Regional issues focus of big geoscience meet

GEOSCIENTISTS from the Pacific Region are undergoing a week-long refresher course at the Holiday Inn in Suva.

As part of the STAR Network Conference which opened yesterday, geoscientists  are expected to present issues affecting their individual island states.

In opening the conference, Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya said issues such as resources for Pacific communities, ocean geoscience, science of natural hazards, risks to pacific communities, land use and infrastructure development on Pacific Islands would be high on their agenda.

“In its 35 historical years, what has the STAR Network accomplished and how can you further these successes to meet the objectives of this conference. These are but a few things you should reflect on and consider during this week-long conference,” Mr Koya said.

Mr Koya said the Fijian government recognised the importance and impacts of conferences such as STAR Network which was founded in 1984 as a joint initiative between South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), Intergovernmental Oceangraphic Commission (IOC) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

“These forums play a vital role in mapping out local and regional adaptation programs to further our collective struggles against the unforgiving effects of climate change.”

Mr Koya added he looked forward to concrete resolutions being reached to outline the value in refreshing and animating scientific alliances to showcase useful work, techniques and instrumentation that may be adapted to address development issues of the Pacific region.