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Sustainable Sea Transport Talanoa

28 - 30th November 2012
The University of the South Pacific
Suva, Fiji Islands

Sea-transport is the Pacificís lifeline. The capability to colonise one-third of the globe under sail and without metal is arguably the greatest technological intellectual property right of Oceanic peoples. It is central to all Oceanic culture and epistemology. The current shipping scenario here is unique globally, a region of remote and minute transport nodes of minimal economic significance spread over some of the longest communications lines in the world. Alternative energy for sea transport is an emergent technology field of high significance for Oceania. Transport is the Pacificís largest energy use, consuming 48% of Pacific fossil fuel imports. Sea transport is a significant component. Yet currently this field is almost entirely invisible in regional and national policy frameworks, adaptation programmes for climate change or within the field of renewable energy technologies. Recent research demonstrates that alternative energy solutions have strong potential to delver immediate benefits to Pacific communities at local, national and regional levels for minimal research investment. Tackling this issue will require research across a range of disciplines and collaborative input from a range of stakeholders (government agencies, NGOs, research institutions, regional organisations, shipping and boat building industry) as well as support and participation of international partners.


  • To begin a conversation amongst key stakeholders to prepare for a low-carbon sea-transport future for the Pacific.
  • To prepare for a major regional conference in 2013, bringing together heritage, culture, science, policy, and industry to celebrate Oceaniaís seafaring heritage and set a blue-print for a sustainable seafaring future.

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