Conference to Explore GIS Mapping
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 16:15
More than 150 delegates from around the world will meet in Suva next week (27) to participate in a GIS conference that will explore developments in this new science “that is already influencing the way we live our lives,” according to Wolf Forestrueter, SPC/SOPAC, Division Senior Officer GIS/RS Adviser
Held at the Holiday Inn, the 2012 Pacific Island Countries Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing User (RS) Conference has chosen at its theme, “Mapping Pacific Resources” as an endorsement of the work undertaken in the region that profiles an array of applications including the management of resources of the small island Pacific nations.
GIS is a computer-based tool used to collect, combine and overlay information in the form of easily understood maps constructed from up-to-date satellite images and field data. Remote sensing is the collection of information about earth at a distance from aircraft or satellite.
“The GIS technology is already being used to map landslides, detect vegetation change, map town boundaries, map impacts of sea level rise. It has proven useful in the helping utilities and transportation better define their resources.
“The public might be more familiar with results closer to home where many smart phone applications and social media tools combine data with maps to deliver unique new services to consumers, Goggle Earth is an example,” said Mr. Forestrueter.
The four-day conference will feature GIS and remote sensing scientists and technicians to explore new developments and how they may apply to improving the lives of the people in region.
SOPAC Recognises World GIS Day
Last Updated on Sunday, 18 November 2012 15:43
The World GIS Day, celebrated on 14th November every year, offers everyone a chance to learn more about the fascinating field of Geographic Information Systems and how GIS is part of our everyday lives today.
"Many young people are using GIS technology every day without even realising it. Many smart phone applications and social media tools combine data with maps to deliver unique services to consumers and Google Earth is known by most of us" advised Dr Wulf Killmann Team Leader of the SPC/GIZ project “Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region” and Dr Russell Howorth, Director of the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in a joint statement released to recognise World GIS Day.
GIS (Geographic Information Systems) are a set of computer-based tools used to collect, combine and overlay information in the form of easily understood maps constructed from up-to-date satellite images and field data, while remote sensing is the collection of information about the earth from a distance.
In the Pacific, GIS is now being used as a tool to map landslides, detect vegetation change, map town boundaries, map impacts of sea level rise and many more. GIS is quite useful in the area of utility, transportation, and might become a tool to model climate change.
Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) of Secretariat of the Pacific Community is the leading agency for GIS in the Pacific and hold images and GIS Data for its member countries and territories. SOPAC's primary goal is to apply geoscientific data and technology to realise new opportunities for improving the livelihoods of Pacific communities. SOPAC's work in GIS and remote sensing is supported by many partners including the German Government through the SPC/GIZ, Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island region.
While GIS practitioners around the world celebrates this day by holding workshops, seminars. The SOPAC division of SPC, supported by many partners, is working tirelessly to organise a conference held each year for all Pacific island countries and territories.
Snapshots 80: Disaster Reduction Programme: September - October 2012
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 14:28
Greetings to all our readers!
We creep ever so closely towards the end of the year and recently completed the annual milestone DRM gathering for the Pacific – the 2012 Pacific Platform for DRM in September. This year the annual Platform was combined with the Regional Water and Sanitation Consultations as a means to bring about a closer working relationship between the ‘Disaster’ and ‘Water and Sanitation’ communities in addressing the challenges of disaster and climate-related risk.
There is a special section in this edition on the 2012 Pacific Platform for DRM We may have turned the corner on the 2012 Pacific Platform but discussions have already started on the 2013 joint meeting of the Pacific Platform for DRM and the Pacific Climate Change Round Table. This will be a significant milestone event as we continue the work on the formulation of the integrated regional strategy for DRM and Climate Change which we plan to complete by 2015.
There is an interesting variety of stories in this edition covering some of our areas of work and I hope you’ll enjoy them.
Download Full Issue (1.7 mb)
Disaster Redcution Programme
The Birth of a New STAR: Address by the Prime Minister, Hon. Henry Puna
Last Updated on Saturday, 10 November 2012 09:21
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.
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.
SOPAC 2 Meeting Outcome Statement Considered by CRGA 42
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 09:24
The second meeting of the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) was held at the Jacques Iekawe conference hall at the SPC eadquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia, from 6 to 9 November 2012; and chaired by the representative of the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia. The meeting was preceded by the 9th Meeting of the Science, Technology and Resources Network (STAR).
The Chair's Outcome Statement from the SOPAC-2 meeting was considered by Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA), a committee of SPC's governing body, which meets annually to discuss SPC’s work programme and governance issues. The 42nd meeting of CRGA was held at SPC headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia on 12-16 November 2012.
Download the SOPAC-2 Chairs Outcome Statement that was considered by CRGA 42.
