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Ocean is a matter of survival for Pacific: USP Vice Chancellor Featured

USP Vice Chancellor, Rajesh ChandraUSP Vice Chancellor, Rajesh Chandra Photo: USP USP Vice Chancellor, Rajesh ChandraUSP Vice Chancellor, Rajesh Chandra Photo: USP

12 June, 2017. The University of the South Pacific's Vice Chancellor says the Pacific Ocean is not just important to the Pacific Islands, it is a matter of survival and a dignified existence.

Professor Rajesh Chandra made the comment during a meeting in New York to discuss developing regional modes for capacity building and the transfer of marine technology using data-based reporting.

He stated that as an Oceanic University, the Pacific Ocean is therefore vital to the students, USP alumni, to the Pacific Islands governments that own the University, and to all its other stakeholders.

Acknowledging the Chair and organisers of the event, Professor Chandra said he was grateful for the opportunity given the importance of capacity building to enabling both implementation of initiatives and for monitoring, and given the centrality of USP in higher and tertiary education, research and policy work in the Pacific Islands.

The USP is one of two regional Universities in the world, with 14 campuses located in 12 Pacific Islands Counties.


1 comment

  • Hufanga (Okusitino Mahina)
    Hufanga (Okusitino Mahina) Wednesday, 14 June 2017 23:34 Comment Link

    An eminent Tongan professor of the former Centre for Oceanic Art and Culture at USP, the late old and wise Professor Epeli Hau'ofa, once said that, if we are to survive the onslaught of neocolonialism's dependency mentality the we must at once change our thinking about the Pacific as "islands in the far seas" to viewing it as "our sea of islands," that is, from thinking abut the Pacific as being "small" to viewing it as being "big" or, for that matter, from being a condition of "oppression" to being a state of "liberation!"

    If the Moana Oceania (Pacific Ocean) is, in the words of USP Vice Chancellor, Professor Rajesh Chandra, a matter of survival and of dignified existence for its honourable peoples, then must we strictly treat the Moana Oceania as a space/place that BOTH "relates" and "separates" RATHER than a space/place that EITHER "relates" OR "separates," that is, a space/place of BOTH "life" and "death" RATHER than a space/place of EITHER "life" or "death" and so on and so forth.

    It goes to show that, if the Moana Oceania is a space/place that BOTH "relates" and "separates" and, for that matter, a space/place of BOTH "life" and "death," then there is necessarily a requirement for a constant MEDIATION of such "opposite" tendencies through sustained "harmony" and "beauty," symmetrically transforming them from the hectic to the static or a condition of "crisis" to a state of "stasis."

    This rings true of what the old and wise Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said that, a thing's permanence and stability, as well as its growth and development, had their common source in the counterpoising of "opposite" tendencies, not in their "subordination" in the scheme of things to a "single" objective!

    In this plural, realist context, the singular, idealist human sentiment problematised here by Professor Rajesh Chandra about the Pacific Ocean as a matter of both survival and dignified existence for the whole of Moana Oceania peoples can be made much more meaningful and a reality!


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