Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 880
1) Fiji’s National Federation Party Offers Spot To Rabuka
Party president: former PM Rabuka ‘welcome’ to join
By Mereani Gonedua
SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, July 1, 2013) – Fiji’s oldest political party, the National Federation Party (NFP) is willing to include former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka in its campaign for the 2014 election should he wish to join a political party.
This comes after Rabuka hinted to Radio New Zealand that he would be running for election next year on the National Federation Party ticket.
Rabuka said none of the four parties registered so far have asked him to join but he has been asked to stand for election by his provincial chief.
He said it could mean being under the umbrella of the United Front for a Democratic Fiji which includes old rivals.
“Qarase doesn’t want to work with me, Chaudhry I know doesn’t want to work with me, but if those two pull or push for the Federation Party not to field me as a candidate, then I cannot help it. Then I’m out.”
However speaking to FijiLive NFP President Raman Pratap Singh said they would welcome Rabuka’s inclusion to the party.
“He comes with great experience and the party will welcome him as a member before he can apply for an expression of interest with our selection board before contesting for elections,” Singh said. “We have no restrictions for those wanting to be members and Rabuka is very welcome to be one.”
2) Tuvalu opposition gains majority in Parliament, seeks vote of no confidence in government
By Online Editor
4:47 pm GMT+12, 02/07/2013, Tuvalu
Tuvalu’s opposition has called on the country’s governor general to use his special powers to reconvene parliament.
The call follows the announcement that a by-election in Nukufetau on Saturday was won by opposition candidate Pita Elisala.
The seat has been vacant since the death of finance minister, Lotoala Metia, in December last year.
The transfer of the seat to the opposition means the government has lost its majority in parliament.
Opposition MP, Taukelina Finikaso, has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat program the opposition have petitioned the governor general to confirm the majority.
“The government has the lesser number now, the minority now,” he said.
“We are looking to have a vote of no confidence…to oust the government who does not command the majority anymore.”
Tuvalu Prime Minister, Willy Tevali, had resisted demands to reconvene parliament knowing the government was likely to be in a minority.
The Nukufetau election was held only after an appeal was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Finikaso says the opposition hopes to receive a response from the Governor General within the week.
SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS
3) Samoa Hosting 10th Pacific Health Ministers Conference
Theme for 2013 meeting: ‘Healthy Islands – Healthy Pacific’
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, Samoa (Talamua, July 1, 2013) – Discussion of mental health issues is on the agenda of the 10th Pacific Health Ministers’ Conference which starts tomorrow in Samoa.
“The control of non-communicable diseases, social determinants of health and human resources for health are some of the topics Pacific Health Ministers will discuss,” said Puleleite Dr. Young Soo Shin, Regional Director of Western Pacific of World Health Organisation (WHO).
Samoa, WHO and the South Pacific Commission host this year’s three-day conference which is driven by theme of “Healthy Islands – Healthy Pacific.”
Puleite said countries need to stand together to combat issues relevant in “developing the healthy island vision.”
This vision aspires to a place where:
Children are nurtured in body and mind
Environments invite learning and leisure
People work and age with dignity
Ecological balance is a source of pride and
The oceans that sustain us are protected.
Ministers from 20 Pacific countries and territories are set to discuss opportunities to continue the campaign that started in 1995 in Fiji for “healthy islands.”
Some of the issues to be discussed:
Scale up responses to the non-communicable disease crisis affecting the Pacific
Ensure the availability of accurate statistics
Tackle the challenge of mental health issues
Ensure the social determinants of health are addressed
Identify effective measure to address outbreaks after a disaster strikes
Address neglected tropical diseases such as filiariasis and yawa
Ensure the health workforce is prepared to take on these challenges.
Also in the agenda is discussion of the “development of the post 2015 agenda as well as issues of regional governance and architecture for health.”
Health Ministers of the region meet every two years.
4) Audit Shows Guam Government Owes More Than $1 Billion
Governor Eddie Calvo declared financial crisis ‘over’
By Mark-Alexander Pieper
HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, July 2, 2013) – The government of Guam and the taxpayers who support it are more than $1 billion in debt.
Its long-term debt rose 44-percent in fiscal 2012, to $1.08 billion, from $754 million in fiscal 2011, according to an independent audit performed by Deloitte & Touche LLC. The report was released by the governor’s office on Sunday.
Two years ago, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s gave the local government the worst possible score, of 4, in the category of “debt and liability” because of its high taxpayer-supported debt, according to Pacific Daily News files.
The debt at the time was $772 million.
Gov. Eddie Calvo last week met with representatives of the ratings agency, receiving a favorable response to what the government has been doing, as he said his plans to repair the government’s finances are taking root.
Calvo has declared GovGuam’s financial crisis over as the audit showed a cash surplus of $30.1 million — an increase of $333.3 million from the prior year fund deficit of $303.1 million.
The difference is borrowed money, according to the audit — $358.2 million in bonds.
“We stopped ourselves from drowning and we’re on a boat, but the waters are still turbulent,” Calvo said yesterday.
Calvo said the additional loans, while driving up the island’s long-term debt, were needed to immediately pay off obligations with high interest rates that were compounding.
“We had obligations that were due and payable now, and interest, because it was not structured, was compounding on a monthly and annual basis,” Calvo said yesterday.
“If you look at the past 20 years, on average the interest was at 6 percent, but it was compounding because bills weren’t being paid, tax refunds weren’t being paid for three or four years. So we restructured that to long-term debt at a very favorable interest rate that was fixed at 4.6 and 4.9 percent.”
The restructuring of the past debt through the new bonds saves the local government about $4 million per year, according to the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA).
The repayment from the most recent borrowing efforts kicks in next fiscal year.
The government’s existing debt payments will increase by $8.5 million next fiscal year, $17.1 million the following year and $23.8 million in fiscal 2017.
Annual debt payments from that point will be about $85 million until the bonds are paid off in 2042, according to a report by the economic agency.
The governor has used the bond money primarily to pay past due income tax refunds as well as other debts, related to lawsuits, and legal obligations, such as merit bonuses.
