The renewal of the scientific and technical cooperation framework agreement between the Pacific Community (SPC) and the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD) opens the way for the region to benefit from enhanced research cooperation.

This five-year agreement, signed in Noumea today by the Pacific Community Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, and IRD Deputy Executive Director, Jean-Marc Châtaigner, sets out the arrangements for ongoing scientific and technical cooperation between IRD and SPC.

In particular, this agreement will cover joint research programmes, scientific consultancies on topics of common interest, student training and skills transfer, exchanges of scientific and technical information, joint seminars and submitting joint responses to international calls for tenders.

These two neighbouring organisations already carry out a number of joint geoscience projects and will be hosting an international World Meteorological Organisation-sponsored workshop on Oceans Observation and Data Applications in Noumea from 24 to 27 May 2016.

Other examples of scientific cooperation between SPC and IRD include the VACOPA project on the mercury cycle in marine ecosystems throughout the Pacific, and the NECTALIS venture on marine food-chain links (micronekton), with its fifth scientific cruise set for November this year.

For Dr Tukuitonga, this enhanced collaboration and pooling of resources on such important studies will undoubtedly be beneficial for Pacific islanders.

“I’m delighted with the resolve of our two organisations to complement one another’s efforts for the benefit of Pacific Islands people. IRD and SPC share ambitions for a prosperous Pacific, in which people are able to create better lives for themselves and their children.”

Mr Châtaigner highlighted the important role of science in the Pacific, the region most at risk from the impacts of climate change.

“It is our responsibility to continue to acquire scientific knowledge, which is the basis for collaboration between IRD and SPC, in order to be able to link local issues to regional and even international issues,” Mr Châtaigner said.

“It is our responsibility to implement resilience mechanisms that will allow Pacific communities to adapt to these ongoing changes. We also need to promote the formation of local, national and Pacific Islands’ scientific communities that can interact at the same levels as those in Africa, Asia, the Americas and in emerging countries. The creation of relevant tools to support public policy development depends on a committed scientific community.”

A video of the signature ceremony is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFLsPDIzMu0&feature=youtu.be

Media contacts:
Mina Vilayleck, IRD Communication Coordinator, [email protected], or +687 792166
Jean-Noël Royer, SPC Communication Officer, [email protected], or +687 877063