SUVA, July 13 (Xinhua) -- The Fijian government expressed on Friday concerns about the shortage of qualified personnel in the field of geoscience during natural disasters in the island nation.
Fiji's permanent secretary for the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources Malakai Finau said this was affecting Fiji especially when a natural disaster strikes.
He said there is not enough staff to monitor natural disasters such as cyclones, tsunamis and flooding.
"We have identified the shortage of qualified staff in the area of geoscience for example qualified geologists, mining engineers, meteorologists and other areas and we are going to make submissions in order to improve the services because there are benefits," he said.
Finau said those who intend to study geology have to travel abroad and only a few return to Fiji to work.
He said they will make submissions so that Fiji can implement curriculum in the local universities to help address this issue as part of geoscience advancement in the Pacific region.
The Fijian government is currently hosting the Pacific Islands Science, Technology and Resources Conference (STAR) where regional geoscientists and experts are working on strategies to mitigate the imminent threats of climate change in the region.
The conference that ends on Friday focuses on key areas such as ocean geoscience, Science of Natural Hazard and Risks to Pacific Communities including land use, energy and infrastructure development on Pacific Islands.
With the theme "Geoscience Development in the Pacific Islands - Planning for 2030", the conference provides an opportunity for delegates to present tangible development agendas in areas of prime importance to the Pacific.
The STAR conference talks about how Pacific experts prepare and mitigate for the damage imposed on oceans and the imminent threats of climate change in the region from the geoscience perspective.
Attendees will submit papers on geoscience advancement in the Pacific region, which reflects the linkage between the geosciences as a planning tool for islands and natural resources management.