IAS senior scientists participated in DEEPEND project update


The Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS) at The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Acting Director, Dr  Isoa Korovulavula and Senior Scientific Officer, Joape Ginigini attended a partnership workshop for the DEEPEND project in Edinburgh, Scotland from 03 – 09 October 2023.

Funded by the Global Centre on the Biodiversity for Climate (GCBC), the workshop provided partners with the opportunity to share updates on how research has progressed at their individual institutions towards meeting the objectives of the project, as well as facilitated new collaborative initiatives.

While the workshop provided a scoping exercise for research priorities for the consortia, it also facilitated an environment conducive to designing new funding proposals through grant writing strategies.

Key areas discussed and identified needed immediate scientific support, especially in the Pacific context, with both USP and SPC present.

Following the project update meeting, a one-day awareness seminar raising awareness on the work was held specifically for critical stakeholders from the government of the United Kingdom through representatives from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), other national government representatives and private sector representatives with interests in both the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Treaty (BBNJ) and Marine Genetic Resource (MGR).

Mr Ginigini stated that the project’s main goal was an increased knowledge and understanding of deep ocean flora and fauna that could purposefully assist governments and organizations, such as the International Seabed Authority (ISA), in making the right decisions on the activities affecting the seafloor, such as seabed mining.

Dr Korovulavula agreed that the collaborative research initiative will provide in-depth knowledge on the importance and impact of deep-sea mining on biodiversity, bioprospecting, climate change and the governance of our deep-sea ocean resources. “It will also provide an ideal opportunity for Pacific Islanders’ future academic scholarship and applied research in the formulation of appropriate policy in ocean resource management and development,” he added.

The DEEPEND project team from the UK and Fiji. Missing are team members from the Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Authority (SBMA). The research consortia consist of the University of Aberdeen, the University of Strathclyde, the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), the University of Southampton, the Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Authority (SBMA) and the Pacific Community (SPC).



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