The local government also has been keeping current with paying 2012 tax refunds. So far it has paid off about $70.1 million this calendar year, in roughly $20 million increments every few months. Calvo said it is more efficient to process the refunds in batch payments.
GovGuam typically owes between $105 million to $120 million in tax refunds a year.
Calvo said the government is using money from the current fiscal year to pay refunds, but it needs to reach the point where it pays refunds using money set aside during past years.
He said each budget he submits to lawmakers will have money set aside to pay refunds.
Calvo said he’s expecting another surplus at the end of the current fiscal year, in part because of a mandated 2-percent allotment reserve and an additional 15-percent spending reserve he instituted on top of that for the executive branch agencies.
Calvo also said some 200 government employees resigned, retired or were terminated — and their positions remained vacant.
The governor’s office hasn’t provided a list of those vacancies, despite several requests by the newspaper.
Calvo said the budget reserves have saved money because many agencies have found ways to make do with less money.
The government is going through its budgeting process this summer.
When asked if the administration — which is working on a revision to the budget request it submitted to lawmakers in January — would lower its request for agencies that can operate with less, Calvo was noncommittal.
He said he would once again implement a reserve of 15 percent or more, regardless of how much is appropriated to agencies.
“It’s not only a management tool but it’s the smart thing to do because only God knows the future,” Calvo said.
Those austerity measures, along with the local government accurately projecting revenue and appropriately budgeting it, are positive signs and have helped with the improved outlook of GovGuam, according to the audit.
Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com
5) PNG, Aust ties to aim for next level
By Online Editor
4:29 pm GMT+12, 02/07/2013, Papua New Guinea
The Papua New Guinea-Australia relationship should move to one of economic and social partnerships as PNG acknowledges its development challenges while riding the waves of positive economic growth.
Australian Federal politician Jane Prentice said this recently when presenting a report on an Australian parliamentary delegation’s PNG visit to the Australian House of Representatives in Canberra.
The two neighbouring countries’ World War II history as well as the role that Australian schools played in educating Papua New Guineans was highlighted as the cornerstones for a strong and historical relationship.
According to the Australian MP the relationship should now be defined as “one of equals” to enable both nations to unite and work for each other’s mutual benefit.
“What is good for Papua New Guinea is good for Australia.
“Together as friends we need to shift our relationship to one of economic and social partnership, particularly as PNG has already set out on the journey of managing an increasingly strong economy built on resources but showing genuine awareness of the importance of health, education, infrastructure and importantly, the status of women,” she said.
While the praises of the O’Neill Government’s focus on key priority areas flowed, PNG’s worsening social indicators including endemic corruption was not lost on Mrs Prentice.
“I am not saying that PNG is without problems.
“It faces all the challenges of a developing country and it is essential that we provide our ongoing support as PNG builds on its vigorous democracy and strong national institutions to fight the challenges that beset developing countries across the globe:
“The challenges of corruption, the challenges of geographical isolation of many of their people, continuing violence against women and unequal economic development, as well as the successful completion of the peace process in Bougainville.”
An Australian parliamentary delegation to PNG, which Mrs Prentice was a part of, met with the PNG Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato, Treasurer Don Polye and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
The parliamentary delegation’s meetings with the PNG leaders compelled her to conclude that PNG politicians had “more firsthand experience” and knowledge of Australia compared to their Australian colleagues.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
6) Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s new-look ministry sworn into office at Government House
By Online Editor
1:27 pm GMT+12, 02/07/2013, Australia
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s new ministerial line-up has been sworn in at a ceremony at Government House in Canberra.
Rudd said ministers were chosen on merit and he wanted Labor’s “best players on the field”.
A number of Rudd’s supporters have been promoted while some of Julia Gillard’s backers have had their portfolios changed.
Victorian-based MP Richard Marles, who has been a strong supporter of Mr Rudd, has earned one of the biggest promotions, joining Cabinet for the first time as Trade Minister.
Other Cabinet newcomers include Jacinta Collins as Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, and Tasmanian MP Julie Collins, who will be the Minister for Housing, Homelessness and the Status of Women.
The two latter appointments, along with Catherine King, who will become the Minister for Regional Australia, give this Cabinet the most women in Australian history.
Key Rudd supporters Joel Fitzgibbon and Kim Carr have returned to the frontbench as Agriculture Minister and Industry and Innovation Minister respectively.
Some Gillard supporters remain in Cabinet but will take on different roles: Tony Burke shifts from environment to the challenging area of Immigration, formerly held by Brendan O’Connor, who will now become the Minister for Employment.
Bill Shorten, who was seen as the “turnkey” in the leadership row and switched his vote to Mr Rudd in the final hours, has been moved from Employment and will take on the role of Education Minister while he retains his Workplace Relations portfolio.
“Bill has a strong mind, he also has a strong ability to communicate,” said, who spent the morning in Newcastle overseeing the launch of the national disability insurance scheme.
“I want our best players on the field and Bill fits that category.”
Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will take over the Communications portfolio vacated by Senator Stephen Conroy last week and will now be responsible for the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN).
Albanese keeps his Transport and Infrastructure portfolios.
Ed Husic became Australia’s first Muslim member of Cabinet when he was sworn in as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Broadband.
Governor-General Quentin Bryce said it was a “wonderful day for multiculturalism and what it stands for in our country”.
SOURCE” RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS
7) Government ends AusAID reforestation program in Indonesia
Posted 2 July 2013, 14:56 AEST
By Katie Hamann
Federal Government’s aid agency, AusAID, has quietly ended an ambitious project in Indonesia to reforest and rehabilitate peatlands, with the aim of helping reduce carbon emissions.
The Australian Government’s aid agency, AusAID, has quietly ended an ambitious project in Indonesia to reforest and rehabilitate peatlands, with the aim of helping reduce carbon emissions.
The $100 million scheme was launched in 2007 with much fanfare, but nearly seven years on very few of the project’s initial targets have been achieved.
In 2007, the then foreign minister Alexander Downer inaugurated the Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership.
He said it was a project that would make “a very real and very practical contribution to improving our environment” yielding “immediate and tangible results.”
Audio: Listen to the full report (The World Today)
The initial plan was to plant 100 million trees and rehabilitate 200,000 hectares of peatland and forests on the Indonesian island of Kalimantan by June last year.
