Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 871
1) Fiji recounts achievements under its leadership, hands over FMM chair to FLNKS
By Online Editor
1:39 pm GMT+12, 17/06/2013, New Caledonia
By PACNEWS Editor, Makereta Komai in Lifou, New Caledonia
Fiji’s two year leadership tenure of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) comes to an end at the Summit of Leaders in Noumea this week, with a call on members to ‘carve our own niche in Pacific regionalism.’
Outgoing chair of the MSG Foreign Ministers Meeting, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said since Fiji took over the chairmanship of the group in March 2011, the organisation has achieved a number of milestones and extended its presence internationally.
“We have the potential to strengthen our relationship with other metropolitan powers to determine our destiny.
Ratu Inoke urged members not to be too concerned about what others think of the group.
“We must determine our common goals and co-operate activities that enhance our co-operation and integration.
These common goals, according to Ratu Inoke must ensure the creation of wealth, employment, access to basic services and empowerment of the underprivileged communities in Melanesia.
He called on members to empower the Port Vila based Secretariat to advance the MSG cause.
“I call on your indulgence in the timely payment of our contributions to allow the Secretariat to discharge their roles and responsibilities effectively.
The achievements of the MSG in the last two years, Ratu Inoke said was in line with the promise made by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to Leaders in March 2011.
On the political front, the MSG police commissioners have advanced work on the department of peacekeeping operations. Once fully operational, the department will be responsible for overseeing the MSG police unit, a regional police academy and the humanitarian and emergency response co-ordinating centre.
“It’s important that we collectively realize out true potential in peacekeeping operations internationally, Ratu Inoke told his counterparts from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and FLNKS.
“Our unique customs and traditions make us effective peackeepers.
“We must also effectively share information to prevent our countries against the threats of globalisaton and liberalization.
Another notable achievement is the conclusion of the review of the MSG’s constitution. The review attempts to improve the organisation’s decision making process, especially in addressing new membership applications.
The only membership application before the MSG is from the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation based in Port Vila.
Ratu Inoke also highlighted significant progress made in trade and economic co-operation amongst member countries. MSG countries are considering Closer Economic Relations and the possible creation of a common market through the expansion of the MSG Trade Agreement into services and labour mobility.
In 2012, MSG Leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Skills Movement Scheme (SMS), which came into force in September last year.
Under Fiji’s leadership, the MSG considered environment and climate change issues, resulting in a Leaders declaration on environment and climate change and a framework on Green Growth for future development.
Ratu Inoke said Fiji is confident that the achievements of the past two years will serve as a launching pad for greater things for the organisation as the FLNKS take on the helm of leadership.
He handed over the mantle of leadership to first ever woman chair of the MSG Foreign Ministers group, Madame Caroline Machoro-Regnier of the FLNKS.
In her brief statement as she assumed chairmanship of the foreign ministers meeting, Madame Machoro-Regnier said she was proud of her new role as it marks a milestone for the emancipation of the people of Kanak.
“I hope that our chairmanship of MSG will foster the wishes of other people for emancipation.
On the wishes of the people of West Papua to join the Melanesia Spearhead Group, Madame Machoro-Regnier said FLNKS supports full membership for the people’s representative of West Papua.
“This is a difficult issue, one that is highly politicized because we lack the facts and figures on violations on the ground in West Papua. However, the people of West Papua need our action and support, said Madame Machoro-Regnier.
She said the MSG is at the cross-road, celebrating its 25 years of existence.
“Addressing these political issues will send a strong signal to the rest of the world that we are strong and that we respect and value each other in dealing with the West Papuan cause.
Madame Machoro-Regnier is an elected member of the New Caledonia Congress representing the Union Caledonienne, one of the political parties within the FLNKS.
2) Half day strike ends after agreement reached
Posted on June 17, 2013 –
Warwick Le Lagon Resort and Spa, is understood to have recommenced normal operations after the management reached an agreement with the staff and Labour Department to look into the issues behind a half day strike staged by what the management called a “small contingent of staff members”.
But Le Lagon Workers Union representative, John Ringo, told Daily Post the strike by majority of the Resort’s workers was triggered by the management’s failure to address what he referred to as “lots of claims” by the workers.
From “pages of claims” Ringo raised “overtime, wages and night allowances” as some of the long outstanding issues being raised by the Resort’s workers’ union for the past three years.
Mr Ringo said the half day strike was called off 12pm yesterday after reaching an agreement with the Resort’s management and Labour Department to discuss the issues raised with the Resort’s Regional Human Resource Officer in a meeting scheduled for Monday next week.
“The union members agreed to take action as we have been raising these issues with the Resort without any positive response,” said the resort’s workers’ union representative.
“We are pleased with the outcome which the management has agreed to discuss the issue but will not hesitate to strike again if we are not satisfied with the outcome of Monday’s meeting,” he added.
Meanwhile the Warwick Le Lagoon Resort and Spa General Manager, Jeremy Walsh has commented that the Resort has been a reputable and large employer in Vanuatu to over 220 workers for 10 years trading as Warwick Le Lagon Resort and Spa and has always complied with current labour laws of the Country.
Walsh described the strike as an “unexpected and disappointing situation where by a small group of people can blockade the resort’s entrance preventing others wanting to continue their employment proper to enter.
“This has an overall impact on visitors to Vanuatu and we may well not see visitors return if these types of drastic and unannounced type of activities are reoccurring.
“This also can then have an impact of future wage earners in Vanuatu as tourism is a large employer in this wonderful country.”
Mr Walsh confirmed dialogue between the management and some members of the workers with the involvement of the Labour Department which ended in agreement to meet further on Monday (June 17).
Warwick Le Lagon Resort and Spa which is one of the biggest in the country is expected to release in the near future a formal statement concerning the issue.
This is not the first time that Le Lagon have raised their concerns as recently they raised similar concerns through media. http://www.dailypost.vu/
Posted at 03:30 on 17 June, 2013 UTC
The head of the United Nations Development Programme in the region, Knut Ostby, says the agency welcomes the chance to give input on Fiji’s elections next year.
The UN body was among representatives from several countries and international agencies who were invited to talks with Fiji’s Minister for Elections last week on co-ordinating the international help on offer.
The Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says the Co-ordinating Committee is a significant step forward in preparing for elections.
Mr Ostby says the UN is still considering what sort of help it will offer Fiji.
“We do not have a blueprint for exactly how an election should take place to be credible and democratic but there are a number of principles that should be followed. The important part of course is participation, that there is transparency etc.”
Mr Ostby says the UNDP hopes to have a general idea on what assistance it can offer Fiji by the end of month deadline.
Radio New Zealand International
4) Tahiti’s Flosse opposes cutting indexed pay for public servants
Posted at 03:30 on 17 June, 2013 UTC
French Polynesia’s president, Gaston Flosse, has warned that it would be a catastrophe if the indexed salaries of French public servants in Tahiti were to be reduced.
Such a cut has been proposed by the head of the Bank of France for New Caledonia to curb the cost of living, but Mr Flosse wants them to keep their pay, which is about double the salary paid in mainland France.
He says there will be higher taxes on top incomes amid expectations of an economic recovery by the end of next year.
Mr Flosse has meanwhile chosen a former French overseas territories minister, Brigitte Girardin, as advisor for his talks planned with the French President, Francois Hollande, next month.
She will reportedly help run the territory’s mission in Paris.
Radio New Zealand International
5) Wallis MP tires of French UMP criticism
Posted at 01:48 on 17 June, 2013 UTC
The new French National Assembly member from Wallis and Futuna has called for an end to the criticism for him sitting with the Socialists.
In March, Napole Polutele was elected as an independent with the backing of the local chapter of France’s opposition UMP.
The UMP has been incensed at him joining the ruling Socialists and accused them of poaching him.
Mr Polutele says these attacks have been going on for too long, adding that he had stood as an independent because at home he was backed by both the right and the left.
He says the political division in Paris doesn’t match the way things are seen in Wallis and Futuna.
Radio New Zealand International
Posted at 22:19 on 16 June, 2013 UTC
An entertainment businessman in Hawai’i, Papali’i Jack Thompson, has been named as Samoa’s Consul-General in the American state.
