Pacific Sea Level & Climate Monitoring Project
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 May 2012 18:56
The data and facilities provided by the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project (SPSLCMP) is well known for its use in tracking sealevel change and variability over time and is even used to track sealevel changes which occur due to storms and tsunami in the Pacific Islands Region.
However, it is not generally known that SPSLCMP data and facilities also provide a critical service and information which supports work by the Ocean & Islands Programme’s Maritime Boundary Sector.
Given these two work Sectors both lay within the Ocean & Islands Programme, it’s easy to overlook the close and complementary interaction but it’s a story worth telling. Maritime Boundaries (often just thought of as EEZs – Exclusive Economic Zones) have to be very accurately measured from the shores of each Island State or Territory.
That shoreline starting point is called a “baseline” and in the Tropical Pacific these usually correspond to a line “drawn” using GIS techniques around the outer reef edges of an island or island group at Lowest Astronomical Tide (LAT).
Snapshots 76, Disaster Reduction Programme, April 2012
Last Updated on Friday, 11 May 2012 10:19
Welcome to the April edition of Snapshots. As is usually the there are a number of interesting developments in DRM capacity building across the region that we have been fortunate to be able to contribute to and I hope you enjoy reading about them in this addition.
In addition, we are pleased to advise that good progress is being made on securing €20 million for Pacific ACP States in relation to the EU EDF10 ACP-EU Natural Disaster Facility. We’re working hard to complete the necessary documentation for the NDF this year so that the funds can flow through to the region to facilitate implementation of country priorities in early 2013.
These funds will provide complementary support to a range of funding mechanisms which the region benefits from already through both the ‘disaster’ lens and as well through Climate Change Adaptation support.
I hope you enjoy this edition.
Snapshots 75, Disaster Reduction Programme, March 2012
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 April 2012 15:02
From the Managers Desk
I am writing this (1st April) while stranded in Sydney since all flights into Fiji have been cancelled due to the floods that are wreaking havoc in many parts of Viti Levu. The reports that have come through are painting a bleak picture but SOPAC/SPC and other partner organisations like UNOCHA are already moving to provide assistance to the Fiji Government.
Over the coming days we will get a better appreciation of what the needs are and be able to collaborate better to provide focussed support. In the coming months we will be able to relate to you our activities that supported Fiji’s response and recovery from the flood disaster.
DRM capacity building moves forward and there have been some interesting activities that we have been able to support over the last month or so. I hope you enjoy reading about them.
Please contact us if you have any suggestions to help us improve how we present updates to you or if you have stories of your own that you wish to share.
Deputy Director, Disaster Reduction Programme
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Fiji Explores Deep Sea Minerals and Mining at Workshop
Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 April 2012 09:24
The Director of Fiji’s Mineral Resources Department, Mr. Malakai Finau told participants in a one day Fiji National Deep Sea Mineral Consultation Workshop held in Suva recently that “with deep sea mineral exploration being granted within the Fiji waters it is important to proceed with caution, to strike a balance between economic development and the protection of the environment.”
The workshop is part of in-country stakeholder consultation process organized by SOPAC Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) through the European Union funded Deep Sea Mineral Project in fifteen Pacific ACP States. This consultation allows government officials as well as representatives of the private sector, academic institutions and civil society groups to explore issues relating to deep seabed minerals and mining.
Similar meetings have already been held in Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Samoa and now Fiji. According to SPC-EU Deep Sea Mineral Project Team Leader, Akuila Tawake, there will be a further ten countries where the consultation workshops will be held in the next five months.
Solomon Island Nurses Train in Disaster Risk Management
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 May 2012 18:55
As a part of their final year curriculum, 71 trainee nurses at the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE), have received training in disaster management and damage assessment.
Mr Vuli Gauna assisted the facilitation of the Introduction to Disaster Management (IDM) and Initial Damage Assessment (IDA) courses that were held at SICHE in April.
He is the Training Support Officer working with The Asia Foundation and USAID / Office of the US Foreign Disaster Assistance, Pacific Disaster Risk Management Program (PDRMP), based at the SPC/SOPAC campus in Fiji.
“The disaster management training assists the nurses to look at identifying opportunities within community development programmes where prevention, mitigation and preparedness measures can be applied to help in reducing disaster risks."
The damage assessment training provides knowledge and tools on how best to collect and record information for reporting of damage resulting from hazard impacts, which is important for government’s response efforts during any disaster,” said Mr Gauna.
Upon graduation, many of these nurses will take up positions at health centres and nursing stations in the more remote villages and communities, spread throughout the 300 inhabited islands within the Solomon Islands group.
President Toribiong endorses Palau’s first National Water Policy
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 13:46
Koror, Palau, Monday April 23rd 2011: Palau’s President, Johnson Toribiong, endorsed his country’s first National Water Policy this week saying that it “will serve as a clear indicator and important guide for our nation's future economic and sustainable development based on clean and safe water that is essential for the health of our people, ecosystem and economy.”
The policy aims to protect and conserve Palau’s water resources, ensure Palauans have access to safe, affordable, sustainable water supply and wastewater services, and see that these services are managed and operated sustainably and effectively.
The National Water Policy was developed by Palau’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism in partnership with a European Union funded Integrated Water Resources Management (EU IWRM) Planning Project being run by the Secretariat of the Pacific Communities’ Water and Sanitation Programme (SPC WSP).
Gwen Sisior, the Ministry’s Water Policy Officer, said one of the key goals of the policy was to ensure that responsibility for key aspects of water and wastewater management was spread across different organizations in a coordinated and integrated manner.
“What we don’t want to see happen is a fragmented sectoral approach to managing our water supply. Organizations should work together to clarify the specific roles, responsibilities, activities and timelines to implement and support the national water policy,” Ms Sisior said. “Water development and management should be based on a participatory approach and value collaborations from users, planners and policy-makers. Decision-makers should strive to ensure effective communication with all stakeholders, multiple sectors and different levels of various organizations.”
SOPAC Division Quarterly Newsletter, Oct - Dec 2011
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 10:41
- First Annual Session As a Division
- Public Health, Land Resources and SOPAC Divisions of SPC Coordinate Response to Tuvalu Water Shortage Crisis
- SPC/SOPAC Host the Annual Pacific Islands Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing Conference
- Disaster Risk Reduction B-Envelope Project of SPC/SOPAC Division Help Nauru in Building Its Resilience to Drought
- SOPAC Division Collaborates With Who in Support of Groundwater Analysis in the Republic of Marshall Islands
- SPC/SOPAC Division in Support of Tsunami Preparations at Pacific Level
- in Celebration of the Global Hand-Washing Day
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Pacific GIS Units empowered with Free and Open Source Software
Last Updated on Monday, 26 March 2012 14:51
Tuesday, 20th March, Suva - Using the right tool for the right job is a common mantra amongst data specialists, but in the Pacific, access to, and more importantly, knowledge about relevant software tools is not readily available.
In the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) domain, undertaking even basic tasks entails using expensive proprietary software solutions. These software solutions are beyond the budget of many government and academic GIS units in the region, and this has resulted in rampant piracy and illegal use of such software.
Seeing a need for freely available GIS software, which has no licensing restrictions, SOPAC Division of SPC actively advocates the use of, and subsequently, provides relevant training on Free and Open Source (FOSS) Geo-spatial software through the work of its SOPAC Division.
In a recent training trip to Solomon Islands Power Authority, Mr Edwin Liava'a, Utilities GIS Specialist, SOPAC Division, deployed FOSS GIS software on their network and conducted relevant training. The software package he used was specifically built for Pacific Islands GIS Units by SOPAC Division.