Pacific Science Association

The 11th Pacific Science Inter-Congress

Pacific Countries and their Ocean: Facing Local and Global Changes
March 2 - 6, 2009
Tahiti, French Polynesia

The 11th Pacific Science Inter-Congress (PSIC-11) was held in Tahiti, French Polynesia from 2 - 6 March 2009. The Tahiti meeting was the most well-attended Inter-Congress in PSA's history, consisting of over 40 symposia and attracting over 881 scientists including 248 students from 49 countries. Including guests and visiting dignitaries, the attendance totaled over 1000 persons.

Resolutions of the 11th Pacific Science Inter-Congress

Resolution on Ocean Acidification
In the two years since the 21st Pacific Science Congress endorsed a PSA emphasis on ocean acidification as a rapidly emerging scientific field of critical importance to the Pacific Island nations, the topic has grown in prominence and importance. New information has emerged regarding critical new ecosystem effects for critical habitats such as coral reefs, as well as the prediction of a marked increase in oceanic dead zones. The presentation of a large number of strong contributions in this field at the Inter-Congress is testimony to the strong growth of this field. The PSA therefore encourages the revitalization of the PSA Working Group on Ocean Acidification, with the goal of presenting a comprehensive account of progress in this field to policymakers at the 2011 Congress.

Resolution on Cooperation in Science and Education in the Pacific Islands
PSA recognizes the rapid increase in effective cooperation in science and education between regional and international scientific and educational institutions, international and local NGOs, regional organizations, government agencies, the private sector and local communities, and the application of this cooperation to sustainable development in the Pacific Islands. PSA also recognizes the important contribution that funding entities, including international foundations, industry, and national aid sources, have played in these developments.

PSA endorses the increasing emphasis on the application and packaging of science and education as a basis for improved education and sustainable development and conservation initiatives and for bridging the gap between the most up-to-date science and Pacific Island nations and local communities.
PSA also endorses the increasing emphasis on documenting, conserving, and applying indigenous and traditional knowledge to local development initiatives, and on collecting, protecting, and promoting the conservation of threatened cultural plants and other biodiversity and genetic resources, which can help provide a basis for sustainable island development.

PSA recognizes the importance of increased involvement of youth, Pacific Island peoples and local community representatives in cooperative scientific and educational initiatives, with particular recognition of the increase in the representation of youth in scientific initiatives and the increased emphasis on the postgraduate training of Pacific as integral components of cooperative initiatives.
The PSA recognizes the following gaps or opportunities for further increasing the effectiveness of cooperation in science and education as a basis for sustainable development in the Pacific Islands:

  • The need for greater engagement with Spanish-speaking countries on the eastern Pacific Rim such as Chile and Ecuador that have active interests in Pacific Island scientific research and education.
  • The need for greater emphasis on the involvement of local researchers in scientific research and educational materials development, and on the recording of traditional knowledge and its incorporation into scientific and educational initiatives and outputs.
  • The need to strengthen research capacity with the Pacific Islands though the expansion and enhancement of research initiatives and facilities within the region, increasing formal postgraduate education of Pacific Islanders, and forging strong links between Pacific Rim research organizations and their Pacific Island counterparts.
  • The need to strengthen the application of science and education at the community-level and the packaging and delivery of science and educational materials and research outputs in ways more appropriate for use by local communities.

Resolution on Invasive Alien Species
Invasive alien species (IAS) represent a well-known threat to native Pacific biodiversity and several sectors of the region’s civil society. Several regional organizations are already in place to facilitate regional coordination and cooperation in the taxonomy and natural history of IAS (e.g., PACINET, BioNET-INTERNATIONAL, and the University of the South Pacific); monitoring and control of IAS by the region’s national environmental agencies (e.g., SPREP, Pacific Invasives Partnership); and applied scientific approaches to the monitoring and identification of IAS such as DNA barcoding (e.g., Consortium for the Barcode of Life).

PSA endorses increased collaborative efforts to identify and address invasive species issues, which constitute one of the main threat to sustainable island development. PSA is well-positioned to take an active leadership role in creating synergies among these potential partners.  PSA resolves to promote the creation, by the 22nd PSA Congress in 2011, of a Working Group dedicated to creating the research capabilities needed to implement science-based, cost-effective programs for monitoring and controlling IAS in the Pacific.

Building Research Capacity in Taxonomy
PSA recognizes that taxonomy is a basic tool in addressing many practical socioeconomic challenges, such as food security, environmental protection, and public health. The Association also recognizes the significant “taxonomic impediment” to biodiversity conservation, which is  the lack of trained taxonomists and research infrastructure for taxonomy. 

