UOG President Robert A. Underwood shakes hands with Amena V Yauvoli, manager of the Secretariat of the Pacific CommunityNorth Pacific Regional Office, after the signing of the memorandum of agreement on May 6, 2011.
On May 6, University of Guam President Robert A. Underwood signed a memorandum of agreement with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) to maximize the impact and outcomes of research and outreach projects produced by both organizations in the broad areas of scientific research, socio-economic development, and health.
“This opens a new level of collaboration with scientists throughout the South Pacific,” said Underwood. “Instead of approaching institutions one by one, we can network with all the institutions and organizations within the SPC framework on issues like island sustainability, renewable energy, population, agriculture and the environment.”
SPC is a Pacific-based, international intergovernmental organization established by treaty under the Canberra Agreement on 6 February 1947. It has 26 members, comprising 22 Pacific Island countries and territories and four metropolitan members, Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States of America. These members govern and guide SPC in its work towards achieving a secure and prosperous Pacific region with healthy and well-educated people who are able to manage their resources according to environmentally and socially sustainable principles. SPC’s headquarters is in Noumea, New Caledonia. It also has regional offices in Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, and project offices throughout the Pacific region. (OTR Note: Guam is also a member of the Pacific Community).
“The benefits and outcomes gained by working together are far greater than those possible through our individual efforts,” added Underwood.
SPC and UOG have together identified eight themes on which to focus collaborative efforts over the next four years: (1) communication for behavior and social change; (2) higher education; (3) bio-security [invasive species ecology]; (4) diagnostic laboratory assistance; (5) biomedical sciences; (6) natural resources ecology including soils, forestry, agriculture and watershed restoration; (7) regional health communications and telecommunications; and (8) workforce development.
After the initial four year period, the memorandum of agreement will be reviewed by both organizations every two years.