That deadline was late extended to June this year.
But as of the end of 2012 only 2.5 million seedlings had been raised in nurseries and it is unclear how many of those had been planted.
Re-flooding peatlands, which were drained by former president Suharto to create land for rice production, was always an ambitious plan and not one that had been attempted elsewhere in the world.
But sources say no work has begun on the flooding of peatland, which is considered vital to curbing greenhouse gas emissions because they act as vast carbon sinks.
Director of ANU’s Asia Pacific Network for Environmental Governance, Professor Luca Tacconi, says the reason behind ending the program is unclear.
“My impression would be from talking to various people that it’s perhaps a political decision, because, somehow, it was seen as an unsuccessful project, from the outside at least,” he said.
Conflicting views about AusAID’s success
Professor Tacconi says it would be wrong to say the project has been a failure.
“They have done, I think in my perspective, a lot of work on both the more scientific side, in terms of looking at peatland science, on the engineering side about how to re-flood the peatlands,” he said.
A large part of the Kalimantan project was developing awareness and building the capacity of local communities to better protect peatlands and forests and develop alternative livelihoods.
AusAID claims to have made considerable progress in this area, but not everyone agrees.
Patrick Anderson, from the NGO Forest People’s Programme, says AusAID’s decision to pull out of Kalimantan comes as no surprise.
“I’ve been visiting the site in central Kalimantan for a number of years and there isn’t broad community support for the project,” he said.
“I know also at the district government and provincial government level, there’ve been lots of questions about the project.
“There isn’t broad support and the project was failing.
“So, a lot of funds spent and very little progress.”
But Professor Tacconi says AusAID and its local partners had already progressed the plan beyond the planning and approval stage and Indonesia remains committed to rehydrating the peatland.
“My understanding from talking to colleagues in Indonesia government is that they had asked Australia to continue the project,” he said.
“They thought that good progress had been made in terms of actually getting to the point where the practical outcomes could be seen in the field.”
In 2008 and 2009, when the world was preparing for the Copenhagen Climate Conference, Australia had established itself as the second largest international donor in the fight to protect Indonesia’s forests.
But the closure of the Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership effectively brings to an end Australia’s practical contribution to this effort.
Professor Tacconi says its not yet clear what, if any, plans Australia might have for the future of the partnership.
“When I was in Indonesia a couple of weeks ago, there were a couple of major events and there was no Australian representative to those events. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
8) NZ Govt encouraged by Fiji’s progress
By Online Editor
1:36 pm GMT+12, 02/07/2013, New Zealand
The New Zealand Government is encouraged by Fiji’s progress towards elections in 2014 and will send independent monitors if it is asked, Foreign Minister Murray McCully says.
Speaking after meeting foreign ministers from Australia and Papua New Guinea in Brunei Monday, McCully said they had discussed co-ordinating their support for the elections.
“We’ve seen some progress in recent months following a satisfactory period towards the end of last year and I think that we should be pleased to see, for example, the registration of political parties and the clear preparation of the machinery of the elections,” he said.
“Today’s discussions between Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand was an opportunity for us to look at how we can make sure we’re fully joined up and co-ordinated in offering support.”
McCully says New Zealand will send independent monitors to Fiji if it is invited to do so.
“We will wait until a little bit closer to the time to see what the nature of the invitation looks like to the members of the international community,” he said.
“I’m aware that the Commonwealth and other bodies have been taking an interest [in that] recently, we will respond when we know the situation.”
McCully’s meeting was on the sidelines of an Association of South East Asian Nations conference.
Fiji’s military leader and prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, is committed to holding elections in 2014 – something the international community has been urging him to do since he seized power in a coup in December 2006.
Fiji’s Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said their top priority is making sure that elections are conducted in a smooth, transparent and apolitical manner, using best international practices and partnership with the international community is most welcome.
SOURCE: TV3/FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS
9) Nogat respek insait long Australia palamen: Ednal Palmer
Updated 2 July 2013, 14:22 AEST
Wanpela sinia niusman blong Solomon Islands, Ednal Palmer itok em i lukim olsem ol memba inogat respek long narapela taim oli wokim dibet insait long palamen.
Odio: Ednal Palmer, Senior Reporter/Chief of Staff blong Solomon Star newspaper i toktok
Ednal Palmer blong Solomon Star newspaper i toktok (Credit: ABC)
Ednal Palmer husat i Senior Reporter/Chief of Staff blong Solomon Star newspaper itok em i kirap nogut tru taim em i lukim hau ol memba i save koros pait na sutim strongpela toktok igokam long miting blong ol.
Em itok, long palaman blong Solomon Islands – i luk olsem ol memba i save respektim wanpela-narapela.
Tasol Ednal itok long palamen haus long Canberra, em i narapela wei olgeta. Em itok, “…long hia, pipol scream long each other an olketa pointem finga long each other so hem lelebet luk diferent tumas nao”.
Ednal Palmer i kam long wanpela wakabaut long tripela dei tasol long Australia aninit long wanpela program blong diptmen blong foreign affairs.
Long tede Tuesday, em i kam visit long ol studio blong Radio Australia long hia long Melbourne na long moning na long apinum em i go long Mildura long kantri Victoria blong go bungim sampela seasonal woka blong Solomon Islands husat i wok long fam long hap. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
10) AusAID mengakhiri program reboisasi yang awalnya ambisius di Kalimantan
Terbit 2 July 2013, 17:19 AEST
Badan donor Australia, AusAID telah diam-diam menghentikan proyek ambisiusnya di Indonesia yang pada awalnya bertujuan untuk mengurangi emisi karbon. Proyek pengairan kembali lahan gambut dianggap tidak berhasil, karena tidak mendapat dukungan dari komunitas sekitar.
Program skema ini diluncurkan apda tahun 2007, dengan nilai proyek mencapai $100 juta. Tetapi setelah hampir berjalan tujuh tahun, apa yang telah ditargetkan di awal tidak kunjung tercapai.
Di tahun 2007, Menteri Luar Negeri Australia saat itu, Alexander Downer meresmikan kerjasama Australia dengan Indonesia untuk bidang kehutanan dan iklim.
