Tonga PM launches regional strategy for surveying
Tonga’s Prime Minister launches the world’s first regional strategy for surveying and geospatial capacity development
16 April 2018
Nuku’alofa, Tonga- The Honourable Prime Minister of Tonga Samiuela ‘Akilisi Pōhiva officially launched the Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council Strategy 2017-2027 last week in the presence of surveying and geospatial specialists from around the region and the globe.
The 10-year strategy represents a global first, as it is the first geospatial and surveying strategy to be collectively produced and endorsed by a regional advisory body- the Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council (PGSC).
“I am very pleased to be hosting this event here in Tonga. The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has been extremely busy with recovery work for the past two months, but I commend them also in their dedication to the long-term regional vision of the PGSC,” the Hon Samiuela ‘Akilisi Pōhiva said during the launch.
The Prime Minister recognised the launch as timely given the aftermath of Cyclone Gita and the importance of geospatial information and surveying in the immediate damage assessment stages and also in the mid-to-long term rebuilding plans.
“There will always be natural disasters and hazards in our region and that we must continue to build our national and regional capacities to anticipate and respond to these,” he added.
The PGSC meetings are organised by the Pacific Community (SPC) with support from the Australian-funded Climate and Oceans Support Programme in the Pacific (COSPPac).
“Australia is committed to enabling sustainable and climate resilient development in the Pacific Islands,” the Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, Mr Andrew Ford said at the event. “Given the key role geospatial information plays in this work, I can assure the Council that Australia will remain a committed partner in implementing the Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Strategy in the years ahead.”
For any country, geospatial information plays a key role strategic planning and financing that contributes towards informed decision-making and sustainable growth.
“The growing number of initiatives in recent years and the launch of this strategy are signs of a strong regional voice for geospatial and survey professionals,” said Mr Akuila Tawake, Deputy Director for Geo-resources and Energy. “SPC will continue to work with member countries to implement this strategy.”
The Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council Strategy highlights the development priorities of Pacific Lands and Survey, Geospatial Information Management, and Hydrographic Departments and provides the strategic direction for strengthening the capacities of these agencies.
The PGSC meeting was held in conjunction with United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) International Workshop on Legal & Policy Framework for Geospatial Information.