The National, Wednesday 5th September, 2012
By GYNNIE KERO
FOUR officers attended a forum on international geospatial and oceans law and policy under the mining sector institutional strengthening technical assistance project in Brisbane recently.
This is a five-year project funded through a loan from the International Development Association of the World Bank in 2008 and will end next December.
It aims to improve the benefits from extractive industries to the national budget and to mining affected communities, mitigate mining’s health and safety risks for artisanal small miners.
The project is managed and implemented by the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).
The officers were MRA’s geographical information systems specialists Dorothy Damar and Wilfred Moi, environmental officer Margaret Aulda and Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management’s principal policy officer Seymour Pok.
The three-week course was aimed at promoting the rule of law in the world’s oceans based on the UN’s Convention on the Law of the Sea.
It discussed the principles and regimes in the convention, broadening the understanding of the rule of law for oceans.
The forum provided an opportunity for these officers to keep up to date with new technologies, share ideas with participants and learn from each other in areas of mapping and spatial data management.
Damar said they learnt better ways to reduce map production time, costs and new techniques and tools developed for GIS analysis.
They said organisations they had met had data management applications whereas the MRA’s Geological Survey Division, which was the custodian of all geological information in PNG, had data but did not have a database system to manage all these relevant information.
They recommended that MRA should have a database that could integrate the normal data with spatially related data.
“This is crucial in maintaining information about our mineral resources which would in turn lead to better decision making,” they said.
Other beneficiaries of the project are Internal Revenue Commission and Autonomous Bougainville’s Mining Department.