented are all participants in the Australian-funded Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac).

According to Programme Manager Janita Pahalad of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, ‘COSPPac aims to support Pacific Islands’ ability to understand and apply scientific research on climate variability to national development plans.’

COSPPac’s implementing partners, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Geoscience Australia and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community through its Geoscience Division (GSD), have been providing products, training, and services to assist government agencies to apply climate and ocean research to national planning and decision-making.

Attention to climate is particularly relevant this year, as regional meteorology services have forecast  that El Niño conditions are likely to develop in the next few months. The changes in sea level, ocean and air temperature, and the frequency and intensity of storms associated with El Niño can have a big impact on Pacific agriculture, health, fisheries, and tourism, among other sectors.

During this week’s meeting, participants reflected on their progress to date and laid down plans for the next two years.

‘I’ve really appreciated the flexibility of the COSPPac project,’ said Tonga’s Director of Meteorology, ‘Ofa Fa’anunu. ‘How we do things in Tonga or Niue or Samoa is totally different. One of the biggest successes of COSPPac is the way the capacity building has been done. The project team has been able to come to us and sit with us to understand our priorities.’

COSPPac will continue to support Pacific national met services and other sectors with climate and oceans services and capacity development through 2016.

Caption: Participants in the COSPPac Planning and Steering Committee Meeting, May 2014.ENDS

For more information, contact Molly Powers-Tora (email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 13:23  


Rarotonga, Cook Islands Tuesday 29th August 2012: Cook Islands Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Tom Marsters today attended the release of the new Regional Legislative and Regulatory Framework for Deep Sea Minerals Exploration and Exploitation at the Pacific Island Leaders Forum currently underway here in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

Marsters reflected that this Framework was called for by Pacific Leaders at their Forum in Cairns in 2009 as one of the key priorities of the Leaders Pacific Plan, during the period 2009 and 2012. In Cairns, Leaders called for the development of regional and national frameworks to enable the development of the economic potential of marine mineral resources; and strengthening regional and national capacity in the mining, environment, labour and financial sectors to comply with relevant standards for the deep-sea mining industry within the region, while supporting environmental monitoring that seeks to preserve fragile marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

This regional framework is the first in the Seabed Minerals sector and is the response to the Forum leaders call and is available now to guide Pacific island countries to prepare relevant national legislative and regulatory frameworks in the seabed minerals area.   

Marsters said "the completion of this important framework and its release by SPC here at the 2012 Leaders Forum provides a key message from us gathered here for this Forum with the theme Large Ocean Island States: The Pacific Challenge".