11 Jun 2012

New Zealand and French Pacific science agencies to work more closely together

1:45 pm on 11 June 2012

New Zealand and French science agencies are to work more closely in the Pacific under a new agreement being signed in New Caledonia this week.

The New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research and France's South Pacific Integrated Observatory for the Environment and Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity, will sign a memorandum of understanding in Noumea on Wednesday.

A principal scientist at NIWA, Dr Geoffroy Lamarche, says the agreement will allow the two agencies to share funds and expertise more freely on projects, such as the effect of human activity on biodiversity and fresh water quality on Pacific islands.

"There is a big problem in New Caledonia to access fresh water and they have got limited resources and capabilities up there so we're hoping to be able to help them develop their experience and expertise in fresh water quality and fresh water access."

Geoffroy Lamarche says he hopes the agreement will eventually be extended to include other research institutes in the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, France and Australia.