News in 2016

FIG Asia Pacific Capacity Development Network Report on Activities in the Pacific Region – November / December 2016

Pacific Geospatial and Surveyors Council (PGSC) Meeting

The FIG Asia Pacific Capacity Development Network (FIG AP CDN) participated in the 3rd Meeting of Pacific Geospatial and Surveyors Council, which was convened in Nabua - Suva, Fiji on the 24-25 November 2016 at the Pacific Community “Pasifika Conference Room”, Lotus Building. Meetings of this nature, as well as technical projects, have been support by regional developing partners as shown below.  FIG have been actively involved in geospatial infrastructure matters in this region since the FIG 2013 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) symposium by attending conferences in region, providing independent technical and administrative advice to the PGSC, and advocating the importance of geospatial professionals and surveyors.

At this meeting, there were 13 Pacific Island member countries in attendance, and also representatives from agencies such as Geoscience Australia, Land Information New Zealand, Geoscience Division of the Pacific Community, and the UK Hydrographic Office.  FIG had two officers present, Mr Mikael Lilje (Vice President Elect 2017-20) and Mr Rob Sarib (Chair AP CDN), and Dr John Dawson representing the UN GGIM AP. 

To begin proceedings, Professor Michael Petterson (Director of Pacific Community Geoscience Division), and Mr Raymond Bojczuk (First Secretary, Australian High Commission, Suva) delivered inspirational presentations to the PGSC.  Both speakers emphasised the value and importance of geospatial and survey information, and also the role of the PGSC to address the economic, social and technological challenges faced by Pacific Island nations.
After the several addresses offering support and encouragement from Mr Lilje, Dr Dawson and PGSC Chair Mr Faatasi Malologa (Director of Tuvalu Lands & Survey Departments), work to finalise the content of the “Pacific Geospatial and Survey Strategy” began. Refinement of the strategy continued for the next two days, and it was subsequently endorsed by the PGSC.  Discussions in relation to the strategy and its formalisation were facilitated by Mr Jens Kruger, Dr Dawson, Mr Sarib and Mrs Molly Powers-Tora.

The remainder of the meeting was spent workshopping the detail plans for the implementation and communication of the strategy, and the official launching of the strategy for mid-2017.  Four PGSC working groups were then created to examine and prepare actions for 2017 against each of the four strategic goals and their activities.

Chair Mr. Malologa and Vice Chair Mr Paserio Samisoni (Fiji) were re-elected as the office bearers for 2017.

For on-line news articles about PGSC and their strategy please refer to –

Pacific Heights Datum Workshop

At the request of the PGSC, FIG AP CDN and the UN GGIM AP were asked to prepare an interactive workshop on Pacific height datums, and the related practical height survey issues or problems.  The one day workshop was held at Pacific Community “Pasifika Conference Room”, Lotus Building in Nabua – Suva on the 26 November 2016, and it attracted 30 registered participants. Presentations on the following topics were provided –

To engage the delegates on the topics and related challenges, discussions with participates and presenters after each session were convened, and facilitated by Mr Sarib. From this workshop activity the FIG AP CDN and UN GGIM AP developed a summary with a series of recommendations for consideration, and they are as follows –

Pacific GIS / RS Users Conference

As per previous years the Pacific Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) User Conference was held at the Japan ICT Centre, University of the South Pacific (USP).  The technical sessions spanned over 4 days and concluded with 1 day of workshops. According to the organisers the event had almost 300 registered guests and nearly 80 presentations.
FIG were involved at this event by chairing technical sessions, and contributing two presentations namely –

Presentations can be view at websites –

Highlights or main observations from the conference were –

Rob Sarib 
22 December 2016

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