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Environment Service invests in staff to develop technical capacity

Friday 17 February 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Environment, National


Environment Service invests in staff to develop technical capacity
Vavia Tangatataia, National Environment Service manager of environmental compliance, is one of the three staff taking up online studies with the University of Newcastle, Australia. 22110417

National Environment Service (NES) has successfully enrolled three senior staff to take up online studies with the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Vavia Tangatataia, Benjamin Maxwell and Junior Tapoki from the Environmental Compliance Department will undertake Postgraduate Certificate in Environmental Management and Sustainability.

Tangatataia is manager environmental compliance while Maxwell and Tapoki are senior environmental compliance officers.

In a statement, NES said the staff are required to allocate a minimum of 10 hours per week to study the online course materials. 

The programme is part of the University of Newcastle’s distant education platform of which the NES staff conduct on a part time basis.

NES director Halatoa Fua noted: “Vavia, Benjamin and Junior have years of experience in environmental compliance. This programme will further enhance their skills by incorporating international case studies and literature review. This programme is a significant win for NES as we provide capacity building opportunities for the team without taking them away from their families and commitments here in the Cook Islands. This pilot programme will open doors for more NES staff to enrol in the future.”

The University of Newcastle has world-class achievements as one of the Top 200 Universities in the world, top five in the world for partnering for a sustainable future and the number one university in Australia for indigenous enrolments and industry collaboration, the statement said.

“NES is investing heavily in its staff to develop technical and specialised capacity to strengthen its output as a Permitting Authority. 

“The assessment of various projects, from coastal development to environmental impact from infrastructure developments, is becoming more complex and requires savvy technical skills. As the world move towards a greener and more sustainable economy, the demand for green jobs will grow.”

The Postgraduate Certificate in Environmental Management and Sustainability is set out in three trimesters.

Students can complete the programme between one and three years depending on whether they take up part time or full-time studies. Trimester 1 involves several modules which covers a wide range of topics such as complex adaptive system, ecosystems and human social systems, adaptive cycles, adaptive management, sustainability and resilience indicators. Students will conduct audio presentations, facilitate online discussion boards and Zoom tutorials, essay and report writing. 

“The three staff are gradually working through each of the weekly modules and are enjoying the opportunity,” the statement said.