Saat itu, ia mengatakan bahwa proyek ini nantinya “akan sangat berkontribusi untuk meningkatkan lingkungan kita” dengan “hasil yang segera dan nyata.”
Rencana dalam proyek tersebut adalah menanam 100 juta pohon dan merehabilitasi 200.000 hektar hutan dan lahan gambut di Kalimantan, Indonesia yang ditargetkan hingga bulan Juni tahun lalu.
Tetapi tenggat waktu kemudian dimundurkan setahun, atau hingga Juni tahun ini.
Tapi hingga tahun 2012, hanya 2,5 juta bibit yang telah dibudidayakan dan tidak jelas berapa banyak yang telah ditanam.
Pengairan lahan gambut, yang sempat dikeringkan oleh mantan presiden Suharto untuk dialihkan menjadi lahan sawah, hanyalah sebuah rencana ambisius yang belum pernah dicoba di tempat lain di dunia.
Namun, seorang sumber mengatakan belum ada yang memulai proses pengairan lahan gambut kering ini. Pengairan kembali lahan gambut dianggap penting untuk membatasi emisi gas rumah kaca karena lahan gambut bisa menyerap karbon.
Profesor Luca Tacconi dari Australia National University mengatakan ada beberapa alasan mengapa program ini tidak jelas.
“Menurut saya ini mungkin terkait dengan keputusan yang bersifat politis, karena, ada pihak dari luar yang sudah melihatnya sebagai proyek yang gagal,” ujarnya.
Tidak mendapat dukungan dari komunitas setempat
Profesor Luca juga menyatakan pendapatnya bahwa bisa saja salah kalau mengatakan bahwa ini adalah proyek yang gagal.
“Menurut pandangan saya, mereka telah banyak melakukan pekerjaan yang bersifat sains, dalam kaitannya dengan lahan gambut, atau masalah teknis bagaimana untuk dapat mengairi kembali lahan gambut.”
Salah satu bagian terbesar dalam proyek ini juga adalah meningkatkan kepedulian dan membangun kapasitas masyarakat lokal untuk lebih menjaga lahan gambut dan hutan.
Sementara itu, AusAID mengklaim bahwa mereka telah melakukan progres yang baik, tetapi tidak ada yang setuju dengan perubahan yang telah dicapai.
Patrick Anderson, dari lembaga swadaya masyrakat, Forest People’s Programme, mengatakan keputusan AusAID untuk menghentikan proyek ini sebenarnya tidaklah mengejutkan.
“Saya telah berkunjung ke tempat itu selama bertahun-tahun dan tidak banyak komunitas yang mendukung proyek tersebut.” ujarnya.
“Saya juga tahu bahwa keberadaan proyek ini telah dipertanyakan di tingkat kabupaten dan provinsi.”
“Proyek telah gagal dan jutaan dolar telah dihabiskan tanpa hasil yang berarti.”http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
11) Plus de 3 millions de dollars pour une flèche faîtière à Paris
Posté à 2 July 2013, 9:32 AEST
$ 3.356.117 dollars australiens pour cette figure faîtière coutumière de l’aire de Biwat dans le Bas-Sepik de Papouasie. Nouvelle-Guinée.
Une vente record chez Christies à Paris, même si les objets d’art océaniens ne font qu’augmenter depuis des années.
Cette sculpture rare, d’un mètre de haut et vendue à un collectionneur privé, fut un temps la propriété d’un club exclusif de Melbourne, le Savage Club, avant d’être vendue à des collectionneurs américains en 1977.
Crispin Gutteridge est le directeur des collections d’art océanien et aborigène chez Deutsher et Hackett, une maison de ventes aux enchères à Melbourne.
GUTTERIDGE : « Oui, le pense que le prix est exceptionnel, le prix le plus élevé jamais payé pour une sculpture d’art océanien dans une vente aux enchères et qui a plus que doublé le prix anticipé. C’est un objet rare, il n’y en a pas beaucoup d’autres objets de ce type en provenance de Biwat. Et c’est cette rareté qui a attiré les collectionneurs. »
GUTTERIDGE : « Cette sculpture est assez grande et représente une figure accroupie qui était placée sur le toit de la maison des hommes sur une flèche. Ces flèches faitières représentaient des grands héros de la mythologie, l’esprit de grands chasseurs. Elles avaient donc beaucoup de pouvoir et sont importantes au niveau de la culture, mais aussi au niveau de la sculpture elle-même. »
Autre élément de valeur, le fait que l’histoire de cette flèche faitière a pu être retracée.
GUTTERIDGE : « L’histoire de l’objet est très importante. Tout ce qui a été produit au 19ème siècle ou avant la première guerre mondiale atteint des prix plus élevés que ce qui a été produit après la seconde guerre mondiale. Cet objet a été sculpté avant les premiers contacts avec les Européens et il devient par conséquent encore plus attrayant. »
On ne peut pas finir un tel entretien sans demander s’il n’y a pas un problème d’éthique à vendre des objets qui ont été pris par des anthropologues ou des collectionneurs qui sillonnaient l’île de Nouvelle-Guinée.
La réponse de Crispin Gutteridge.
GUTTERIDGE : « Disons que c’est assez particulier. Je sais que des sculptures aborigènes qui ont été vendues ont servi à des cérémonies coutumières en terre d’Arnhem mais qu’elles ont ensuite été rejetées par ces communautés aborigènes et c’est après cela qu’elles sont devenues des pièces de collection. Donc, je ne vois pas de problèmes si elles ne sont plus utilisées.
D’un autre côté il faut savoir si les objets ont été donnés ou achetés, s’ils ont été donnés en cadeau, je suppose que ça peut être mis sur le marché. »
L’avis de Crispin Gutteridge : le directeur des collections d’art océanien et aborigène chez Deutsher et Hackett, une maison de ventes aux enchères à Melbourne. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
Vanuatu: grogne autour d’un projet de développement
Posté à 2 July 2013, 9:37 AEST
La Chambre de commerce affirme que ce projet n’a donné lieu à aucune consultation publique, qu’il menace l’environnement et en conséquence, les opérateurs de tourisme.