The announcement was made yesterday by Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi in Honolulu.
Papali’i who is more popularly known as Tihati, and his wife Cha own Tihati Productions which is one of Hawai’i’s leading entertainment companies, specialising in Polynesian dance and music.
The company employs many Samoans and other Pacific islanders.
Papali’i, the son of the late Jack and Ilaisa Thompson of Swains and Pavaiai, was conferred his matai title by the late Head of State of Samoa Malietoa Tanumafili II.
Radio New Zealand International
7) Millions more for 2014 CNMI budget
Posted at 01:48 on 17 June, 2013 UTC
The Northern Marianas Governor, Eloy Inos, says the proposed 123 million dollar budget for fiscal year 2014 will most likely have millions added to it as government revenue grows from a resurgent tourism industry.
Governor Inos says he would like any additional increase to go into the struggling Retirement Fund, despite some departments and agencies asking for their budgets to be increased.
The governor has until the end of July to revise the 123 million dollar projected revenue for fiscal year 2014 that he submitted to the Legislature.
The Inos administration proposed 20 million dollars to be remitted to the pension agency in fiscal year 2014.
Radio New Zealand International
8) Scams cost Australians $93 million in 2012: ACCC
Updated 17 June 2013, 8:28 AEST
By consumer affairs reporter Amy Bainbridge
New figures show Australians reported losing more than $93 million to scams last year, and the consumer watchdog warns the figure may be just the tip of the iceberg. A report by the ACCC shows there has been a 65 per cent increase in reports of online shopping scams, though ‘inheritance’ scams remain the most common. Most scam victims lose between $100 and $500, and the ACCC fears many crimes go unreported as people do not realise they have been scammed or are too embarrassed to tell anyone. Retailers, meanwhile, say they are the forgotten victims of scams, which cost them up to $1 million each year.
New figures show Australians reported losing more than $93 million to scams last year, and the consumer watchdog warns the figure may be just the tip of the iceberg.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Targeting Scams Report shows there has been a 65 per cent increase in reports of online shopping scams.
But despite the enormous growth in online retail spending, only 35 per cent of reports to the ACCC were for online shopping.
Voice and text message scams make up more than half of all complaints.
The ACCC’s deputy chair Delia Rickard says the most common form of scam is “advance fee fraud”.
“You might get an email out of the blue telling you that you’ve inherited $1 million from a long-lost aunt in the United States, but you have to pay this fee to get it out,” she told the ABC.
• Targeting Scams Report shows $93 million was reported lost to scams in Australia last year.
• Despite increase in online retail spending, only 35 per cent of scams involved online shopping.
• The ACCC says the most common form of scam is ‘advance fee fraud’.
• That involves paying a fee to retrieve ‘inherited’ money.
• The ACCC says the average amount lost is between $100 and $500.
• Retailers say they are losing up to $1 million a year as a result of the scams.
Ms Rickard says even though it is not a new form of scamming, the criminals behind the action are becoming more clever and are able to convince people to give them money.
She says many people do not know they have been scammed until it is too late.
“What we’re seeing these days is really high volume scams targeting slightly lower amounts,” she said.
“The average amount that people are losing is somewhere between about $100 and $500 – not insignificant amounts.
“About 32 per cent of people who lost money, lost in the range of that.”
She says scammers are taking advantage of new technology to trick consumers and the problem is likely to be much larger than the number of reported cases.
“[We think] $93 million is just the tip of the iceberg,” she said.
“Many people don’t realise they’ve been scammed, or they’re too embarrassed to tell anyone, including family or friends.”
Retailers the ‘forgotten victims’ of online scams
Paul Greenberg, the chief of the new National Online Retailers Association, says retailers are often the forgotten victim of online scams.
“Some of our big retailers are losing up to $1 million a year in charge backs, in what we call ‘card not present fraud’,” he said.
“It’s a major problem for us, a major threat to an otherwise very vibrant and fast growing sector of Australian retail.
“If someone’s card is misappropriated, if their information is compromised and that card is picked up by a criminal and it’s used to shop for products online, if that product is shipped in good faith by the retailer to the scammer, those goods are essentially lost.
“The original owner of the credit card information, they are recompensated, as they should be. They put in a claim with their card processor or with the bank and they get that money back if they can prove the card was misappropriated.
“But … the retailer just gets a debit against their merchant collections for that day. It often comes as a very unpleasant surprise for retailers to see there’s a big chunk taken out of their daily earnings.”
The ACCC report marks the start of National Consumer Fraud Week. http://www.radioaustralia.net.
9) PNG Bougainville bisnis sikuriti
Updated 17 June 2013, 16:20 AEST
Autonomous Bougainville Gavman bai kirapim wanpela sikuriti kampani long halivim polis long lo na oda longn rijen.
Odio: President John Momis bilong Bougainville i toktok
Long Friday igo pinis, President John Momis bilong Automonus Region bilong Bougainville i bin tok, ol ol Chinese na narapela pipal bilong i brukim lo na igo statim bisnis long rijen.
Dispela tokaut bilong em ibin kamap bihain long ol toktok olsem, ol foranas na Chinese bai liklik taim kisim kontrol long ol liklik bisnis espasali long Buka taun.
President Momis i tok, nau Autnomous Bogainville Government i rerereim INVESTMENT CODE na bai pasim olsem lo long miting bilong ABG long mun September.
Tu olsem yu harim long wik igo pinis, ABG nau i wok wantaim wanpela sikuriti kampani bilong Australia long halivm na kisim wanpela sikiuriti kampani long Bougainville long wok wantaim polis. http://www.radioaustralia.net.
10) Pemimpin Melanesia bahas penerimaan keanggotaaan Papua Barat
Diperbaharui 17 June 2013, 14:25 AEST
Sebuah pertemuan para pemimpin Pasifik di Kaledonia Baru minggu ini akan memutuskan apakah akan menerima permohonan sebuah kelompok pro-kemerdekaan Papua Barat untuk menjadi anggota.
Pertemuan Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) itu dihadiri oleh para pemimpin Fiji, Papua Nugini, Kepulauan dan Vanuatu, serta gerakan politik bumiputra Kaledonia Baru, FLNKS.
Gerakan Free West Papua melihat keanggotaan MSG sebagai suatu langkah maju menuju pengakuan internasional.
Di masa lalu Vanuatu telah menyuarakan dukungan bagi keanggotaan Papua Barat, tapi Fiji dan Kepulauan Solomon belum menyatakan sikap mereka.
Perdana Menteri Papua Nugini, Peter O’Neill, menjelang kunjungannya ke Indonesia pada akhir pekan, mengatakan, kebijakan PNG adalah Papua Barat merupakan bagian integral dari Indonesia.
O’Neill tidak menghadiri pertemuan di Kaledonia Baru itu, tapi sebuah delegasi kuat dari Indonesia diperkirakan akan hadir.
Pembicaraan juga akan difokuskan pada suatu persetujuan perdagangan bebas Melanesia, dan dukungan bagi Front De Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS), yang menginginkan kemerdekaan bagi Kaledonia Baru.
Pada akhir pertemuan, Perdana Menteri Fiji Frank Bainimarama akan menyerahkan kursi kepada jurubicara FLNKS, Victor Tutugoro.
Upaya kemerdekaan Kanak dari Perancis merupakan alasan utama terbentuknya Melanesian Spearhead Group 25 tahun lalu. http://www.radioaustralia.net.
Posté à 17 June 2013, 9:29 AEST
Dans la région, les taux de prévalence des Maladies Sexuellement Transmissibles comptent parmi les plus élevés de la planète.
Et les personnes infectées sont davantage vulnérables au VIH et à la tuberculose.
Jimmie Rodgers, directeur-général du Secrétariat de la Communauté du Pacifique (CPS), s’est rendu à Genève au quartier général du Fonds mondial de lutte contre le sida, la tuberculose et le paludisme.
Ce Fonds, dans le secteur de la lutte contre le sida et les MST, est l’un des plus importants bailleurs de la CPS.
Écoutons ce que Jimmie Rodgers a ramené de Genève.
RODGERS : « Et bien le Fonds mondial s’est engagé à financer à hauteur de 5 millions de dollars un programme charnière de 2 ans sur la prévention du sida.
