USP’s Institute of Applied Sciences senior scientists participated in DEEPEND project update and stakeholder engagement meetings in Scotland

Mr. Joape Ginigini presenting on the USP teams’ research.

The Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS) 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 the opportunity to share updates on how research has progressed at their individual institutions towards meeting the projects objectives as well as facilitated new collaborative initiatives.

DEEPEND project team’s project update meeting

While the workshop also provided a scoping exercise for research priorities for the consortia, it also facilitated an environment conducive to the design of new funding proposals through grant writing strategies. Key areas discussed and were identified that needed immediate scientific support especially in the Pacific context with both USP and SPC present.

Following from the project update meeting, a one-day awareness seminar raising awareness on the work was held specifically for key stakeholders from the government of United Kingdom through representatives from 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).

Dr. Isoa Korovulavula presenting on collaborative projects at USP linked to DEEPEND

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) making the right decisions on the activities effecting the seafloor such as seabed mining.

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

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.

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