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STAR Addresses Data shortage

STAR Addresses Data shortage
Permanent Secretary for Lands and Mineral Resources and STAR Chair, Malakai Finau during the annual business meeting. Photo: DEPTFO News
July 01
11:00 2017

Participants at the Science, Technology and Resources Network (STAR) conference currently underway in Nadi were informed of the progress of work focusing on Geo Resources, Land and Maritime and Hydro Geology in the Pacific region.

The sessions chaired by Director for Mineral Resources, Dr Raijeli Taga, Interim Director of the Geo-science Division (SPC), Mr Akuila Tawake and Shaun Williams from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research of New Zealand.

Participants were informed of the work that was being carried out by the Geoscience Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in the region as well as by attending regional and local delegates on development work in their respective countries.

While delivering his presentation on Neglected Geo-resources, Technical Advisor and former Director of SOPAC, Russell Howorth, said that there was still a need to build national capacity and analytical data.

“The national needs are clear, there is a real shortage, and we’ve heard about it during this conference time and time again, the shortage of data, as the technology used to collect the data is changing and it is changing dramatically,” Dr Howorth said.

“The need for data in the hands of people who use it, is absolutely essential but there is a lack of capacity, a lack of human capacity around the region generally to be able to deal with that matter,” he said.

Also highlighted during the conference was the management and sustainable development of natural resources such as groundwater, sand and gravel.

Presentations also identified the challenges such as lack of necessary expertise, technology and funding in the region and proposed several ways forward like the use of new techniques available in GIS and remote sensing to enable proper planning and management.

The conference is being co-sponsored by the Government of Fiji and the Geoscience Division of the Pacific Community (SPC). Standard Concrete Industries (Fiji) and XINFA Mines (Fiji). The conference is also supported by the Circum-Pacific Council.

Source: DEPTFO News

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