L’important est que l’exécutif de la CPS s’était prononcé il y a deux ans en faveur d’une proposition pour que la CPS ne renouvelle pas les accords de financements du Fonds mondial dans la région.
Mais les nations océaniennes ont demandé à la CPS de renouveler ces accords de financement.
Le fait est que ce financement arrivait à terme cette année et nous savons maintenant que ces 5 millions de dollars continueront de financer les programmes de lutte contre le sida et le VIH dans les 11 pays de la région qui bénéficient de ce programme et du Fonds mondial.
Donc ça s’est nouveau puisque le financement en cours arrivait à terme à la fin du mois. »
Notons qu’il s’agit d’un programme charnière temporaire qui permet d’acheter des médicaments antirétroviraux pour 11 pays du Pacifique sous la supervision de la CPS.
Temporaire mais pas éternel et les pays de la région devront probablement à l’avenir trouver des moyens plus durables pour accéder aux traitements antirétroviraux. http://www.radioaustralia.net.
12) K500m for PNG university ICT development
By Online Editor
09:19 am GMT+12, 17/06/2013, Papua New Guinea
The Papua New Guinea Government is embarking on K500 million (US$200 million) information and communication technology (ICT) upgrade and development for all government run universities in the country.
The University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), Papua New Guinea University of Technology (Unitech), the University of Goroka and the University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE, Vudal) will be the beneficiaries.
Treasurer and Acting Minister for Higher Education, Science, Research and Technology Don Polye announced last week, saying ICT infrastructures are minimal, primitive and in some instances, non-existent.
The announcement was made after Polye accepted the investigation report into the Lae Unitech unrest and alleged mismanagement and maladministration from retired National and Supreme Court judge Mark Sevua, in Port Moresby.
Polye said the government, particularly his Treasury Ministry is yet to decide whether the program will be done in just a year or spread over a two or three year period, starting next year and it is also dependent on surpluses and gains in the forecasts in next year’s national budget.
He said if that commitment fits into the budget framework for next year then it will be done in one year but if it can’t then it will be spread over several years.
Polye said in order to improve the level of education at the universities, government must allocate the necessary funds to improve ICT.
“The government must bear some responsibility in fixing the ICT problems of the universities as we have not provided enough support in the past,” he said.
Polye said between K5-K10 million (US$2 – US$4 million) will be provided to the universities this year to buy computers, laptops and other accessories but he did indicate how soon that would be.
“It is one of the very, very important tools in modern day universities and by improving the ICT capacities of our institutions, we will improve the quality levels,” he said.
While the national government is trying to improve its universities’ ICT programs and infrastructures, the Divine Word University went paper-free by providing laptops to all its students enrolled at the university since 2009.
Upon enrollment, new students are presented with a laptop which they will keep for the duration of the course program and leave with it after graduating.
Meanwhile, the National Polytechnic Institution of Papua New Guinea, formerly Lae Technical College, is also in need of ICT improvements and infrastructure developments.
Students at this institution petitioned their school board and management to improve its ICT infrastructure and they would dearly love to be included by the government its ICT improvement program.
The government will decide.
13) Big Tuna cannery plan for Solomon Islands
By Online Editor
09:17 am GMT+12, 17/06/2013, Solomon Islands
A Korean firm has proposed to build a multi-million dollar tuna cannery and loin factory at Doma, West Guadalcanal.
Dongwon Industries, one of the world’s leading fisheries company, revealed its $250 million (US$34 million) investment proposal to the Solomon Star.
Company adviser, Ju-hyuk Daniel Kwon, is in Honiara this week to meet local officials.
“I will be meeting with finance and fisheries officials as well as those from Guadalcanal Province to relay our investment proposal,”Kwon said.
He said the Korean government and Dongwon Industries are willing to be partners in this investment to assist Solomon Islands develop its fisheries sector and build its economy.
“We believe this is a great opportunity for Solomon Islands since this is a rich fishing nation.
“Investing in such a huge project will benefit the people and the economy by providing more job opportunities, bring in foreign currency and improve the standard of living,”Kwon said.
He added that this investment includes the construction of a wharf, two cooler rooms and the cannery and loin factory.
“This will be similar to the Noro cannery (in Western Province) but will be bigger and will provide more opportunities and benefits to the local people and economy.”
The company adviser said their target market is in Europe and they believe this will be a milestone achievement for the country to develop such onshore investment to get the maximum benefit of its tuna resources.
“Our company is ready to come in at anytime.
“However, that will depend on the national government’s decision and the Guadalcanal provincial government on how quickly they respond and finalise the process.”
Kwon said he hoped his mission to the Solomons will be fruitful and that both governments will support this huge investment.
“This country’s fisheries sector has a very bright future, and this proposed investment is just the beginning of more to come,” Kwon said.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS
14) China eyed key Qantas investment
By Online Editor
1:20 pm GMT+12, 17/06/2013, Australia
China Southern considered buying a strategic stake in Qantas early this year as Asia’s largest airline searched for ways to boost passengers from one of its most important international markets.
BusinessDay has learnt that the fast-growing Chinese airline made tentative steps towards acquiring a stake of 10 to 15 per cent in Qantas. It included moves to hire lawyers to act as legal advisers on a purchase.
The speculation about China Southern flirting with a plan to buy a cornerstone stake in Qantas reached a height in March. China Southern, which is based in China’s third-largest city, Guangzhou, has been the most aggressive of the big three Chinese airlines in its expansion on routes to Australia.
However, it is understood the airline’s interest waned after Qantas expanded its code-share alliance with China Eastern in early April. Qantas has increasingly hitched itself to the Shanghai-based airline, which includes a co-investment in Jetstar Hong Kong.
Despite this, its interest in taking an equity stake in Australia’s flag carrier underscores the long-term aspirations of the rapidly growing Chinese airlines. China Southern has 31 weekly return flights to Australia, and plans to boost it to 55 services within two years.
Qantas has also been eager to boost the number of passengers from China, rather than rely on Australians as the core of its travellers. It has on its payroll as a consultant Geoff Raby, a former ambassador to China, to smooth relations in the world’s second-largest economy.
While mostly focused on government relations, Raby is understood to have talked to various Chinese airlines on Qantas’ behalf including China Southern and China Eastern.
Laws on foreign ownership of Qantas would not be an insurmountable hurdle but the prospect of a state-backed Chinese airline buying a cornerstone stake would be politically sensitive.
Under the Qantas Sale Act, total ownership by foreign airlines is limited to 35 per cent of the flag carrier’s shares. A purchase would require approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board, while the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission would need to consider competition concerns.
Qantas’ status would also invite extra scrutiny from FIRB because the aviation industry is one of seven “’prescribed sensitive sectors”’ under the Foreign Acquisition and Takeovers Act.
China Southern’s fleeting interest in a stake of 10 to 15 per cent seemed designed to alleviate potential opposition from the government. Treasurer Wayne Swan limited state-owned Chinalco’s stake in Rio Tinto at 14.99 per cent, preventing it from exercising any degree of control over the mining giant.
China Southern declined to comment at the weekend.
Qantas said it did not comment ”on speculation as to who potential investors could be” but a spokesman pointed out that anyone was welcome to buy its shares within the limitations of the law.
“Asia is clearly an important market to Qantas and we are in regular discussion with current and potential partners in the region.”’
Last year China overtook the UK as Australia’s second-largest source of foreign visitors, after New Zealand.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce was one of a number of high-profile Australian CEOs and chairmen to meet Chinese business leaders at a meeting on the sidelines of the Bo’ao Forum for Asia in April.
Analysts have described Asia as the ”problem child” for Qantas after it allayed investor concerns about its performance on European routes by forging an alliance with Emirates.
Merrill Lynch analysts have estimated that Qantas’ flying operations on routes to Asia are ”break-even at best”.
15) Students in sex trade
By Online Editor
09:31 am GMT+12, 17/06/2013, Papua New Guinea
Prostitution by minors and young girls is on the rise in the National Capital District, with students linked to night clubs as a result of high cost of living in the city.
