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Suva, Fiji Islands

Press Release October 15, 1999

The following covers the three meetings that will take place in Nadi in conjunction with the Annual Session of the SOPAC Governing Council at the Tanoa International Conference Centre.


The media are invited to the opening of this workshop at 9:00 a.m., October 19th. His Excellency Michael Dibbin, the United Kingdom High Commissioner, will present the opening address. This workshop will introduce national water managers, disaster managers, and meteorological services to the use of climate information and ENSO forecasting in developing response and mitigation plans with the objective of reducing the impact of future droughts in the Pacific Region. The workshop will result in:

§ Assessment of climate variability impacts on water resources

§ Identification of users of climate forecasts and recognition of their needs

§ Identification of adaptation and mitigation strategies

§ Strengthening of links between the producers and users of climate information.

The workshop will be a rare, if not unique, event since it could be the first time that three heads of sectors (meteorology, water and disaster) will be brought together from 18 Pacific small island developing states.



The STAR (Science, Technology and Resources Network) 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 scientific community.

This year, STAR will focus on the theme: "Natural Hazards: Scientific Understanding, Assessment, and Mitigation Planning," and priority will be given to presentations on the following topics:"

§ The Sissano, PNG, tsunami of July 1998

§ Time-Series, GOOS (the Global Ocean Observing System) and related topics

§ El Niño impacts on water resources, coastal erosion, reefs and benthic habitats

§ Geohazards, including implications for Pacific Cities"

Seventy papers will be presented. The Opening is at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday October 23.



The 28th Annual Session of the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, (SOPAC) hosted by New Zealand, will be held in Nadi October 23-29, 1999. The main venue for the Session is the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.

The purpose of SOPAC Annual Sessions is to bring together member country representatives, advisors from supporting governments, organisations and institutions, and geoscientists working in the South Pacific region. This provides an opportunity to review the progress and directions of the SOPAC Work Program, and to stimulate and plan new work needed in the region.

The Official Opening of Governing Council is scheduled to begin 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 26.

For media representatives covering the event, an invitation will be extended to attend the Cocktail Function on the evening of Tuesday, October 26.

For further information please contact Russell Howorth, Program Manager, at TEL: (679) 725 694, 725 697, 725 702, 725 703.

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