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Regional discussion on Pacific Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing to begin next week

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The annual Pacific Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing (GIS/RS) User Conference will be held from Tuesday 25 - 27 November, 2014 in Suva.

The Conference will be held at the Japan Pacific ICT Centre located at the University of the South Pacific (USP), Laucala Campus and will be opened by the Permanent Secretary of Lands, Mr Tevita Boseiwaqa and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Applied Geoscience and Technology Division Director, Professor Michael Petterson.

The theme of the 2014 Conference is “Empowering Pacific Communities through Improved Geospatial Data” where more than 200 participants are expected to converge.

The three-day conference will include plenary presentations and technical sessions to address themes that include but are not limited to using GIS in forestry and landcover, coastal and marine, spatial open source data, disasters, geodetic infrastructure, utilities, and education with case studies from Pacific Island countries. The conference will also showcase the latest technology and applications on GIS presentations.

Dr Wolf Forstreuter, Head of SPC’s GIS/RS Unit commented that this is the only conference in the GIS & RS user community where Pacific Islanders have an opportunity to showcase their GIS & RS applications and meet representatives of spatial data resellers, software, hardware vendors, and scientific specialists. He added, ‘There are some regional conferences in Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia; however, the level of participation by representatives from the Pacific region is often limited at those meetings, as compared to the Suva conference.’

USP Vice President Administration, Dr Dilawar Grewal says that the University of the South Pacific is committed to achieving excellence and innovation for the sustainable development of Pacific Island countries.

USP’s Japan Pacific ICT Centre Manager, Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro says that there is a strong link between ICT and sustainable development and that ICT lies at the heart of geospatial technologies and information systems that enable countries to better manage their environment and mitigate disaster occurrences. USP is also introducing a new program under the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment called the Bachelor of Geospatial Science, which will be offered in 2015.

The Pacific GIS/RS conference has been running since its inception in 1999. It is jointly organised by the SPC’s Applied Geoscience and Technology Division, USP, Fiji Lands Department and other GIS stakeholders and practitioners in the region.

Geographic Information Systems refers to the electronic systems, including the tools and technology designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage and present all types of data related to geographic positions on, above or below the Earth’s surface.

For more information visit: http://picgisrs.appspot.com/ or contact Wolf Forstreuter on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Caption: Image showing point clouds from the first SPC Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) over the Bonriki water reserve, Tarawa, Kiribati

Last Updated on Friday, 21 November 2014 11:56  

Newsflash

Wednesday 22 October 2014 – Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) – Suva, Fiji: Last Friday was an important occasion for the governments of Fiji and Tuvalu as a maritime boundary agreement was signed by the Prime Minister of Fiji, Honourable Voreqe Bainimarama, and the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Honourable Enele Sopoaga. This signing event concluded many years of negotiations between senior government officials of both countries.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), through its Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (AGTD), assists member countries in the technical preparations of negotiations between neighbouring countries to legalise the extent of national areas of jurisdiction under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Regional Maritime Boundaries Unit within AGTD coordinates this support to member countries, working closely with its partners, which include the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, Geoscience Australia, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the United Nations Environment Programme GRID-Arendal Centre, the Australian Attorney General’s Office and the University of Sydney.

The Pacific Islands region has approximately 48 shared maritime boundaries, where neighbouring exclusive economic zones overlap. Counting the treaty signed between Fiji and Tuvalu last week, 33 of these boundaries are subject to a formal treaty.

During the signing ceremony, PM Bainimarama stated, 'As Pacific small island developing states, we have proven to the international community that we are no strangers to concluding highly technical and complex negotiations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.'