According to an interview with at least three non-government organisations who have programs dealing with child sex trade in the city, there has been an increase in prostitution by minors and young girls by 30 per cent this year compared to the last report done in 2010.
These organisations have also blamed increase in nightclubs in the city with no proper monitoring control mechanism in place, coupled with the high cost of living in NCD.
Children between the ages of 13-16 are reported to be involved in this trade in the city, with well-to-do elites and harbour and aid them to lure customers for their business.
The Post-Courier for the last three months has been in and out of at least seven nightclubs in the nation’s capital.
About five nightclubs in the city are also alleged to be engaged in this prostitution trade with the NCDC confirming that despite legislations in place to curb such acts, there are no proper monitoring mechanisms in place to control such party places.
These children or school girls who are forced into prostitution which is made to service men from all ages for a fee and others for a hefty amount to fend for their living, their needs and to help their families as the cost of goods and services in the city has risen.
The NGOs in the city, while raising serious concerns on the rise in child sex or prostitution in the country’s capital, also wanted the government to seriously enact tougher laws for nightclubs as the NCDC has not been able to effectively enforce laws against night clubs that are encouraging child sex or prostitution.
According to one survey report, about 52 per cent of young girls involved in “nightclub prostitution” are between the ages of 13-16 years.
The report also says while mothers or parents are not aware of their children involving themselves in this trade, others are forced to get involved by their parents.
To further supplement this report, the International Labour Organisation has published the first comprehensive child labour research report for PNG.
The research report (conducted in Port Moresby) revealed that child labour exists, and children from different sectors of the community are engaged in the worst forms of child labour, including commercial sexual exploitation, specifically child prostitution, illicit activities and hazardous work.
The report is based on interviews with 175 child sex workers, mainly girls and over 200 children working on the streets.
Children are also engaged in illicit activities and working in activities such as begging, stealing and selling drugs.
“Young girls are targeted for illegal sexual activities. They are either not aware that they are being used by these nightclubs or they are aware of the consequences they will face later. The fact of the matter is, that is fast money for them to supplement their daily living,” one of the officials of an NGO group said.
“You see, when the rest of the city goes to sleep, defenceless children are awake satisfying the lust of men who check in at the brightly lit new nightclubs. These children are forced into prostitution and are made to service men from all ages for a fee.
“Child prostitution is an issue so hidden from our public consciousness that the mere mention of it results in shock and denial….it’s true, and its here so we have to face it.
What we see in other countries is at our doorstep and it’s true, our girls, and especially school girls are being bought and sold for sex,” another NGO official said.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
Gizo meeting looks at ‘need for resources to build local economies’
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 17, 2013) – The 7th premier’s conference will kick off his morning in the Western provincial capital, Gizo.
Nine provincial premiers and the Mayor of Honiara City Council are in for the one-week conference.
This year’s conference theme is ”Resourcing provinces to develop vibrant local economies’.
It was developed by Western Provincial Government in order to engage the line ministries in a lively debate on the need for resources to build local economies.
According to the host premier, George Lilo, this year’s conference theme is also designed to call the attention of service providers to the urgent need for services in the communities and at the same time highlight the need for the provincial governments to be at the centre of that service delivery.
About 18 resource persons most of them permanent secretaries have been invited to attend the conference by Hon. Silas Tausinga, Minister for the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening.
The premiers’ conference in Gizo is the 7th since the conference started back in 2007 at Lake Tengano in Rennell & Bellona Province.
According to the recent Cabinet conclusions, after the Gizo conference, the premiers conference shall be held once every two years to give time to the government to implement the communiqué.
The next premiers’ conference shall be held in 2015 and the venue shall be decided by end of the conference in Gizo through a bidding process.
Name withheld until final agreement reached
By Mereani Gonedua
SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, June 17, 2013) – A new market for Fiji’s sugar has been identified and the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) is currently finalizing an agreement with the buyer.
“We cannot disclose any names yet as it will jeopardize what we have been discussing however all I can say is that things are looking positive and we might have another buyer soon,” FSC chair Abdul Khan told FijiLive.
“We might be able to disclose the company’s name after everything is finalised,” he said.
He said apart from this negotiations Tate and Lyle is the majority buyer for Fiji’s sugar and everything is done under their fair trade agreement.
He also said there is no denying that Tate and Lyle has contributed a lot to the industry however they assuring all farmers that everything will be considered.
Meanwhile when asked about an update regarding the new sugar prices Khan replied that no prices have been fixed yet as the world prices keep fluctuating and it is hard to come up with a favorable price.
“When we do make the announcement we will make sure that it will benefit everyone.”
18) Vanuatu Warned About Illegal, Unregulated Fishing
EU gives country ‘yellow card’; tuna exports threatened
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 16, 2013) – High-level talks are being held in Vanuatu after the European Union issued the country a ’yellow card’ for illegal unreported unregulated fishing.
A fisheries management and policy officer from the Department of Fisheries, Christopher Arthur says the yellow card means Vanuatu has not complied with certain international legal obligations the country is expected to follow.
Mr Arthur says the EU wants to make sure that the laws that govern Vanuatu’s tuna fishing are not breached by Vanuatu-based fishing boats.
He says since the fishing boats also fish in international waters, it is important that their entire tuna catch is ’clean’ as any illegal unreported unregulated catch could threaten Vanuatu’s tuna export to the European market.
The EU says it is holding talks with the Vanuatu Government this week to reach common ground.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
Posted at 03:30 on 17 June, 2013 UTC
The Congregational Christian Church of Samoa will soon start a loan scheme to help members who need funds to develop their families.
It’s the first time the church has separately loaned money to its followers after the establishment of a similar scheme called the To’omaga, for parishes only.
A senior officer of the church who did not want to be named says the loan scheme is one of the issues discussed in the recent general meeting.
Establishing a bank was also discussed and this could become a reality in the next four years.
Meanwhile hundreds of church families who suffered as a result of Cyclone Evan six months ago have received financial assistance from a one million US dollar fund approved by the church to help rebuild damaged homes and other properties.
Radio New Zealand International
Posted at 03:30 on 17 June, 2013 UTC
A New Zealand-based company is planning to produce the world’s first designated Solomon Islands chocolate.
Cocoa exporter C-Corp shipped six tonnes of cocoa beans from Honiara last month to its newly established processing plant in Tauranga in New Zealand.
While the initial plan will be to process and distribute cocoa products to New Zealand manufacturers, general manager Peter Keyte says the company wants to create a product line of chocolate sourced exclusively from Solomon Islands – something which has never been done before.
He says New Zealand will be a good place to launch 100 percent Solomon Island chocolate bars, which C-Corp hopes will happen by next year.
“There’s some very boutique chocolatiers in New Zealand and it’s a small market that tends to be a very forgiving market. I’m a New Zealander, we know we’ve got a very strong affiliation with the Pacific Islands.”
While the project is still at a formative stage, Mr Keyte says C-Corp hopes to soon be exporting 30 tonnes of cocoa beans to New Zealand a month.
The shipment comes not long after chocolate giant Cadbury-Kraft revealed its plans to source 10,000 tonnes of cocoa from Solomon Islands.
Radio New Zealand International
21) Community effort lowers Solomons malaria rate
Posted at 03:30 on 17 June, 2013 UTC
Strong community involvement has been key in helping a province in Solomon Islands move towards eliminating malaria.
The Ministry of Health says the number of confirmed malaria cases nationwide has dropped significantly, from 132 per 1000 people in 2007 to 44 per 1000 people in 2012.
However, Isabel Province is leading the country in its elimination efforts, with only one case per 1000 people tested in 2012.
The permanent secretary of health and medical services, Dr Lester Ross, says the success is due to vigorous efforts from the community.
“Strong support from the provincial government, from the traditional chiefs, and the third one is from the church, especially through their Mothers Union, this is the women’s group that is spearheading the activities for the church, they are in all of the communities, they ensure the villages are clean, they make sure that the children and people that have malaria have their treatment and they also help in the distribution of these long lasting treated bed-nets.”
Dr Lester Ross says Isabel Province hopes to eliminate malaria from the province by 2014.
Radio New Zealand International
22) Call for blood donations to help shortage in Pacific
By Online Editor
09:22 am GMT+12, 17/06/2013, Australia
Australian Red Cross has launched a new campaign in six Pacific nations to encourage more people to become regular blood donors.
