In June 2016, SPC signed an agreement with the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) to strengthen ocean science collaboration in the Pacific region.
KIOST is a state-run institution tasked with discovering new scientific knowledge about the ocean for the benefit of all people.
To that end, KIOST strives to develop cutting-edge scientific technology and acquire new knowledge in order to discover advanced life, minerals, and energy resources in the ocean and establish future-oriented port city infrastructure, including port and coastal landscapes.
KIOST’s main areas of focus are:
- forecasting the future of the world’s oceans by studying ocean circulation variability to forecast and respond to climate change;
- reviving oceans by developing marine environment preservation technologies and strengthening marine pollution management systems;
- searching for future marine resources by enhancing sustainable management of marine ecosystems and exploring the utilisation of materials that will be useful in the future;
- making oceans safer by managing ports and harbours systematically and developing marine energy technologies; and
- protecting the world’s oceans by systematically managing maritime territories and establishing a methodical management framework.
Under the agreement, KIOST and SPC are cooperating to create, share and apply ocean science, for example through technical meetings, joint lectures, exchange initiatives for experts or students, and by sharing samples or instrumentation.
KIOST undertakes a range of research, including many areas of geoscience, bioscience, physics, environmental research and hazard assessment, and has run a shore laboratory in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia, for several years.
The two organisations are collaborating on a number of projects, which will contribute to strengthening science in the Pacific, including the expanded use of a world-first Geostationary Ocean Colour Imaging Satellite, which will cover the entire Pacific as of 2019.
Together, SPC and KIOST will be able to conduct cooperative research in various fields of marine science in the Pacific Islands region utilising the Isabu, a large research vessel launched by KIOST in the second half of 2016.
Through its Geoscience Division, SPC provides vital applied ocean, island and coastal geoscience services to assist island members to better govern and develop their natural resources, increase their resilience to natural hazards and access data-based approaches to adaptation.