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CROP Agencies and International Stakeholders Highlight the Significance of Spatial Data for the Pacific

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Tuesday, 24 June 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva - A broad range of geospatial data experts, managers and stakeholders from the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP), as well as partner agencies convened for the 2nd CROP Spatial Data Infrastructure meeting. The session was held at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Suva on June 17th to 18th 2014.

The meeting was opened by Prof Michael Petterson, Director of SPC’s Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (AGTD), where he highlighted the various challenges facing effective geospatial data management in the Pacific. Such challenges cited were under-skilled staff, limited understanding by responsible personnel of available datasets, and obsolete formats of residing data. He encouraged the meeting to bring about some positive outcomes to address these and the many other challenges.

Participants reviewed current spatial data systems within CROP agencies to find ways to harmonize current efforts and to identify opportunities for future collaboration. SPC’s PacGeo, Open Access Data Repository for the Pacific, was showcased, along with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) ongoing efforts to develop ESIS.sprep.org, an Open Access Repository for Pacific Environmental data.

The meeting also addressed ways to promote and strengthen avenues for standardised, cost-effective data sharing across agencies and Pacific Island countries, in order to reduce duplication of data collection and management efforts.

In-depth discussions around achieving the Pacific Oceanscape Framework Strategic Priorities was also held, in particular building the political will to invest in spatial data infrastructures in order to achieve some of the priorities.

One key result of the meeting was the decision to standardise global data standards across sister agencies, and enable secure data access within agencies, inter-agencies and externally.

Around 20 participants attended the two day meeting from SPC’s AGTD, SPC’s Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division, University of Sydney, GRID Arendal, Geoscience Australia, GIZ, SPREP, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and CSIRO. This consultation is part of a broader technical collaboration between the agencies involved across a broad range of disciplines.

For further information contact: Sachindra Singh, ICT for Development Section, Applied Geoscience and Technology Division, Secretariat of the Pacific Community – This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 December 2015 09:54  


Science Technology and Resources (STAR) Network 2012 Annual Meeting
5 November 2012
Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea

Chair of STAR, Professor John Collen,
Director General of the SPC, Dr Jimmie Rodgers
Director of IRD, Dr Gilles Fediere
Members of the STAR scientific and technical network

I have great pleasure in being here today to be a part of the 29th Annual Science Technology and Resources Network Meeting, and to become freshly-acquainted with such a prestigious body that has a deep history of engagement and service to the Region.  

I’m honoured to address you today – and in conjunction with the Second Meeting of the SPC Applied Geoscience and Technology Division, tomorrow.      

The Cook Islands itself has had the opportunity to host two STAR annual meetings – first in 1986 and again in 1995.  To the STAR veterans out there – and I’m told there’s four of you – who had the earlier experience of meeting in Rarotonga, I say ‘Kia Orana’ to you.  

And to those, who have not yet had the pleasure, I’ll see what I can do to help arrange one of your forthcoming gatherings in the Cook Islands.

I think by now you may have heard that we ‘showered’ the Pacific Leaders with an unforgettable experience during the Pacific Islands Forum – and Dr. Rodgers I’m sure – will attest to what was a major highlight of the year for us as hosts.  

It would be pleasing for me to see you all in Rarotonga next time, should we have the opportunity to host your annual meeting.

Manihiki Farmer

In just two short years, I’ve had a challenging time as Leader, and the thought often hits me that: I’m a long way from my former life as a farmer back in Manihiki – our Northern Group atoll renowned for its black pearls.