Plus de 700 personnes ont maintenant signé une pétition contre la mise en place d’une usine de transformation du poisson sur l’île de Santo.
Phil Jones est le directeur du Coral Quays Resort, un complexe touristique.
JONES : « L’impact touchera tout le monde, nous en sommes persuadés. Cette usine est située sur un terrain municipal qui était une zone semi-industrielle il y a une vingtaine d’années. Mais maintenant, c’est une zone résidentielle et des enfants se baignent le long des côtes et dans le canal.
Et il y aura beaucoup plus de trafic maritime dans ce canal qui mène à l’endroit où sera l’usine. »
Et que sait-on de la société derrière ce projet ?
JONES : « On ne sait pas grand-chose si ce n’est qu’elle s’appelle Tuten Group Vanuatu. À part ça, rien. J’ai été sur Google pour rechercher ce groupe, mais il n’y a rien sur l’Internet. On dirait que tout a été fait avec des agences du gouvernement, notamment les services de l’Environnement et de la Pêche et que rien n’a été dit au public, ni à la population locale. »
Il semblerait en fait que les habitants de Santo et de Luganville ont découvert ce projet il y a seulement que trois semaines.
Alors que sait-on sur ce projet exactement.
JONES : « Ce n’est pas une conserverie. Un ingénieur de la société nous a dit qu’il ne savait rien. Il y a eu une réunion et il n’a pas été capable de dire quoi que soit à la centaine de personnes présentes qui se sont senties très frustrées. C’était un peu triste parce que tout le monde pensait qu’il allait nous donner des informations.
Ce que l’on sait, c’est que ce n’est pas une conserverie. Le poisson entier va arriver ici, il va être congelé puis exporté en Chine, à mon avis.
Et si ça marche, nous avons appris que ça deviendra une usine de farine de poisson. Ce qui veut dire que les poissons seront réduits en farine pour nourrir les cochons ou le bétail.
Nous trouvons ça assez incroyable qu’avec toute cette pénurie de nourriture autour de la planète, on transforme du poisson en farine animale. »
Pas d’emplois locaux semble-t-il pour l’instant, puisque 15 ressortissants chinois sont arrivés sur place et travaillent dans les installations.
Un projet que nous essaierons de suivre…http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/
12) Samoan Tongan poet wins Fulbright scholarship
Posted at 01:48 on 02 July, 2013 UTC
An Auckland-based Samoan Tongan poet has been awarded a three-month Fulbright scholarship in Hawaii to write creatively about cultural diplomacy.
Leilani Tamu is this year’s recipient of the 2013 Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer’s Residency.
She says she hopes to produce creative work on one of the last heirs to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Princess Kaiulani.
“She was very much at the forefront of trying to assert Hawaiian sovereignty at that crucial time in history. And for her, she died very young and very tragically so not many people know about Kaiulani outside of Hawaii, so I thought this project would be a good opportunity for me to learn and then potentially be inspired to write about her life in a creative way.”
Leilani Tamu takes up her writer’s residency based at the Center for Pacific Studies at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu from September.
Radio New Zealand International
13) Cutbacks Could Affect RMI Adult Education Program
GED program restarted only months ago on Ebeye
By Giff Johnson
SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, July 2, 2013) – For the first time in two decades, a group of adults on Ebeye Island in the Republic of the Marshall Islands graduated this weekend with general equivalency diplomas or GED’s. But the adult education program, only restarted in January, is already facing the possibility of budget cutbacks.
Catholic Schools Director Gary Elaisha said people on Ebeye are delighted “now that they know the College of the Marshall Islands’ (CMI) GED program is for real and will be graduating 17 students. We have old timers in their 50s calling up and asking how to enroll.”
But Elaisha said he and other Ebeye officials are concerned that budget cuts could undermine the recently restarted adult education program for Ebeye. The program is run by the College of the Marshall Islands.
“There might be budget cuts to the program and the College of the Marshall Islands is asking the government to provide for the shortfall,” he said. “GED has been absent from Ebeye for close to 20 years. With a successful semester ready to go into the books, will the program be stopped?”
Elaisha said there are many others who want to take advantage of this educational opportunity that has been reopened for Ebeye.
The College of the Marshall Islands shut down its satellite campus on Ebeye nearly 10 years ago when it was struggling to resolve dozens of Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation problems. Now that its accreditation situation is stable, the Majuro-based college started up the GED program in January and also aims to start a Distance Education Program soon on Ebeye. “The facility is done,” Elaisha said. But, he added, college President Carl Hacker’s recently submitted budget request to the government for fiscal year 2014 shows CMI needs funding to make this opportunity for adult education-starved Ebeye.
“What will happen, wait another year?” he asked. “We have many people who want to start.”
Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com
14) Clear progress in bid to control PNG’s HIV/AIDS problem
Posted at 23:21 on 01 July, 2013 UTC
A health director in Papua New Guinea says that the country’s HIV/AIDS epidemic is being contained.
Fears in recent years that the unchecked spread of the disease through Highlands provinces in particular would result in a pandemic have now been allayed.
The Age reports that the epidemic is being contained, most of those infected are receiving lifesaving treatment and health workers are optimistic that it is manageable.
The PNG program director for health and HIV for the Australian Agency for International Development, Dr Geoff Clark says the disaster which was predicted hasn’t happened.
He says it is a concentrated epidemic, not a generalised epidemic.
Dr Clark attributes the containment to better surveillance data and the number of people who are now on treatment.
However the virus still poses a formidable public health challenge – almost 12,000 adults and children were undergoing treatment last year, compared with about 9500 in 2011.
Radio New Zealand International
15) New hospital opens in Samoa
By Online Editor
4:20 pm GMT+12, 02/07/2013, Samoa
The first phase of Samoa’s $ST135 million (NZ$73 million) hospital upgrade has been completed and is open for business.
Phase one has three new buildings which includes Medical Technology which houses a pharmacy, laboratory, operating theatre, a high dependency unit and delivery suites.
Another building is made up of inpatient wards and the third is vital equipment including standby generator, water pumps and boilers.
