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Science boost for Fiji at USP meet

July 09
11:04 2013

From left: University of the South Pacific vice chancellor, Professor Rajesh Chandra, President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and the president of the Pacific Science Association, Dr Nancy Lewis at the opening of the 12th Pacific Science Inter- Congress at the FMF National Gymnasium. Photo: PAULINI RATULAILAI.

By MARIA L’ESTRANGE and MEGAN GREEN

Some scientists are here in Fiji to help develop science, technology and engineering in the region.
They are from over 50 countries which are participating in a week-long congress at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva.
The 12th Pacific Science Association Inter-Congress was opened by the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau yesterday.
In this Inter-Congress, the scientists and participants will discuss important issues of the region and compare their work and discoveries.
“The presence of these participants shows commitment to finding solutions for the great societal challenges facing the world and the Pacific region in particular,” Ratu Epeli said.
The United Nations 1994 Development Programme’s Report identified seven key threats to human security. These were: economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, personal security, community security and political security.
“These threats are as ever present now as they were 20 years ago,” Ratu Epeli said.
The event is particularly relevant this year because the 2015 deadline for Millennium Development Goals is fast approaching, and recent statistics show that greenhouse gases are at a record high.
Dr Lewis said: “These challenges, and how they are addressed, will not only affect the region but also the globe.”
This means that another main goal of the Inter-Congress will be to improve science literacy and communications for scientific and non-scientific communities, along with building relationships between different nations and scientific disciplines.
She added: “In order to achieve these goals, those of us in science and technology community must build our capacity to enlist our knowledge tools to help policymakers and communities address the challenges we face.”
The researchers remain optimistic that this event will bring success for sustainable development in the Pacific region.

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