A New Zealand virologist says there is a need to develop networks around the Pacific to empower local scientists.
Dr Arvind Varsani has connected science communities across Africa to help them harness their skills and knowledge and says he hopes to do the same in the Pacific.
He says a science network has been initiated in Tonga, where he has worked with the government and schools and assisted teachers with publishing scientific articles.
"We can achieve quite a lot. A lot of information can be passed between governments. And think about it as having informants in different areas. You're collecting intelligence, if may you use that word, but in terms of science, what you're doing is you've got people out there who are researching different aspects but a lot of those aspects are probably going to be inter-related because a lot of the islands, if you think about it, have similar common problems."
Dr Arvind Varsani says he would like to develop the network in Tonga before he takes the idea other island nations.