New Zealand has helped fund new medical equipment worth $ST12 million (NZ$6.5 million).
The final phase which will include an Accident and Emergency Unit, outpatients, morgue, mental health centre and dental will be finished in the next two years.
Most of the new hospital funding has come from a Chinese loan – and construction has been carried out by the Shanghai Construction Group.
16) Cervical cancer vaccination programme in Vanuatu delayed
Posted at 23:21 on 01 July, 2013 UTC
A vaccination campaign in Vanuatu to combat the threat of cervical cancer has been delayed due to a lack of immediate funds.
The vaccination programme was to begin last month after the manufacturer provided the drugs free of charge.
The government says it has no money to pay for the programme so the World Health Organisation, together with UNICEF and the United Nations Family Planning Association has been working to try and source the money.
The liaison officer for the WHO in Vanuatu, Dr Jacob Kool, says each of the agencies got funding, but it hadn’t been budgetted for so they are still to access it.
“So we work hard to quickly get the money together and so I don’t think we are the reason for the delay, we are actually the reason it is still possible to do this before the end of the year. It will probably take a few weeks before the money is in the bank account and it needs some time to organise this campaign but it will happen before the end of the year.”
The liaison officer for the WHO in Vanuatu, Dr Jacob Kool.
Radio New Zealand International
17) Leaders meeting in Fiji today to address water sanitation
Posted at 22:19 on 01 July, 2013 UTC
The Pacific Regional Consultations on Water and Sanitation are being held this week in Fiji.
Countries will be discussing how to progress the goals set at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Thailand in May.
Leaders at the Thailand meeting said efforts to improve water and sanitation in the Pacific region were not keeping up with the impacts of natural disasters and climate change.
Leaders noted the Pacific is making inadequate progress towards meeting international development goals for water and sanitation, and need more investment and advocacy.
This week’s meetings will look at management of water health at the household and community level, which is the most effective way of reducing water-borne disease.
Radio New Zealand International
18) US tribe’s involvement in Fiji casino unclear
Posted at 06:15 on 02 July, 2013 UTC
There is uncertainty over whether a Native American tribe is still associated with the development of Fiji’s first ever casino.
The government announced in December 2011 its decision to grant an exclusive casino licence to the American corporation, One Hundred Sands, in partnership with the Snoqualmie Tribe.
At the time, the relationship was described as a strategic one, with the tribe, which runs its own casino in Washington, to act in an advisory role.
It was also said to be promoting strong cultural ties between indigienous communities.
But the partnership has been challenged by a Chief who sent a letter to the Fiji government and the developer last year describing the deal as unauthorised as the tribe was embroiled in a leadership dispute.
The recently elected chairperson of the tribe, Carolyn Lubenau, told Radio New Zealand International that its involvement in the project is unclear and they are trying to get more information.
Attempts to contact the developer Larry Claunch for comment have not been successful.
Two weeks ago he announced that construction of the multi-million dollar project on Denarau Island had started.
Radio New Zealand International
19) High cost bugs SMEs in PNG
By Online Editor
4:25 pm GMT+12, 02/07/2013, Papua New Guinea
The high cost of doing business in Papua New Guinea is the biggest impediment in growing the small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) sector, Manufacturers Council of PNG chief executive officer Chey Scovell says.
Scovell told participants at the SME summit in Madang yesterday several factors that contributed to that were labour, factory, transport, utility, taxes and law and order.
“Well maintained transport infrastructure is essential for the efficient flow of produce to markets and for the flow of consumer goods and services to village communities,” he said.
“The decline in the quality of PNG’s transport infrastructure has had a major adverse impact on service delivery and the capacity of Papua New Guineans to earn cash incomes.
“Increased transport costs arising from deteriorating infrastructure are reflected in reduced smallholder returns for cash crops and increased prices for basic consumer goods such as rice and tinned fish.
“In terms of doing business, these costs are important because they determine where we conduct business, where we start our business and where people choose to come and work.”
Scovell said a “number of surveys revealed that law and order problem stands out as by far the greatest impediment to doing business in the country”.
“This (law and order) is more than infrastructure, governance, regulatory and urban land issues.
“A significant percentage of business revenues are consumed by law and order problems.
“Most businesses in PNG spend 5% to 30% of their total expenditure on security.”.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
20) PM Lilo To Open All New Airports In Solomon Islands
2 airports to be opened this month, 2 more later in the year
By Elliot Dawea
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 1, 2013) – Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo is expected to open all the new airports in the Solomon Islands.
This was revealed by the permanent secretary of the ministry of communication and aviation Francis Lomo.
He said Lilo has indicated to the ministry that he will open all the new airports being built around the country.
Some of the new airports are Lomlom in Temotu province, Manaoba in Malaita province, Munda, the country’s second international airport, and Nusatupe both in the Western province.
Asked why, Mr. Lomo responded because these developments came about under the political leadership of the current Prime Minister.
Its understood Manoaba airport has been completed and is expected to be opened this week.
Prime Minister Lilo who visited the Malaita Outer Islands over the weekend is expected to open the airport on his return.
Meanwhile, Lomlom airport in the Temotus is nearing completion and is likely to open towards the end of this month.
Prime Minister Lilo with his delegation are expected to travel to the Reef Islands to open the airport.
The provincial secretary of Temotu province Solomon Palusi also confirmed Temotu Premier Fr. Brown Beu and his delegation will also witness the opening.
Mr. Palusi said premier Beu and his executive has done a great job in pushing for this project.
Premier Beu had praised the NCRA government for supporting the province with a number of their projects.
Nusatupe and Munda will expect their grand opening later on this year.
21) Tonga National Bank Reports Positive Economic Indicators
Improving overseas economics could help remittances, tourism
NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, July 1, 2013) – Although Tonga’s economy continues to be weak, there are some positive indicators, according to a market update on July 1, by the Deputy Governor of Tonga’s National Reserve Bank, Jessie Cocker, who met with senior regional officers of ANZ Bank on June 28.
Despite Tonga’s poor economic performance, there was still optimism about the progress made.
Jessie expected that the improving American economy could revive the remittances and visitor arrivals, which fell steeply last year.