SPC assists countries with maritime boundary treaties and deep sea mining
Last Updated on Friday, 16 November 2012 09:37
The High Commissioner for Kiribati in Fiji, Ms Retata Nikuata-Rimon, yesterday thanked the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) for assisting her atoll nation with its maritime boundaries, hydrographic nautical charts and deep-sea mining.
On the latter, she said it was an area ‘in which there is growing interest as it offers potential for social and economic development, although we must be cautious about the environmental impact’.
Ms Nikuata-Rimon made these comments at the 42nd Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) meeting, which is being held at the SPC headquarters in Noumea from 12 to 16 November.
CRGA is a committee of SPC’s governing body, the Conference of the Pacific Community, which meets every two years.
Earlier this year, at the Forum Leaders’ meeting in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, seven Pacific Island countries and territories (Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Marshall Islands, Tokelau and Tuvalu,) signed and exchanged a total of eight maritime boundary agreements.
In addition, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Nauru signed a trilateral treaty on the ‘Tri-Junction Point’, a point where the exclusive economic zones of all three countries intersect.
SPC’s Applied Geoscience and Technology Division supported the countries in the determination of the agreed boundaries, working collaboratively with members and with support from SPC’s Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division and the Forum Fisheries Agency.
Agreement on boundaries has taken many years of work, often involving sensitive negotiations between members. The signing of these treaties has brought to just under 30 the total number of treaties concluded out of a total of 48 boundaries.
Welcome and Outgoing Chair Address by the Prime Minister, Hon. Henry Puna at 2nd SOPAC Meeting
Last Updated on Friday, 09 November 2012 12:02
Kia Orana and Salutations:
Delegates representing Members of the SPC
Director General of the SPC, Dr Jimmie Rodgers
Director of the SOPAC Division, Dr Russell Howorth
Members of the STAR scientific and technical network
Representatives of partner and donor organisations
I must say from the outset that Noumea occupies a special place in my heart and it’s a great pleasure to return to be among friends from around the region, and to be a guest of Director General Dr. Jimmie Rodgers.
The only down-side is that this visit has to be a very brief one as I must return home to Parliamentary duties. But it’s great to be back and to be included in this week’s organised gatherings of esteemed representatives from around the Pacific and beyond.
Following the STAR Network Meeting address yesterday, my pleasure doubles this morning in providing a few welcome remarks and a short Outgoing Chair's Address for this opening plenary session of the Second Meeting of the SPC Applied Geoscience and Technology Division – more commonly referred to – as SOPAC.
It is pleasing to welcome delegates representing most of the SPC Members here today. I also extend a welcome to all those delegates representing partners and donors that provide the support, including financial resources for the Division to carry out its extensive work programme. In particular, I recognise the Chair of STAR, Professor John Collen and his colleagues from the Science, Technology and Resources (STAR) Network.
Thank you for the privilege of addressing the STAR Meeting last evening. I’ve noted that some 40 scientific and technical papers were presented over the course of the 2-day meeting.
Likewise Professor Gary Greene, Chair of the Programme Monitoring and Evaluation Group (PMEG), who are drawn from the STAR Network to provide for Members the invaluable independent annual ongoing overview of the Division and its work.
I am aware you have been carrying out your monitoring and evaluation over the past week with staff at the Division Offices in Suva and here in Noumea amongst the Members. On behalf of the Members, I extend to your team our sincere appreciation.
SOPAC talks about Deep Sea Minerals and Water Resource Management
Deep Sea Minerals – At the 2009 Pacific Island Forum meeting, Leaders agreed a number of key priority areas for progressing the Pacific Plan including: “the development of a regional framework for deep sea minerals that shall be used by Pacific ACP States to formulate national legal instruments for the governance and administration of marine mineral resources”. Under Key Result Area 1 of the SPC-EU EDF10 Deep Sea Minerals (DSM) Project, a Regional Legislative and Regulatory Framework (RLRF) for Deep Sea Minerals Exploration and Exploitation has been developed to ensure (i) environmental protection, (ii) countries are prepared to meaningfully engage in this new industry, and (iii) long term sustainable benefits for the Pacific Islands Region.
The inaugural DSM Project regional workshop that was held in Nadi Fiji in June 2011 was an opportunity to bring together deep sea mineral experts around the world, representatives of Pacific ACP States as well as private sector and civil society to discuss various deep sea mineral issues and collectively identify priority areas and agree on a concerted way forward for the region.
Following the inaugural workshop, a Terms of Reference (ToR) for the development of the RLRF was prepared but it was not until the completion of the November 2011 International Workshop focusing on the environmental management needs for deep sea mineral activities that was organised by the International Seabed Authority (‘ISA’) in collaboration with the SPC through the DSM Project and the Government of Fiji that the RLRF was subsequently drafted.