The organisation is using World Blood Donor Day to urge people in the Pacific to donate blood to address a “chronic shortage” of supply.
Australian Red Cross spokesman, Neil Waters, has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat shortage of blood is an “acute problem” in the Pacific.
“In the Pacific there’s not a strong culture of voluntary culture of blood donation,” he said.
However, Waters says the Cook Islands is one exception, with a culture of 100 per cent voluntary blood donation since 2009.
“They’ve been the poster child of the Pacific,” he said.
“They made a decision in about 2005 to become totally reliant on volunteer blood donors and they achieved that over about five years.
“The number of blood donors and the number of blood donations they collect has steadily increased each year.”.
SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS
Posted at 22:19 on 16 June, 2013 UTC
Bougainville is to team up with an Australian security company as it strives to improve law and order in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province.
An under resourced police force is seen as the key reason lawless remains a deterrent to investment and other activity.
The president John Momis says while the government is now starting to take greater control and get into a position to enforce their laws and policies, there is a need for more training for police.
And he says to complement that work they intend training former combatants as security personnel, through a joint venture with Australian firm, BRI.[bee are eye]
“We will set up an academy or a training school for ex-combatants and other civilians to be our security people. The standard will be Australian standard – we don’t want any mediocrity. They will not take the role of the police by the way, they will collaborate and complement the role of the police.”
The President of Bougainville John Momis.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International
24) Critics say liquor ban not working in PNG province
Posted at 01:48 on 17 June, 2013 UTC
The Southern Highlands Chamber of Commerce president Berry Mini says the liqour ban put in place in the Papua New Guinea province about two and a half years ago has backfired.
Mr Mini says the ban on selling alcohol was introduced to try and cut down on the number of drunkards in the street and clean up the image of the province to coincide with the arrival of the LNG gas project.
But he says it’s not being enforced properly and says some police personnel are assisting contractors to bring liqour into the province.
He says alcohol is being sold on the black market at exorbitant prices and some people are making home-brew or turning to other drugs.
“They can come and buy alcohol but it will be at a black market, it’s sold in the town, and marijuana consumption has doubled I think the statistics, I would say. You drive into the town, the main market people are selling marijuana.”
Berry Mini says the Chamber of Commerce has urged the provincial government to lift the ban and impose strict controls on the selling of alcohol.
Radio New Zealand International
25) Court to decide on Tjandra
By Online Editor
09:28 am GMT+12, 17/06/2013, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says controversial Indonesian fugitive in Papua New Guinea Djoko Tjandra remains a PNG citizen until the court decides on the validity of his citizenship.
O’Neill, asked at a media briefing last week about Tjandra, also known as Joe Chan, said he had met with Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono several times but the issue was not brought up.
But he said an extradition treaty would be signed with Yudhoyono during this week’s visit by PNG leaders and changes could be underway.
“Let me put it very clearly. The (Indonesian) president and I have met on many occasions. Not once has the president brought that (Tjandra) matter up,” O’Neill said.
“Our officials have been discussing that issue at officials’ level and ministerial level.
“The gentleman concerned (Tjandra) has been granted citizenship of Papua New Guinea.
“Our ministerial committee has sat through the laws we have.
“Parties that are aggrieved by this decision, where a citizenship or a passport has been issued, can make determination to a ministerial committee. Cabinet has established that.
“A report has been presented to Cabinet, and the matter shall be referred back to the attorney-general (Kerenga Kua) to determine this issue in court.
“The ministerial committee decision is final, and Djoko (Tjandra) remains a citizen of Papua New Guinea until the court decides whether that citizenship is valid or not.
“But, of course, if the president and the Indonesian officials brings up this issue, the extradition treaty is now going to be signed between the two countries, and we will process any of the issues including this particular case in accordance with the treaty.
“I do not want to pre-empt the court decision, or any other determination that will be made by our officials, but that is the position in light of the ministerial committee decision.”.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
26) Australian Defence Force participates in Pacific Partnership
By Online Editor
09:25 am GMT+12, 17/06/2013, Australia
Defence medical practitioners and engineers have today deployed on Pacific Partnership 2013. Australia’s largest contingent, onboard HMAS Tobruk, will deliver medical, dental, veterinary and engineering aid to Vanimo and Wewak, in Papua New Guinea from 13 June to 6 July 2013.
The annual US-sponsored Pacific Partnership mission aims to strengthen international relationships and improve the interoperability of regional forces in response to natural disaster and humanitarian emergencies. The mission provides humanitarian and civic assistance across the Pacific from 25 May to 19 August 2013.
Defence specialists and command staff will also be onboard the USS Pearl Harbour to deliver assistance to Samoa, Tonga and the Marshall Islands, as well as to Kiribati.
Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Senator David Feeney says the mission is a good opportunity to work with our regional partners.
“Pacific Partnerships 2013 exemplifies the willingness and ability of the ADF and other regional military and civilian organisations to work cooperatively to improve the lives of people in the Pacific,” Senator Feeney said.
Australian contingent commander Wing Commander Paul Howard said the mission is of value to all involved.
“A clear advantage of planning and operating this mission is our ability to provide a natural disaster or humanitarian assistance response in the future,” Wing Commander Howard said.
“The annual Pacific Partnership is an opportunity to work with our regional military partners on improving the quality of life of some of our closest neighbours.
“In Papua New Guinea, combined Australian, US, Japanese and Canadian military medical practitioners will run medical clinics, basic health awareness fairs and train local doctors and nurses.
“The engineers will replace plumbing, fix flooring, leaking roofs and rebuild classrooms in schools throughout the townships, to benefit nearly 5000 children.
“General basic engineering tasks completed by volunteers from the ship’s crew will make repairs to some public buildings, sport facilities and memorials.
“The crew is also looking forward to sports carnivals and health fairs, as an opportunity to meet the locals.”
The mission marks the eighth year of Australian participation.
Pacific Partnership has been held annually by the US Pacific Fleet since the devastating effects of the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004.
Pacific Partnership builds upon the extensive support Defence already provides in the Pacific, including maritime surveillance, police and military training, explosive ordnance disposal and infrastructure development.
SOURCE: INVEST AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS
27) Fiji soldiers to be deployed to Golan heights soon: UN
By Online Editor
1:37 pm GMT+12, 17/06/2013, Fiji
Fiji Peacekeepers could be the first to feel the brunt of any spill-over from the civil war in Syria if the situation between the Israeli and Syria governments near the border at the Golan Heights is not resolved.
The United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ military adviser at the Office of Military Affairs, Lieutenant-General Babacar Gaye, confirmed to The Fiji Times that about 170 personnel from Fiji would join the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) mission at the Golan Heights to replace troops from three countries that have withdrawn because of fierce fighting at the border they guard.
He made the comment as the US decided to arm Syrian rebels fighting government forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The US-based its decision on intelligence reports that Syrian forces were using chemical weapons.
The fighting – which has killed 92,901 people in the two-year conflict according to the UN – has spilled on to the Quneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria, on Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The UN has monitored a ceasefire truce between Syria and Israel since 1974 but that is under threat with incursions and firing across the border at Quineitra.
Croatian and Japanese troops have already pulled out, followed by the Austrians.
While Lt-Gen Gaye couldn’t reveal how many of the 170 personnel were military and medical, he confirmed that Fiji had offered to contribute to UNDOF when the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations held discussions with a number of member states seeking to strengthen troop numbers in Syria.
He confirmed a three-member team from Fiji visited UNDOF from May 14 to May 21 in preparation for the deployment of the contingent.
“We expect them to be in the Golan by the end of June,” Lt-Gen Gaye said.
“The Department of Peacekeeping Operations is grateful to the Government of Fiji as the United Nations continues peacekeeping on the Golan.”
UN Peacekeeping spokesman Kieran Dwyer said Fiji would join the 341 troops from the Philippines and 193 troops from India who were part of UNDOF at the Golan.
“Fijian peacekeepers will be part of the mission which monitors the actions of both the Israeli and Syrian armed forces within the mission’s area of operations, and communicates with both sides to ensure that potential tensions do not escalate into a return of the ceasefire,” Dwyer said.