“More recently, on the back of the better growth and unemployment outcomes in some of the key source countries, remittances have been increasing.
“We expect tourism to grow further over the short term, on the back of improving growth and unemployment outcomes overseas, particularly in New Zealand and the U.S.,” she said.
Other positive reviews were revivals in visitor arrivals to Tonga as well as improving agriculture exports.
“The primary sector, a cornerstone of the Tongan economy, had a string of poor years immediately following the height of the crisis, but has since recorded some stronger growth – the reverse of the profile for the construction sector. Partly, this reflects more favorable weather conditions for growers last years. Recent quarantine agreements with Australia and New Zealand may help to support the market further.”
An industry that has not been faring well, however, was the Marine industry.
“The number of locally-based vessels have reportedly fallen by four to 17,” she said.
A commitment to Tonga was reiterated by the ANZ Bank representatives, who included Tonga’s ANZ CEO, Owen Thompson and the regional CEO for ANZ Bank, Vishnu Mohan, and the head of Global Markets Pacific, Mr. Arjan Roukema.
“Tonga is not a booming economy… There basically has been no investment in Tonga apart from construction projects via Chinese aid,” said Mr. Thompson.
“ANZ has been in the Pacific for over a hundred years. Tonga is very important to us, it is not just a by-line country for our business and it is a part of our primary objective”.
While in Tonga, Mr. Roukema and Mr. Mohan were to visit government partners, the National Reserve Bank of Tonga and ANZ business customers.
Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/
22) Solomon Islands Police Raid Illegal Alcohol Vendors
Capital city police report two men arrested
By Charley Piringi
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 1, 2013) – Several liquor outlets operating illegally in the city have been raided over the weekend by police.
The operations were conducted by the Honiara City Police.
Reports said on Friday night police raided the Bahai and the Lengakiki Geology area as part of targeting illegal beer outlets in the city.
The raid was in relation to illegal selling of liquor. Owners of these outlets were selling alcohol without any liquor permits and after hours.
During the raid nearly ten cartons of beer were confiscated.
As a result of the raid two men were arrested and charged while awaiting their court appearance.
Honiara City Police Commander Chief Superintendant Sergeant Gabriel Manelusi yesterday confirmed the raids while issuing a warning to all illegal liquor outlets in the city.
He said that a lot of hotspots involved in such illegal activities have been identified.
These identified hotspots will be their targets in the coming weeks.
“Those recently raided areas were some of the many crime hotspots in town.”
He warned that more of such raids will be conducted and owners of these illegal outlets will face justice once they are caught.
“We have already identified other illegal outlets in the city and will be raiding them soon.”
“This is part of doing our job to have these culprits arrested and face justice.”
Sgt. Manelusi calls on all communities in and around Honiara to work together with the police to fight against such illegal activities.
“We asked the communities to work closely with us to ensure that Honiara is a crime free city for everyone. All of us should be law abiding citizen of the Solomon Islands.”
Apart from the raids regular traffic checkups and inspections by police will also be conducted as of this week.
CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT+:
23) 3D community based geo-spatial topography mapping system empowers local community
By Online Editor
09:48 am GMT+12, 02/07/2013, Fiji
By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Nadi
A community-based geo-spatial topography mapping system using 3 Dimensional (3D) model has empowered the people of the island of Epi in Vanuatu’s Shefa province to make informed decisions on road designs better suited for coastal communities impacted by climate change.
While this model is still at its infancy in terms of its use in the Pacific, the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) project has piloted the new tool in Vanuatu working with the communities on the island of Epi.
Sharing lessons learnt from the project, PACC assistant co-ordinator, Ian Iercet said the Epi project was successful because of the full participation, at all levels, of the local community.
“We ensured that the community participate fully in the decision making process. We also wanted to incorporate traditional knowledge with science to work out the best solutions for the community, Iercet told PACNEWS.
Building the model was totally the work of the community – students of the local high school, women, village elders and chiefs.
“We used cardboard to cut out contours and traced them using carbon and glued them to form the different layers of the landscape of the island.
“We asked community leaders to identify areas where the impact of climate change is happening and how they’ve addressed these problems using traditional knowledge. We then try and incorporate these traditional form of action with the science, said Iercet.
He said they found that bringing various communities together led to better consensus building on issues that affect their livelihoods.
“At the end of the exercise, community leaders agreed to consider relocation of coastal villages and the high school to higher ground. This decision was by consensus.
“Even before we developed the 3D model for the community, the islanders have used their own hand tools to cut roads in higher ground. We have already surveyed the land and before the end of the year, we will build the road on the island, said Iercet.
To show their commitment, chiefs and leaders in Epi publicly offered their resources such as sand, coral, water and quarry materials free of charge from royalties or any other form of payment, to build new roads for the island.
Chiefs on the island also assured they will not claim compensation for any damage or removal of fruit trees or commercial crops such as kava and peanuts from their land, if the road relocation goes through their land.
“The chiefs of Epi could foresee the impact of PACC project in terms of building their resilience and adaptive capacity far outweighs the compensation in the long run, according to a report on the project by the Vanuatu PACC team.
Iercet said the 3D Modeling is a very cost effective tool that saves money and time as assessments are based on the local knowledge of community members
Lessons learnt from Epi Island will be replicated in the other outer islands in Vanuatu.
24) ‘Its time to relocate’
By Online Editor
4:28 pm GMT+12, 02/07/2013, Solomon Islands
People of Malaita Outer Islands (MOI)in Solomon Islands says it is high time for them to move into resettlement before sea level rise could become a huge threat for them.
This was highlighted during the three days visit of the Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo to the low-lying atolls over the weekend.
The Prime Minister spent Friday to Sunday with the people of Lord Howe and Sikaiana.
Spokesperson for Pelau community in Lord Howe Chris Keungi highlighted that the issue of resettlement was raised during the political tenure of their former politician late Paul Keyumi in 1980’s but nothing has been done.
He said the issue of sea level rise is real and is happening on their islands as well some parts of the country which needs to be addressed now.
“Some of the contributed factors why we really need resettlement are; over population, poor soil fertility and scarcity of land mass.
“We believe it is high time to move into resettlement,” Mr Keungi said.
