GEOSCIENCE GATHERING IN SUVA

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SOUTH PACIFIC APPLIED GEOSCIENCE COMMISSION (SOPAC) Suva, Fiji Islands

MEDIA RELEASE September 24, 1998

Scientists from all over the South Pacific will gather in Suva next week for the 27th Annual Session of the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC). The meeting, to be held from 26 September to 3 October, will provide an opportunity for member countries to review the progress and directions of the SOPAC work program and to stimulate and plan new work needed in the region.

SOPAC is an independent intergovernmental regional organization charged with providing geotechnical services to its member countries. It is based in Suva and funded from contributions of its member countries (most of the island nations of the South Pacific), countries like Australia and New Zealand, together with other donor supporting countries and international organizations.

The meeting next week is to be hosted by the Federated States of Micronesia and will bring together member country representatives, advisers from supporting governments, organizations and institutions, and geoscientists working in the South Pacific region.

The Annual Session is divided into two parts. A meeting of the Science, Technology and Resources Network (STAR) will be held on Saturday 26 September and Monday 28 September. The STAR meeting is a forum for reporting scientific research in the region relevant to the SOPAC work program and for the exchange of information between scientists from SOPAC member countries and the international geoscientific community.

This will be followed by the official opening of the Governing Council on Tuesday 29 September. On Wednesday and Thursday a two-day meeting of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) will be held to consider the draft SOPAC Work Program. All participants in the Governing Council meeting are members of TAG. The gathering will conclude with a policy session on Friday and Saturday during which administration issues will be considered, and the 1999 Work Program and Budget approved.

For further information: Russell Howorth SOPAC Secretariat Suva, Fiji Islands Tel. 381377 Ext. 201

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