Meanwhile, the UN has commended Fiji for contributing to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) at the Golan Heights
Military Advisor, Office of Military Affairs in the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye told The Fiji Times that Fiji’s contribution would greatly assist UNDOF as they tried to maintain ceasefire between Israel and the Syrian Arabic Republic as prescribed by the 1974 Agreement on Disengagement between Israeli and Syrian forces.
“The Department of Peacekeeping Operations is grateful to the Government of Fiji as the UN continues peacekeeping on the Golan.” Lt-Gen Gaye said.
“In view of the challenging operational environment under which UNDOF is operating, the contribution of Fiji will greatly assist UNDOF as the Force continues to use its best efforts to maintain the ceasefire between Israel and the Syrian Arabic Republic.”
The Republic of Fiji Military Forces, however, would not comment on the planned mission, only saying the government would issue a statement after a Cabinet sitting tomorrow.
This is Fiji’s first contribution to UNDOF since it was established by the Security Council on May 31 1974.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
28) Climate change initiatives and activities in Vanuatu
The word ‘climate change’ (CC) is now becoming a well-known phrase throughout our communities today, and it has also gained a lot of attention from the national government with regards to the coordination and implementation of real on-ground projects benefiting ni-Vanuatu people.
In this regard, a lot of work has been done to address CC in Vanuatu, much aimed at building the capacity of our citizens to be prepared and ready to adapt to the effects of climate variability now and negative climate change into future.
Recently the government of Vanuatu has taken a major step forward by recognizing the similarities between and integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR), making our nation a role model in the Pacific.
One significant achievement is the formation of Vanuatu’s National Advisory Board on Climate Change & Disaster Risk reduction (NAB) as of October 2012, which sits within Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD). NAB is co-chaired by the Directors of VMGD and the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO). The newly formed Program Management Unit (PMU) is the secretariat to the NAB and it implements NAB’s decisions.
NAB was purposely established to act as Vanuatu’s supreme policy making and advisory body for all CC and DRR programs, projects and engage with provincial authorities to undertake policy consultations and to carry out communication, stakeholder and climate finance mapping activities. This development has helped to demonstrate how the government is addressing climate change and to see a consolidation of stakeholders’ effort with the objectives of increasing impact and efficiency in CCA (climate change adaptation) and DRR interventions.
VMGD and the NAB-PMU are playing a valuable role in coordinating the climate change work being undertaken in Vanuatu. Over the past decade, many different organisations, government departments and donors have been running climate change projects in Vanuatu.
In previous years, it has been difficult for anyone to know what climate projects were happening where, and to work out which regions of Vanuatu were not receiving project assistance. This meant some areas had three or four organisations trying to run projects in their communities, and others in need had no assistance at all.
The VMGD and NAB-PMU have set up coordination mechanisms to help show the full range of activities occurring in Vanuatu, to help plan better and make sure vulnerable communities are being reached. This includes; The quarterly newsletter from VMGD about climate, climate change, geo-hazard and disaster activities which shows where activities are being undertaken, the “Project map” available on the NAB website (www.nab.vu) which gives a visual map of project activities underway in Vanuatu right now, the “Events calendar” available on the NAB website (www.nab.vu) which lists upcoming workshops, training, conferences and meetings, a weekly email alert that goes out to everyone on the ‘CC/DRR email list’ showing trips being made to communities that week, to help organisations collaborate and plan and the NAB Project Endorsement process, which will require all climate change and DRR projects to be registered, to help map where projects are occurring and assist in choosing project sites.
The NAB-PMU’s coordination role also involves regular meetings, including the monthly CC/DRR Working Group which has proved useful in helping agencies work together, to provide more effective services to the country. In the last two months alone, from the discussions held at the CC/DRR Working Group meetings, Save the Children and the NAB-PMU have agreed to jointly hold a workshop to finalise important messages on climate change and disaster risk reduction for use in schools and communities; and Croix-Rouge (Red Cross) and the Vanuatu Humanitarian Team (VHT) agreed to discuss upcoming disaster simulation exercises to reduce duplication or perhaps reinforce each other. These meetings provide an opportunity for groups to coordinate their efforts.
As a leading government department in driving climate change activities in Vanuatu, VMGD through its partnerships and coordination initiatives is producing numerous information materials to help climate change project staff in their work which includes; a quarterly newsletter from the Forecast section about meteorology, monthly and seasonal forecasts to help farmers and communities prepare for weather conditions, Agro-meteorology bulletins to link forecasts with the impact on crops, fruit and gardens, and to help farmers in finding more resilient techniques and a quarterly newsletter from VMGD about climate, climate change, geo-hazard and disaster activities.
The NAB portal (www.nab.vu) has comprehensive information about climate change projects, also houses a resources database where information and awareness materials is publically accessible. The portal has a news feed which provides news, tools and activities on workshops for those working in ni-Vanuatu communities.
VMGD through its partnership and coordination activities has produced 73 different information products, including range of brochures, posters, forecasts, displays, presentations to schools, awareness events, DVDs, website materials and others, to raise knowledge in students, the public, and project staff about meteorological, climate, and climate change topics.
Consultations with every province were started in April 2013 to help develop more targeted and useful information materials. Consultations have been completed in Sanma, Malampa and Penama, and will be undertaken in Torba, Tafea and Shefa in June.
Under the current NAB-PMU implemented projects, there are two World Bank Funded activities on the ground for years 2013 to 2018. These projects include activities such as; Community workshops on Climate Change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, Strengthening the Department of Agriculture by providing trucks, motorbikes, boats and nursery materials, supporting the Vanuatu Agriculture and Rural Training Centre (VARTC) in rebuilding of roads, upgrade houses, upgrade laboratory, office equipment, nursery materials and labourers, multiplication of food plants that are resilient to climate change and distribution of the plants to farmers around Vanuatu, purchasing and installation of more than 400 rain water tanks and rain water catchment shelters, train communities on plumbing, facilitate communities to formulate community adaptation and disaster preparedness plans, allocate small grants for communities to access to implement activities in their plans, building of a NDMO/VMGD building in Tafea Province and Torba, risk mapping exercises in Port Vila and Luganville, establishment of a Tsunami warning system in Port Vila and Luganville.
The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is the government agency task under the National Disaster Act to coordinate responses to any emergencies and disasters and this include the impact of climate change. Actual movement or evacuation of people affected by coastal erosion or flooding is be coordinated by the NDMO. This coordination work can be done before, during and after an event had taken place.
NDMO is currently strengthening and mainstreaming policy that is spreading across national, provincial and community levels through the DRR & CCA programs and activities. They are implementing disaster risk management and climate change adaptation programs and activities in four main areas; Coordinating responses to emergencies/disaster and climate change; Strengthening disaster and climate change networks; Mainstreaming disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and Capacity building at national, provincial and community levels.
The aim of setting up the network is to have ready and available people and agencies who can work together in DRR and CC adaptation programs and activities. These same agencies can also come together when responding to any disasters. The NDMO and other humanitarian actors in Vanuatu established the Vanuatu Humanitarian Team (VHT) network at the national level. The VHT is made up of international and local NGOs UN agencies and supported by line government agencies and development partners.
In 2012 Torba, Tafea and Shefa PDCCCs were established. NDMO is and are now in the process of setting up the Sanma, Penama and Malampa PDCCCs.. The PDCCC consist of the Secretary Generals, line government agencies and any other humanitarian actors present in the provinces. The PDCCC will work together with the NDMO to coordinate any responses in the provinces.
The NDMO is also working together and supporting VHT members to set up Community Disaster and Climate Change Committees (CDCCC) in communities throughout Vanuatu. As well as setting up the CDCCC, other activities include training, assisting to put together disaster and climate change plans, running simulation exercises and equipping the CDDCCC with tools and equipment such as HF radios and other appropriate equipment that they could use.
Mainstreaming DRR and CCA is currently done across all line government ministries and departments and also down to provinces and communities. Each government ministries must include DRR and CCA in their policies and budget. This same concept applies to Provincial Governments and communities programs and activities.
This is an activity that comes through a lot of workshops and awareness that is currently being done by many institutions including the NAB, VMDG, NDMO and VHT members throughout Vanuatu. People must be made aware of what is happening around us and prepare for this. Vanuatu is prone to all natural hazards including climate change impacts. Therefore we must understand and make disaster and climate change programs and activities as every bodies business.
But is not just the government that is doing real community-level climate change projects. The climate change adaptation successes at Pele Island under the Pacific-German Regional Programme on Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region is another big effort towards strengthening the capacities of our communities to cope with the impacts of climate change.
Under this programme, GIZ is assisting small communities on Pele Island to cope with the adverse effects of climate change through the following activities; livestock husbandry improvement, coastal and catchment erosion, invasive species control, water protection and soil fertility, food preservation and disaster risk reduction, honey bee husbandry for income and food security and fish aggregating devices for food security.
These adaptation activities are already showing that the island communities can better cope with the changes of climate now and into the future. http://www.dailypost.vu/
29) Nuku’alofa could be wiped out by tsunami – report
By Online Editor
09:36 am GMT+12, 17/06/2013, Tonga
New research is projecting that most of Tonga’s capital will be destroyed if a major earthquake generates a tsunami near the quake-prone nation.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community has spent the last two years gathering data from Tonga’s seabed and coast to develop a prediction for what would happen if Nuku’alofa was hit by a tsunami.
It found if an 8.7 magnitude earthquake strikes in the Tonga trench a big part of Nuku’alofa would likely sink below sea level and be covered in water.
According to the projections 25 minutes after the earthquake the first wave would roll in from the east – near the capital’s harbour. When it hits the coast it would be around two and a half metres high.
Fifteen minutes later the second wave would come in, 4-5 metres high, and take out most of the town area.
“If we have a tsunami it will be very hard to save Nuku’alofa,” Tonga’s deputy Prime Minister Samiu Vaipulu said.
The projection has provided valuable information for officials who now know only four points in town would be above water in the event of a tsunami.
“If you are looking at vulnerability here, Nuku’alofa is the highest risk because that is where the biggest bulk of the population is sitting, you are talking about forty-fifty thousand,” Director of national emergency office, Leveni Aho, said.
“We need to work on this and find out how best we can get people to safer ground and how quickly we can get the message out.”
Next month in a world first, governments, donors and groups will meet in Fiji to discuss disaster risk management and climate change.
By Online Editor
09:24 am GMT+12, 17/06/2013, Fiji
The three smallest economies in the Pacific are being targetted to lead the rest of the region in reducing the dependence on fossil fuel.
The Low Carbon Energy Islands project is encouraging Nauru, Niue and Tuvalu, which depend heavily on fossil fuels, to move towards using renewable energy resources available in their countries.
The project is being run by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
It’s regional energy programme co-ordinator, Anare Matakiviti, says one of the benefits of this project is to look at how households can play a role in generating their own electricity.
“One of the ideas that we are looking at is for households to generate electricity from renewable energy and they can buy systems and put it on their roof top and have a sort of agreement with the local power utility, should there be any surplus they can get some kind of return for feeding power into the utility grid.”
Anare Matakiviti says it is hoped that as households move away from their dependence on carbon, it will generate local business for energy products.
Meanwhile, funding has been approved for a renewable energy project for the outer Cook Islands of Pukapuka and Nassau.
Tenders are now being invited for the project, funded by the Japanese government and the Pacific Islands Forum, which will see contractors install solar panels and batteries on the islands and link them to the electricity network.
The director of renewable energy development for the Cook Islands government, Tangi Tereapii, says the islands currently rely on diesel generators which are only used for a part of each day.
He says the solar panels will change that.
“This will be a 24 hour supply for the islands. As we know the supply is only for 10-12 hours a day and we’ll be lucky if there’s enough diesel on the islands that can operate on and off throughout the month.”
Tereapii says he hopes a contractor will be appointed over the next month and the project is expected to be completed in October
31) Australian Climate Commission report says 80 per cent of fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground
By Online Editor
1:26 pm GMT+12, 17/06/2013, Australia
The latest Australian Climate Commission report has warned that 80 per cent of global fossil fuel reserves will have to stay in the ground if the planet is to avoid dangerous climate change.
The paper says global emissions need to trend downward by the end of the decade to keep temperatures at a “manageable” level.
Professor Will Steffen, a climate commissioner who co-authored the report, says reaching the goal will be a challenge, given greenhouse gas concentrations are now at the highest level on record.
“We have to get global emissions trending downward by the end of the decade to have any reasonable chance of meeting that two degree target. We need to make the right investment decisions,” he said.
“We have to leave most of the fossil fuels in the ground and of course that has obvious implications for investment decisions this decade.
“We have to put in place a very clear pathway to a decarbonised economy in the next 30-35 years. That requires us to make smart decisions on investments now.
Professor Steffen says the forecasts made two years ago in the Climate Commission’s first major report, The Critical Decade, have become a reality and the consensus among scientists is stronger.
“It’s so important that people realise that the numbers are clear and simple,” he said.
“What did we see? Convincing evidence, not only globally, but now in Australia.
“Heatwaves in Europe, heatwaves in Russia, heatwaves in the US during the last decade. Heavy rainfall, a warming climate, more evaporation from the ocean, more water vapour in the atmosphere and more rain.”
Professor Lesley Hughes, who co-authored the report, says there will be catastrophic consequences for the environment if the world does not move away from fossil fuels.
“In order to achieve that goal of stabilising the climate at 2 degrees or less, we simply have to leave about 80 per cent of the world’s fossil fuel reserves in the ground. We cannot afford to burn them and still have a stable and safe climate,” she said
SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS
32) Peter O’Neill urges PNG athletes to win more medals at Pacific Games
Updated 17 June 2013, 16:04 AEST
Firmin Nanol, Port Moresby
PNG’s Prime Minister says it’s not enough to be hosting the 2015 Pacific Games, his athletes need to win.
Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says he wants his country to win more medals when it hosts the 15th Pacific Games in 2015.
He says just hosting the games is not good enough and athletes who are selected to compete in all the sports should strive to win.
“We have to make sure that we win the [gold medals].” Mr O’Neill said.
“There’s no point in building all this infrastructure and not [winning] gold.”
But there is some doubt as to whether PNG will deliver on its games promises.
It is more than three years since PNG won the bid to host the 2015 Pacific Games in the capital Port Moresby, but no major work to build new sports facilities or renovate existing infrastructure has taken place.
The government says it will ensure the facilities and athletes accommodation are being built and ready in time.
It had announced a AU$9 million funding towards the preparation for the games in its annual national budget in 2011.
Some ground work has started with the clearing of a site for the aquatic centre to host the swimming competitions and the athlete’s accommodation at the University of PNG’s Waigani campus.
Last year, the Games Organising Committee’s, technical committee had announced it was finalising all the details for the other works on the sports facilities like the Sir John Guise and Hubert Murray Stadiums including the cricket and netball grounds.
Despite the lack of visible progress Mr O’Neill says the games preparations are on track.
“We are making very strong progress towards the preparations for these Pacific Games.” he said.
“We believe it will be the best games ever… we are doing this so that we can try and have a bid for the Commonwealth Games in the future.”
With just two years to go before the games start from the 4th-18 July 2015, there is more work apart from hosting the games.
Different sporting codes are preparing to seek, train and prepare their athletes with one thing in mind, to win gold.
PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill last week presented over AU$7 million towards sports in the country.
He says much of the funding will be distributed amongst the many codes to train athletes in preparation for the games.
PNG’s Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko says the funds will be spent right down at the grass roots level to seek talents and to prepare them for the games.
He says the PNG government and the Sports Ministry is working towards hosting a memorable and well organised 2015 Pacific Games. http://www.radioaustralia.net.
By Online Editor
11:08 am GMT+12, 17/06/2013, New Zealand
Rugby’s shameful treatment of the Pacific Islands may never end – a sad fact that becomes ever harder to refute given events of recent weeks.
The appetite for throwing obstacles in the path of the Island sides is insatiable. The collective lack of acknowledgement from rugby’s heavyweights that they are culpable in the subjugation of the Island sides is just as staggering.
For more than 20 years – since Western Samoa shocked Wales at the 1991 World Cup – the Island nations have been managed as a threat rather than an opportunity. But the past few weeks have been painfully bad.
In mid-May, this paper revealed that the All Blacks rejected an invitation to play Fiji in June, arguing that with 13 tests already locked in this year, they were just too busy.
Barely a week later, the New Zealand Rugby Union excitedly confirmed that the All Blacks will almost certainly play a test in Tokyo this year.
The test in Tokyo is genuinely not about revenue generation – which makes things worse. If the All Blacks want a game to help develop their younger players and grow their leadership group, a trip to Suva, Nuku’alofa or Apia would fit that brief way better.
Interestingly, the NZRU made little mention of the fact that a day after they trumpeted their coup in securing a development test in Tokyo, Fiji thumped Japan in the Pacific Nations Cup.
Last weekend highlighted the bigger problem – the nub perhaps – of why the Islands are never likely to be fairly treated. Samoa secured a historic win against Scotland in the quadrangular tournament being played in South Africa. Such victories by the Island teams don’t do them any favours in the long run. With the IRB effectively set up as a Northern Hemisphere cartel, the Celts remain all-powerful and fear for their cosy position should the Pacific Island nations ever fulfil their potential.
The Pacific Islands are seen as a threat to the existing world order which is why in 2009, then again in 2010, the Celts voted against a proposal to change the eligibility laws to allow players to stand down after representing a Tier One nation and play for a Tier Two nation.
“The reality is there is a group of northern unions very nervous about strengthening the Island nations,” said New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew after the first rejection. A year later and the IRB voted on an amended proposal during the November test window, leading Tew to say: “We didn’t get as much support as we did last time and I’m not sure if Fiji drawing with Wales last weekend helped the cause.”
At the same time the Scots were being stripped of their pride, the Lions held their nerve to beat the Reds. Who were two of the key players for the Lions? Mako Vunipola and Toby Faletau. Manu Tuilagi would have no doubt been too but for a shoulder injury that forced him off early.
Rugby’s old order want to help themselves to the best players Pasifika has, while they do all they can to stunt the collective growth of Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. It’s not inconceivable that during the forthcoming test series between the Lions and Wallabies, as many as 11 players with a Pacific Island background could be on the field.
There was further evidence of this desire to plunder when Noa Nakaitaci scored two tries for France against the Blues. The young wing is a product of the Clermont Academy set up in Fiji two years ago – a programme that, judging by the fate of Nakaitaci, is nothing more than a cynical means to get first dibs on local talent.
The final straw, though, came during the clash between Tonga and Canada in the Pacific Nations Cup in Ontario. Tonga picked up one red and two yellow cards, leading coach Mana Otai to suggest his side were unfairly treated because they are black.
One of the yellow cards was justified but his confusion as to why prop Eddie Aholelei was red-carded after an all-in brawl was understandable. A Canadian threw the first punch in a melee that saw at least 20 players involved – and the outcome was to punish one Tongan?
“It’s almost like, these days you know, when a black man is tackling harder than the other, it seems to be the way,” said Otai. “It’s a perception a lot of times. I think some of the foreigners that are involved in our team now are starting to see that. It’s just hard to battle or fight that stereotype, I guess.”.
SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS
By Online Editor
11:02 am GMT+12, 17/06/2013, Fiji
Too often football in Fiji has been let down by the administrators, Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama told thousands of fans, players and administrators.
And he urged efforts to improve the standard of the game and lift Fiji’s falling world soccer body FIFA ranking.
Commodore Bainimarama made the comments while opening the 2013 Vodafone Fiji FACT tournament at the ANZ Stadium, Suva.
He is believed to be the first Prime Minister since 1979 to open a major national football tournament like this.
Commodore Bainimarama told the crowd:“It’s a story that we’re all too familiar with in Fiji. Corruption, mismanagement and favouritism are barriers that our nation has faced in many different areas, including football.
“Transparency, accountability and good governance are absolutely critical to any organisation and Fiji’s sporting bodies are no exception.”
Under the draft constitution, the Prime Minister said public office holders would have to answer to an independent Accountability and Transparency Commission.
“The management of the Fiji Football Association and other sporting organisations should also be held to the same rigorous standard, answering not to a commission, but directly to the fans and players – to those whose confidence in the organisation has been shaken,” he said.
The Prime Minister urged Fiji Football Association officials to do a better job to regain the confidence of the public.
He said: “They need to use the group’s affiliation with FIFA to channel resources into the sport. They need to open management to new blood, with new ideas.
“They need to focus on professional development, at all levels. They need to understand that just because someone is a good administrator; it doesn’t make him a good coach. And they need to work to get Fiji’s ranking back up where it belongs.”
The Prime Minister said his Government looked forward to working with Fiji Football Association to improving our overall rating as a football nation and promote sport as means to keep all Fijians fit and healthy.
As part of this initiative, the Prime Minister said Government plans to develop integrated sporting facilities throughout Fiji, particularly in rural areas.
For 23 years, the Prime Minister said, the FA Cup tournament had been a fixture on Fiji’s sporting calendar, because it brought together the best football teams from across the country.
“Personally, I have always believed that football has been a great unifying force within our country. It attracts players and fans from all backgrounds and brings them together.
“It’s one of our major national sports, and is much loved by Fijians across the country.
“In fact, football fans the world-over are known for their die-hard passion. I’m sure all gathered here today would agree and are die-hard fans themselves.”
This, he said, is one reason why administrators must raise the quality and standard of Fijian football to the level our nation deserves.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
35) Fiji team to 7s World Cup named, Botia leads
By Online Editor
4:25 pm GMT+12, 17/06/2013, Fiji
Towering forward Levani Botia was today named the captain of the Fiji 7s team to the IRB 7s World Cup in Moscow.
The 24-year-old Wardens rep was selected ahead of other experienced players in the 12 member squad with experienced Setefano Cakau missing the final cut.
Vereniki Goneva was named his assistant.
The final team was announced by Fiji Rugby Union Board deputy chairman Daniel Whippy in Suva this afternoon.
Jasa Veremalua, Leone Nakarawa, Nemani Nagusa, Waisea Nayacalevu and Watisoni Votu have been named in the forwards with Botia while the backline boasts the likes of Ilai Tinai, Vereniki Goneva, Joji Raqamate, Metuisela Talebula, Samisoni Viriviri and Alipate Ratini.
Jone Vota, Osea Kolinisau, Timoci Matanavou and Sakiusa Gavidi were named as non-travelling reserves.
The World Cup will be played from 28th-30th June and the Digicel Fiji 7s team is grouped with defending champions Wales, Tonga and Uruguay.
The Alivereti Dere coached side takes on Tonga in its opening match at 12.28am next Saturday before facing Uruguay at 6.28pm and Wales at 12.42am on Sunday.
SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS
By Online Editor
10:59 am GMT+12, 17/06/2013, Fiji
Defending champion Suva and last season’s finalist Ba have progressed to the semifinals of the 2013 Fiji FACT from Pool 1 following the Men In Black’s 1-0 hard fought win over Labasa in the last Day 2 match at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.
Ba entered the match as favorites following its 3-0 win over Nadroga last night but a courageous and determined performance by the Babasiga Lions kept the Westerners at bay.
Labasa entertained the Laucala crowd with fast and skilful display of football with goalie Emori Ragata and captain Posiano Kalisito leading by example.
The Northerners were reduced to ten players late in the match after Vikrant Chandra was sent off for a wild tackle on Abbu Zahid.
Despite enjoying more possession, Ba failed to score in both spells and replacement striker Sanni Issa managed to break the deadlock in the 2nd minute of added time to put his team into the last four.
Ba coach Yogendra Dutt said despite facing stiff competition in the match, his players remained composed till the final whistle and this enabled them to score and win the match.
He said the matches in Nadi will be tough and they will now shift their focus on the last pool match against Suva next Friday which according to him will be a crunch match and they will be out to deliver their match.
Following the completion of Day 2 matches, Ba has 6 points and leads Pool 1 due to better goal difference while Suva remains second after two wins.
Nadroga and Labasa are out of the tournament following their two straight losses and their match this Friday will be more of a formality for the two sides.
SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS