PACE-Net is a three-year INCO-NET Coordination Action, supported by the European Commission (DG RTD-INCO), whose main goal is to strengthen bi-regional sustainable dialogue on Science and Technology between Europe and the Pacific.
The Pacific Plan for Regional Integration and Cooperation is the master strategy for strengthening regional cooperation and integration in the Pacific. It provides a high-level framework that guides the work of national governments, regional agencies and development partners in support of the aspirations of Forum Member countries and our people. The Plan was endorsed by Forum Leaders at their annual meeting in Madang in October 2005. Oversight of the Pacific Plan is provided by the Pacific Plan Action Committee (PPAC). This Committee comprises representatives from each member and associate member states of the Pacific Islands Forum, as well as Executives of each of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) agencies. The role of PPAC is to review implementation of the Pacific Plan and provide high-level advice to Leaders on strengthening regional cooperation and integration.
The Pacific Plan was designed as a 'living document' so that it can adapt to the changing landscape of Pacific regionalism. It has been reviewed once, in 2009, and now Leaders have decided it is time for the Plan to undergo another, more comprehensive, Review.
PACE-Net submitted the following contribution to the Pacific Plan Review Team:
PACE-Net (http://pacenet.eu/) is the European Commission-supported Pacific-EU Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Network with members drawn from across the Pacific and European regions.
PACE-Net’s goals are to: strengthen bi-regional dialogue and planning on Science, Technology and Innovation between the Pacific and Europe (EU) on global and regional priorities of mutual importance; identify research partnership projects that will address those priorities; and raise awareness of the critical importance of the Pacific region to global sustainability and the vulnerability of its island countries.
Three PACE-Net bi-regional dialogues and accompanying thematic workshops since 2011 have brought together policy makers, funding agencies, and representatives from research, innovation and development institutions from the Pacific and EU. These produced policy briefs in thematic areas of high priority to both regions including: health; biodiversity and ecosystem management; climate change in relation to: water; agriculture and forestry; fisheries and agriculture; and natural hazards. These policy briefs identify knowledge gaps which are crucial for prioritisation of future research in order to develop robust, knowledge-based policy and plans.
Issue Addressed by this Submission
The lack of recognition in the current 2005 Pacific Plan (modified in 2008) of the fundamental importance of science, technology and innovation in the sustainable development of Pacific island countries and the betterment of its peoples.
Pacific Island Nations face many complex and challenging problems in the sustainable development of their countries and vast maritime regions in the face of global change. Making wise decisions in addressing these problems requires a solid and reliable knowledge base. In many cases, particularly those connected with managing our unique natural resources and the impacts of global change on them, our knowledge base is inadequate. Despite this, the current 2005 Pacific Plan (modified in 2008) does not recognise the importance of increasing the knowledge base and capacity of the Pacific by investing in regionally appropriate science, technology, innovation and research and building capacity in them. The absence of an ST&I goal is also mirrored in the absence of ST&I policies in many Pacific island states. Without that goal and those policies, the Pacific is in sharp contrast to other regions in the world and gives the appearance of being unaware of the fundamental importance of ST&I to the future.
It is recommended that the Pacific Plan includes the goals to:
Invest in and develop appropriate science, technology and innovation to underpin the sustainable development and improved planning and management of the Pacific region and the betterment of its people in the face of global change.
Increase regional capacity in relevant science, technology and innovation to better inform policy development, improved planning and management, augment development opportunities and improve adaptation to global change within the Pacific region.
As a strategy for achieving these goals, it is recommended that a task force from regional bodies including SPC, SPREP, Pacific Islands University Regional Network, the Pacific Science Association, research organisations within the region, as well as bi-regional and international agencies and aid donors be established to build on the thematic priorities already identified in PACE-Net and elsewhere. Based on the established priorities, the task force will develop short and long term priorities in ST&I relevant to the sustainable development and improved planning and management in the Pacific and strategies to address these priorities and increase regional ST&I capacity. It is recommended that this task force also identify funding opportunities to support ST&I priority strategies and capacity building and develop mechanisms for monitoring ST&I progress.
Planned outcomes resulting from the recommended ST&I goals are:
o Improved knowledge-based policies for the sustainable development of the region
o Improved planning, management and use of the vast ecosystems and invaluable natural resources within the region
o Increased capacity and training in ST&I
o Improved resilience in adapting to global change
o Increased development opportunities
o Augmented opportunities for funding soundly-based development proposals
o Improved health within the region
o Improved agricultural, forestry, aquacultural and fisheries productivity
o Enhanced use of renewable energy o Improved ability to cope with natural hazards
o Improved communications
PACE-Net and its successor PACE-Net+ recognise both the critical importance of the Pacific region to global sustainability and the vulnerability of its island countries. We are committed to strengthening the regional dialogue and planing on ST&I between Europe and the Pacific on global and regional priorities of mutual importance and to increasing capacity and opportunities. Our aim is to assist the region and especially those small island countries with very limited ST&I capacity to achieve the goals recommended above. We are dedicated to assisting the Pacific community in achieving its full potential in ST&I and in achieving the sustainable development, planning and management of this globally critical region to the betterment of its peoples.
More about the Pacific Plan Review 2013 (http://www.pacificplanreview.org/pacific-plan/
PACE-Net* Key Stakeholder Conference
Connecting Research and Innovation for development in the Pacific
Suva, Fiji 12th – 14th March 2013
Enthusiastic discussions on results of the three year Pacific-European Network on Science and Technology (PACE-Net) were held by more than 120 delegates from about 17 Pacific and European countries and territories at the final PACE-Net Conference hosted by the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva Fiji from 12-14 March.
The Fijian Minister for the Environment, Colonel Samuela Saumatua, in opening the Conference, emphasized the need for policies to be founded on good scientific information, particularly because of the Pacific’s vulnerability to global change. He acknowledged that this was an area that needed strengthening in the Pacific.
Mr Andrew Jacobs, Head of delegation of the European Union (EU) for the Pacific based in Suva, stressed the EU’s active involvement in: regional and global areas of common concern; capacity building; and its continued commitment to research and development. V.C. & President of USP, Prof. R. Chandra outlined USP’s commitment, as a regional organisation, to increasing the role of science and technology in regional policy development, in capacity building and in networks with other Pacific Island Universities. Mr Jimmie Rodgers, Director General of SPC, underlined the importance of research for Pacific countries to respond to their challenges and to improve their development. For this, he adds that research institutes, policy makers, regional organisations, private sector will have to all work together.
PACE-Net results included: strengthening the EU-Pacific bi-regional dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I); identifying the general absence of regional and national ST&I policies and plans in the Pacific; catalysing the formation of the “Pacific Islands University Research Network” (PIURN); and assisting initiation of a national ST&I policy framework process in Papua New Guinea. In addition, PACE-Net raised awareness of the critical importance of the Pacific – a region of extraordinary physical, social and economic diversity –to global sustainability and of the vulnerability of small island nations to global change.
PACE-Net developed policy briefs which present priority research and development needs in seven thematic areas in the Pacific, Climate Change in relation to: Freshwater in the Pacific; Agriculture and Forestry; Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Pacific; Natural Hazards; Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management; and Health. These identified opportunities for bi-regional research partnerships and projects to address priority areas.
An information session on EU research and innovation framework programmes and mobility schemes detailed experiences in and opportunities for international collaboration between Europe and the Pacific. Research facilities were explored at the Conference which also further stimulated initiatives for research collaborations.
A range of recommendations for enhancing the use of research in policy formulation were developed including the creation of regional thematic task forces for research coordination.
Delegates from Tuvalu and Tonga spoke for all participants when they thanked the European Commission, IRD and the PACE-NET Consortium for their generous support for PACE-Net and concluded that both the project and the final Conference, organised and run by USP, were highly successful and valuable and that wide dissemination of the outcomes of PACE-Net would catalyse the development of national and regional research policy frameworks in the Pacific.
*Coordinated by IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement), PACE-Net (Pacific Europe Network for Science and Technology) is an INCO-NET funded by the European Commission.
More info on the Conference: http://suva-conference.pacenet.eu/
7th Framework Program
FP7 is the short name for the Seventh Framework Program for Research and Technological Development. This is the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe and it will run from 2007-2013. FP7 is also designed to respond to Europe's employment needs, competitiveness and quality of life.
Application form to join us
Indeed, the 10 members of the consortium do not represent the whole range of institutions interested in Pacific S&T, Key stakeholders will be involved in PACE-Net dialogue and will be part of the project.
Many of PACE-Net activities - information days and thematic dialogue platforms - are open to participation. To be kept informed of our activities and other news and events in S&T research in the Pacific and to be included in our mailing list, please fill out the following form: