27 May 2016
Australia assists Solomon Islands in Mapping Marine and Coastal Projects
Earlier this month, scientists from the Australian Government’s science agency, the CSIRO, visited Honiara to work with Government officers in the ICT Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Ministry of Environment Climate Change Disaster Management and Meteorology, and Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, on the development of a new system for storing information about projects and mapping.
The project, Enhancing Pacific Ocean Governance (EPOG), is collaborating with the Secretariat for Pacific Communities (SPC) Geoscience Division to provide standard mapping tools in line with SPC’s Geoinformatics and Spatial Data Plan. This work is assisting the Solomon Islands Government with planning and managing coastal and marine areas by using computer information and easy-to-use mapping tools. EPOG is funded through the Australian Government Aid Program and managed by the Australian Department of the Environment.
“The project database and the mapping tools will be very useful for helping us with planning and managing activities that are occurring in our coastal areas. We are very excited about the potential to keep building on the work that has been done so far,” said Ms Rosalie Masu, Deputy Director of Inshore Fisheries within the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.
Ms Agnetha Vave-Karamui, Chief Conservation Officer with the Environment and Conservation Division of the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Disaster Management said this is an exciting leap forward in terms of managing information and being able to easily access it through the Solomon Islands Government centralised IT system. It means that officers can access information and make maps from the computer at their desk.
Ms Nelly Kere, Chief Program Officer, Project Management Unit, is also very pleased with the progress to date. “This is will be useful for the Ministries to have an overview at a national level of all marine and coastal projects to better coordinate between partners.”
The project is timely as it is supported by the Solomon Islands Government’s new centralised IT system, which the Australian government has provided support for.
The EPOG project is currently funded until the end of 2016 with a view to further work continuing on improving the systems after that time.