PSA recognizes the need to strengthen taxonomic and bio-informatic capacity in the region as a way of addressing the “taxonomic impediment” to the sustainable use of, and equitable access to, biodiversity, and resolves to strengthen the long-term collaborations between the taxonomic research institutions and activities on Pacific islands and taxonomic initiatives around the Pacific Rim and elsewhere. 

Resolution Thanking the PSI-09 Hosts and Local Organizing Committee

The Pacific Science Association wishes to extend its congratulations and gratitude to the Governments of France, the Government of French Polynesia for the outstanding success of the 11th Pacific Science Inter-Congress. In particular, the PSA Council and Executive Board wish to acknowledge the exceptional efforts of Dr. Pierre Mery, Special Assistant in Charge of Research and Technology in French Polynesia, Dr. Priscille Frogier, Director of the Research Department of French Polynesia, and Dr. Jean-Claude Angue, Special Assistant in Charge of Research and Technology in New Caledonia.

The PSA Council and Executive Board also wish to thank the Session Organizers and the members of the International Organizing Committee, including Co-Chairs Dr. Congbin Fu and Dr. Fabrice Colin, as well as Bill Aalbersberg, Hamid Amir, Marie-Lise Chanin, Jean-Claude Cochard, Julie Cole, Juan Correa, Jacques Commaille, David Fielding, Jean-Pierre Gattuso, Hervé Jourdan, Nancy Lewis, Christian Montet, Claude Payri, Serge Planes, Sumonta Promboon, George Roderick, Bernard Salvat, Gérard Siclet, Serge Tcherkezoff, Rémy Teyssou, Randy Thaman, Darrell Tryon, and Makoto Tsuchiya. 

PSA also extends its thanks to the Local Organizing Committee, including Mr. Adolphe Colrat, the High Commissioner of the Republic of French Polynesia and Mr. Oscar Temaru, the President of French Polynesia. PSA recognizes and thanks the Vice-President of French Polynesia, the Minister-in-Charge of Research and Cultural Affairs, the Minister-in-Charge of Environment, the Minister-in-Charge of Marine Resources and the Sea, the Minister-in-Charge of Land Planning, the Minister-in-Charge of Health, the Minister-in-Charge of the Economy, and the Heads of the Departments of French Polynesia. Representing the Office of the High Commissioner, we recognize the efforts of the General Secretary, the Attaché to the General Secretary, the Windward Islands Administrator, the Chief of Staff of the High Commissioner, and the Heads of French Departments. The PSA Council and Board thanks the President of the University of French Polynesia and the various research institutions in French Polynesia and New Caledonia.

The PSA thanks the various keynote speakers, including Dr. Louise Peltzer, Dr. Anne Salmond, Dr. Brian Bowen, Dr. Jonathan Overpeck, Dr. John Connell, Dr. Mark McGillivray, Dr. Patrick Kirch, Dr. Joanie Kleypas, Dr. Eric Dewailly, Dr. Dominique Wolton, and Dr. Pierre Jacquet.

The PSA wishes to emphasize its sincere and deep thanks to the Government of France and French Polynesia, who provided the generous financial support for the Inter-Congress. Without this support, the participation of so many young scientists, students, and Pacific Island guests at this meeting would not have been possible. We also wish to acknowledge and thank our partners at the Académie des Sciences for its critical cooperation and support, and for the success in integrating 2nd Symposium on French Research in the Pacific with the 11th Inter-Congress and thereby enhancing the success of both meetings.

The PSA Council and Board recognize the hard work of a number of individuals working in the Inter-Congress Secretariat and logistics team and we thank them for their efforts. The commitment of these persons to the organization of such a complex meeting such as this Inter-Congress was fundamental, and the PSA Council and Executive Board extend their thanks.

The PSA thanks and congratulates the Delegation from Malaysia for its presentation on the 22nd Pacific Science Congress. We look forward to working with the hosts in Malaysia in ensuring the success of the next Congress in Kuala Lumpur in June 2011.

And finally, PSA thanks all the scientists and students who shared the fruits of their research in their presentation and poster sessions.

 

The goals of the Inter-Congress were:

  1. To assess the knowledge status of local and global changes withing Pacific countries;
  2. To gather Pacific country scientists and other scientists working in the Pacific region
  3. To develop beneficial exchanges between all the countries of the Pacific region, and in particular with the scientific communities of French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, and New Caledonia.
  4. To give young scientists in the Pacific region a stimulating exchange opportunity.

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