Lifuka Island, Tonga, at the forefront in understanding climate change impacts on small islands
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 08:06
Nukualofa, Friday 16 March 2012: How exactly will climate change impact the lives of people living on small islands and what can be done to adapt to those impacts? On Lifuka Island in Tonga’s Ha’apai group, a project to find answers to this question is underway. The answer could help people around the Pacific and the world prepare for, and adapt to, climate change.
The project is part of the Pacific Adaptation Strategy Assistance Program (PASAP) and aims to assess the vulnerability and adaptation to sea level rise in Lifuka. It is being run by the Government of Tonga with the assistance of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Tonga Community Development Trust (TCDT).
Fuka Kitekei’aho, National Coordinator for PASAP, said that Lifuka was chosen because it had already experienced sea level rise as a result of an earthquake in May 2006.
“The earthquake measured approximately 7.9 on the Richter scale and resulted in subsidence of 23 cm of the western side of Lifuka Island,” Mr Kitekei’aho said. “In the past four years, the island has experienced significant coastal erosion over a three kilometre section of the coastline, including where the harbour, homes, and hospital are located.”
Federated States of Micronesia Briefing
Last Updated on Monday, 12 March 2012 15:14
Federated States of Micronesia Ambassador to Fiji, H.E. Gerson Alik Jackson was briefed at the Suva headquarters of the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) of the Secretariat of the Pacific community (SPC) on Friday 9th March.
This visit was a follow-up to a meeting with the SOPAC Director, Dr Russell Howorth and the Manager of the SPC North Pacific Regional Office, Mr Amena Yauvoli. The senior technical advisers at the SPC/SOPAC Division office who are working with the FSM briefed the Ambassador on five important areas of SPC/SOPAC Division work currently underway for the FSM.
New film highlights water issues and solutions in Tuvalu
Last Updated on Friday, 09 March 2012 15:01
Funafuti, Tuvalu, March 5, 2012: A new film released today looks at the serious water issues facing Tuvalu and how the Global Environment Facility supported Pacific Integrated Water Resources Management project (GEF Pacific IWRM) is working to address these problems by installing composting toilets on the main island of Funafuti.
The film ‘Falevatie: A toilet for our future’ shows how composting toilets can help conserve water and minimise threats to the environment, food security and human health.
Tuvalu recently experienced a devastating drought, which resulted in a national emergency and millions of dollars spent on an international relief effort to get water to the small isolated country.
2012 Science Technology and Resources Network (STAR) Conference - First Circular
Last Updated on Monday, 05 March 2012 07:12
The 2012 STAR Conference will be held in Noumea, New Caledonia from November 3rd to 6th, and hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and L’Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). As in recent years, there will be a joint session with the Circum Pacific Council.
The STAR Conference will immediately precede the 2nd Meeting of the SPC Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC Division) and the 42nd Meeting of the SPC Conference of Regional Governments and Administrations (CRGA). Note that no membership is required to attend the meeting and no conference registration fee is charged.
STAR was founded in 1984 as a vehicle to assist the international research community to provide advice to SOPAC. A strength of STAR has been its ability to mobilise science to address the national needs of Pacific island nations and provide, as an independent and voluntary body, an important scientific and advisory role. SPC has requested the continuation of this relationship following the integration of SPC and SOPAC in January 2011.
Thus, as in recent years, STAR’s Programme Monitoring and Evaluation Groups will continue to provide independent commentary on SPC/SOPAC’s work programmes, and all delegates to the STAR conference are invited to attend the SOPAC Division meeting that will follow STAR and contribute their technical expertise to the discussions.
Snapshot 74 January – February 2012
Last Updated on Friday, 16 March 2012 13:51
This is our first edition for 2012. Although we'd have liked to get to all of our readers earlier in the year our Snapshots Editor was on a much deserved break. Well, Stephanie's back and raring to go! Her first task: to sort through a number of 'candidates' for this edition. There's been quite a lot happening.
One of our major commitments for 2012 is to work closely with SPREP and the UNISDR to lead the process of developing an integrated regional strategy for DRM and Climate Change by 2015. We've had a series of meetings with these partner organisations this year and we're almost ready to move forward and recruit an individual to lead the preparatory work. In addition, we have the biennial progress reviews of the Hyogo Framework for Action and Pacific DRR and DM Framework for Action which will undertaken at regional level and as well at national level in all 14 Pacific island countries between May and September.
As it has been every year since 2009 the Pacific Platform for DRM signifies a major commitment in the DRP calendar for 2012. This year's meeting will be held in Noumea, New Caledonia from 17th - 21st September. As we progress over the coming months we'll provide you accounts of our preparations.
I hope you enjoy reading this edition of Snapshots and as always if you have any queries or helpful suggestions just drop us a line.
Deputy Director, Disaster Reduction Programme
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Enhanced Image Pre-Processing at SOPAC for the Pacific
Last Updated on Friday, 09 March 2012 15:01
Pacific Island Countries are generally surrounded by large areas of ocean over which clouds easily build up within the lower atmosphere with increasing altitude. The micro-climate of the moisture-laden lower atmosphere is very inhomogeneous and can distort images captured by optical satellites. An atmospheric correction is therefore important in order to enhance image data. Beginning in 2011, atmospheric correction software has started to incorporate the digital elevation model to reduce relief related atmospheric disturbances.
The Applied Geoscience and Technology Division of SPC is the hub of satellite image data purchase within the region, and the Division also enhances the image data for Pacific users including the application of an atmospheric correction. SOPAC therefore maintains a working relationship with global software developers adjusting software specifically for Pacific conditions.
GEF Small Grant Programme partners with Pacific IWRM for strengthened community action on water issues in the Pacific Islands
Last Updated on Friday, 09 March 2012 08:33
Suva, March 5, 2012: Supporting community empowerment and enabling community based organisations and NGOs to guide activities that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing their well-being and livelihoods is the very essence of sustainable development.
This was the message given this week by Dr Delfin Ganapin, Global Manager of the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grant Programme (GEF SGP) at a signing of a joint communiqué to officially launch a partnership between GEF SGP and the GEF supported Pacific Integrated Water Resources Management Project (Pacific IWRM).
The partnership aims to strengthen community involvement in integrated water resource management in the Pacific to improve implementation of “Community to Cabinet” approaches to water and wastewater management from “Ridge to Reef” and thereby also improve community resilience and environmental outcomes for many small islands.
Opening of Palau National Emergency Operation Centre
Last Updated on Monday, 05 March 2012 07:09
Construction has just been completed of the new Emergency Operation Centre in Palau for the Government of Palau at a cost of about US$480,000.00. Funding for the building was made available by the European Union through the Disaster Risk Reduction Project implemented by the Applied Geoscience & Technology Division (SOPAC) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
The President of the Republic of Palau, His Excellency Johnson Toribiong and SOPAC Director, Dr. Russell Howorth, unveiled the plaque officially opening the building. In his opening statement Dr. Russell Howorth stated that “ the new Emergency Operation Centre will strengthen the capacity of the National Emergency Management Office prepare for and respond to natural disasters. It is important that we build community resilience to reduce the loss of human life.” The project will also equip the new building with early warning communication equipment and improve the linkage with remote communities.