- Association Affairs
New PSA Website
In August 2004, the Pacific Science Association launched a new and revised website (http://www.pacificscience.org/). The new site is a major improvement over the previous version, and even more features will be added in the coming months. Among the enhanced features of the website are:
• More extensive information on PSA, its activities, and those of our partners.
• An expanded links section containing short summaries of external sites of interest to researchers and other stakeholders involved in science and sustainable development in the Pacific. These links are organized and cross-referenced by keyword and geographic area, which greatly facilitates searches.
• A calendar of upcoming meetings in or concerning science in the Asia-Pacific region.
• Adobe PDF versions of many past PSA publications previously available only in hardcopy (coming soon).
• A secure server system for individual membership sign-up (coming soon).
We hope the new PSA website will be useful for researchers involved in science of the Pacific, and welcome your comments and suggestions.
Symposium on French Research in the Pacific
Pacific Science Association Secretary General Nancy Lewis was invited to represent the PSA at the Symposium on French Research in the Pacific (Assises de la Recherche Française dans Le Pacifique) which was held at the Tjibaou Cultural Center in Noumea, New Caledonia on August 24-27, 2004. The meeting was called by President Jacques Chirac. The Chair of the Scientific Committee was Fabrice Colin, Director of Institut de Rescherche pour le Développement, Noumea. Members of the Committee were from both French Polynesia and New Caledonia, including representatives of the l'Université de la Polynésie Français and Université de la Nouvelle Calédonie.
The symposium had five thematic areas, all of which are relevant for the Pacific Science Association: 1. Marine Ecosystems: Biodiversity and resource development; 2. Terrestrial Ecosystems: Biodiversity and resource development; 3. Natural Hazards and Climate Variability: regional impacts and prevention; 4. Culture, Identity, Heritage, Land and Development; and [End Page 125] 5. Health and Environment. The Symposium, which consisted of plenary and thematic sessions and poster displays, gave a comprehensive overview of French research in the Pacific. Discussion in each of the thematic sessions led to a series of recommendations for future research and action agendas in the region.
A report of the Sympoisum including recommendations and a list of participants will be available at the Symposium website: www.assises-recherche-pacificque.org. The website is intended to become a forum for further communication and the discussion of collaborative research activities. It will provide a mechanism for greater communication between Anglophone and Francophone researchers in the region and in doing so may be valuable for furthering PSA research and initiatives.
International Coral Reef Symposium
PSA was a collaborating organization to the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium held from 28 June to 2 July 2004 in Okinawa, Japan. The topic of the Symposium was "Stability and Degradation of Coral Reef Ecosystems". The meeting was hosted by The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS), The Japanese Coral Reef Society (JCRS) International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS), and supported by The Okinawa General Bureau, Japanese Ministry of the Environment, Fisheries Agency (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Okinawa Prefecture, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport.
The official declaration of the 10th ICRS meeting noted that coral reefs and associated ecosystems are now under serious threat of collapse because of over-fishing; coastal development; terrestrial run-off; increasing sea surface temperatures and decreasing carbonate levels (ocean acidification), and sea-level rise caused by increasing anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere, which all act synergistically to stress coral reefs, leading to severe bleaching and extensive coral mortality. The participants made a strong declaration that additional destruction of coral reefs must be avoided, calling for stronger national and international-level efforts, and for enhanced scientific research and rigorous monitoring, management-tool development, and appropriate measures for conservation and sustainable use of coral reefs. A twin strategy must be taken over the longer term to reduce human induced climate change by reducing greenhouse gases, but at the same time a...