- Association AffairsPacific Science Association
1. The 12th Pacific Science Inter-Congress
The main theme and subthemes of the 12th Pacific Science Inter-Congress have been revised and finalized. PSIC-12 will be held at the campus of the meeting’s hosts, University of the South Pacific (USP), in Suva, Fiji from 8–12 July 2013.
The over-arching theme of “Science for Human Security & Sustainable Development in the Pacific Islands and Rim”. The focus of the 12th Inter-Congress includes physical, biological, and social sciences and encompasses terrestrial, marine, atmospheric, and social/cultural subjects and approaches in the Pacific Islands and Rim region.
The Subthemes of the meeting are:
• Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, and Resilient Societies
• Information and Communication Technologies for Sustainable Development
• Food, Water, Energy, and Health
• Culture and Gender
• Governance, Economic Development and Public Policy
• Climate Change
Other themes may be developed based on submission of relevant abstracts.
Critical dates for the Fiji Inter-Congress are:
31 July 2012
• Call for Abstracts
• Registration Opens
31 January 2013
• Deadline for Abstract Submission
• Early Bird Registration closes
31 March 2013
• Confirmation of Acceptance of Abstracts
• Grant Announcements [End Page 405]
15 May 2013
• Registration and Accommodation bookings closes
Also note that the official Fiji Inter-Congress website is now open. Registration, abstract submissions, and other participant business will be handled through the official website, http://www.psi2013.usp.ac.fj/.
2. PSA Statement on Sustainability in the Pacific for the Rio+20 Summit
PSA was asked by our partners at the International Council for Science (ICSU) to prepare a statement on the particular needs of Pacific Island states for the occasion of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Summit which will be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. While PSA’s focus includes both Asia and the Pacific, the purpose of the statement is to emphasize the particular concerns and challenges of the Pacific respect to sustainable development.
PSA’s statement notes that:
Small and remote island states in the Pacific are characterized by relative isolation, resource scarcity, high reliance on fragile ecosystem services, small homogenous markets, high cost of inputs, energy, and equipment, sometimes constrained human resources, limited and expensive access to transportation, education and health services, disproportionately large impacts from both population growth and migration, and vulnerability to climate change and natural hazards. Of the planet’s areas and peoples profoundly affected by climate change, the environmental, social, and economic impacts of global warming in the Pacific will perhaps be equaled only in areas of the Arctic. The climate change-related phenomena of highest concern for the Pacific small island developing states are sea-level rise, severe weather events, coral bleaching and ocean acidification.
Science, technology, and engineering have critical roles to play in developing solutions for the problems facing the island states of the Pacific. PSA and our partners call for a new emphasis on human security to focus attention on the full spectrum of individual livelihoods and community well-being that are under increasing challenge from climate change and unsustainable development practices.
Achieving sustainability in the Pacific island states will occur within the contexts of both complex global phenomena such as climate change and globalization, as well as circumstances unique to an island or island group. This means that addressing development will require both global and local solutions. The unique characteristics of island states require an emphasis in several areas.
• Achieving sustainability in the Pacific will require careful attention to and consideration of an island’s unique circumstances and characteristics, and particularly working towards developing tailored solutions to meet their needs.
• Island populations are almost by definition small, and therefore they exercise relatively little weight in global decision-making processes. It is therefore important to prioritize the integration of small island states into regional and global science activities. Proactive efforts should be made to include islanders in scientific meetings, networks, and regional institutions and coordination initiatives. This can be facilitated through the use of internet and technological solutions, but the physical participation of island-based researchers in international meetings should also be a priority. [End Page 406]
• Climate change is projected to have disproportionately large impacts in small...