Understanding how our planet is changing over time and what impact this has on our people, communities and countries is paramount for making informed decisions. This includes understanding critical issues such as how our coastlines are changing and what this means.
In the Pacific understanding, our earth and the changes it is witnessing as a result of storm events or the longer-term impacts of climate change is one of the most existential challenges faced by Pacific Governments, scientific organisations, partners, communities and decision-makers.
The Pacific region makes up more than 30 million square kms over our planet. It is home to the healthiest and most diverse part of our great Ocean of which 20% of the world’s combined exclusive economic zones are home to. Our vast Ocean States may be small inland but are large in resources, richness and culture but understanding and accessing some of its remotest parts can prove challenging.
To overcome these challenges caused by our vast geography we can harness the power of satellite remote sensing, through using observational data that allows us to track our frequently changing and dynamic Blue continent.
We are already using this type of data to understand the impact of storm events on our coastlines or to direct response support after a large disaster by using drones and satellite images to determine the most affected communities, but this type of science and technology can be used in a far greater and more streamlined manner into the future.
This week we announced a strategic needs analysis and
The Geoscience, Energy and Maritime (GEM) Division will anchor this work aimed at understanding the realities of how data and science from digital technologies and earth observation is used to inform key climate decisions in the Pacific.
To better understand the best way forward to harness this technology for the Pacific region, a detailed needs analysis has been announced today at GEOWeek 2019. This scientific and technical partnership is being led by SPC’s Geoscience, Energy and Maritime Division alongside our Pacific member countries, partners, information users and technical specialists.
This needs analysis will lead to a plan of action for a Pacific earth observation platform that will take data and provide analysed, relevant and Pacific-led information that will support more informed decisions into the future.
At a fraction of the cost Pacific Island countries and territories will be able to collect, analyse and process a generation of remote sensing data at the same cost as a single scientific marine voyage. This means better data, better understanding of what this data means and better decisions for the lives and livelihoods of our Pacific people, communities and cultures.