The Science, Technology and Resources (STAR) Network was founded in 1984 as a joint initiative between SOPAC1 and the IOC/UNESCO2. The STAR Network met annually for nearly three decades in conjunction with SOPAC, which provided secretariat support. SOPAC is now the Geoscience Division of the Pacific Community (SPC), so the secretariat responsibility has transferred to SPC. In April 2015 at a Regional Geoscience Steering Group Meeting an agenda item considered the future of STAR.
At that regional geoscience meeting Pacific Island delegates decided:
- to strongly support the re-invigoration of STAR because of its value in refreshing and animating scientific alliances and showcasing useful work, techniques and instrumentation that may be adapted to address development issues of the Pacific;
- to explore how STAR could become more independent in particular with respect to administration and financial matters;
- that for the future of STAR to be sustained, STAR needed to secure ownership by the Pacific islands, hence Malakai Finau, [then] Director of Mineral Development of Fiji, was chosen by Pacific islands representatives to be interim STAR Chair to take forward the independence and reinvigoration causes; and
- requested the Pacific Community Geoscience Division to support interim Chair of STAR with convening a June 2016 STAR Conference as the first STAR Conference where conference fees would be charged as a start to searching for a model for STAR’s independence.
- Successful conferences were held in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Due to the COVID-19 virus a conference was unable to be held in 2020. However, it is planned to convene a vitual conference in November 2021.
Over the past year an interim STAR Steering Committee has supported the Interim Chair in the work towards the convening of a STAR Conference mid-2016. The STAR 2016 Conference is being held from 6 to 8 June 2016 at the Tanoa International Hotel under the overall theme of
“Geosciences, Geo-engineering and the Ocean in the Pacific Islands Region.”
The Interim STAR Steering Committee has worked over a year to put together the STAR 2016 Conference programme and field trip. We hope the 3 days are professionally fulfilling for each participant. We also thank you all for affirming that the self-funding model for the STAR can work
just as well in the Pacific as it does in other regions; and we wish you a pleasant stay in Fiji (for the visitors). We hope to see every one of you again at the next STAR event!
27 May 2016