Similar sentiments were also raised at Luaniua community also on Lord Howe on the issue of resettlement.
Samuel Kenini of Luaniua said climate change is a big threat to them.
He said they have been experiencing land erosion, highest and lowest tide, extreme weather conditions, garden crops dying due to salt water intrusion and many more.
He said the other contributing factors are land become scarce while population is skyrocketing.
“This has forced some of us moving to settle on other parts of the islands while others move to the small island of Luaniua,” Kenini added.
He suggested that if the government is planning to resettle in the bigger islands they suggest Isabel province as their first choice.
In response deputy premier of Malaita province Alick Mae’aba said two sites have been identified for the resettlement program.
He said one of the sites is Airahu in Central Kwara’ae and Afio in South Malaita.
Maeaba said a taskforce committee has been set up to look into the progress and development of the resettlement program.
He said the committee will consult with Malaita Outer Islands and the provincial government to come up with best options for the resettlement.
Maeaba said the idea is for each family to have a plot of land which they will take full ownership of it.
Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said the issues that are being raised by the Malaita Outer Islands community are real which calls for re-engagement and commitment by the national government, Malaita provincial government and donor partners to address it.
He said he will take on board all the concerns and bring it to the caucus for discussion.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS
25) Early El Nino warning could aid farmers
By Online Editor
4:31 pm GMT+12, 02/07/2013, Germany
Scientists have found a way to forecast El Nino weather events in the Pacific a year in advance, long enough to let farmers plant crops less vulnerable to global shifts in rainfall, a study showed on Monday.
While far from flawless, the technique doubles current six-month predictions of El Nino, a warming of the eastern Pacific linked in the past to floods in Peru and Ecuador, droughts in Australia and Indonesia and maybe severe winters in Europe.
“Better forecasting will mean farmers can adapt,” Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a co-author of the report with experts in Russia, Israel, Germany and the United States, told Reuters.
El Ninos typically happen every two to seven years but scientists have been unable to find the causes of patterns that have occurred naturally throughout history and are among the most disruptive of extreme weather events.
The new system, built on a network of temperature records around the Pacific Ocean since 1950, correctly spotted El Nino events a year in advance more than half the time and gave false alarms fewer than one year in 10.
“We can develop an efficient 12-month forecasting scheme, i.e. achieve some doubling of the early-warning period,” the scientists wrote in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Even though the new computer-based system is not always right, farmers might find it worthwhile to invest in drought- or flood-resistant varieties of crops when there was a risk of an El Nino in a year’s time.
“Six months’ warning is too short. If you are a farmer in India, or in Zimbabwe or Brazil you have bought your seeds or even planted them. If you have a 12- or even 18-month early warning, you have a full agricultural cycle,” Schellnhuber said.
Predictions of El Nino, part of a larger natural pattern known as El Nino Southern Oscillation, have often been unreliable. El Nino is Spanish for “the child”, named after the baby Jesus because it often appeared off Peru around Christmas.
In September 2012, for instance, the World Meteorological Organization saw a “moderately high likelihood” of an El Nino in the months ahead that did not materialise. It said last week that there were now “neutral” conditions in the Pacific.
A separate report, looking at evidence for El Nino events in the growth rings of more than 2,000 trees stretching back 700 years, suggested that climate change was the cause of a rise in the number of El Nino events in the late 20th century.
Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, they also found that volcanic eruptions, which spew out particles that can affect sunlight, apparently affected El Nino cycles.
That was evidence, they argued, that heat-trapping gases from burning fossil fuels could similarly affect the cycle.
“We expect more strong El Ninos” overall this century because of rising concentrations of greenhouse gases, lead author Jinbao Li of the University of Hong Kong told Reuters.
26) Kiribati hopes to secure funds to re-open four closed weather offices
By Online Editor
4:41 pm GMT+12, 02/07/2013, Fiji
By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Nadi
The Kiribati Meteorological Service hopes to secure donor support to re-open four of its weather offices now closed due to obsolete equipment.
Ueneta Toorua, the only meteorologist on the island shared with regional colleagues in Nadi this week some of the challenges faced by the Met Office in providing timely weather information to its citizens.
He said the four stations in the outer islands are crucial in monitoring and analyzing data on what’s happening in these islands.
“Now we are looking for support and funding to reopen these stations, especially to get data for climate monitoring and climate analysis.
Toorua admits the weather stations were closed after the Met Office in Kiribati was nationalized.
“Originally, the Met Office was fully supported by the NZ Met Service. When we localized the service, there was very limited funding to sustain the operation and maintenance of equipment in our weather office.
However, we are now seeking donor support o re-open these stations and replace the obsolete equipment.
“It’s very hard for us at the Met Office to figure out what the actual conditions are in these weather stations especially when there are no real time monitoring and data available from other stations.
“We have received some donated equipment from New Zealand to replace the old instruments. We are seeking more funds to buy extra instrument and transport them to the island stations.
This is another challenge as the cost of transporting the equipment to the outer islands is exorbitant.
“The government of Kiribati has committed some funds to assist with the transportation. This is not stopping us from knocking on the donors’ door to assist us with the costs.
Another of the gaps identified by the Met Office is the need to train young I-Kiribati to take up interest in meteorology and general climate service jobs.
“Our current problem is that we don’t have enough qualified meteorologists on the island to deliver weather forecasting and aviation information.
“We have engaged some graduates to work in projects with a view of confirming them to met service roles. At the same time we are looking at restructuring our Met Service to include career paths for young I-Kiribati that want to pursue a career in weather forecasting and climate services, said Toorua.
27) Tokelau seeks Pacific help for its meteorology service
By Online Editor
1:35 pm GMT+12, 02/07/2013, Fiji
By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Nadi
Fiji and Samoa have been thanked by Tokelau for providing timely weather reports to the tiny Polynesian atoll.
Without these daily weather bulletins, the 1,700 residents on the island are unable to make informed decisions daily on changing weather situation or prepare for any natural disaster, said Kelemeni Tavuto, the island’s manager environment services.
He is in Nadi this week to seek assistance from other Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) on improving climate services on the island.
“After the political referendum on the island in the 1990s New Zealand has shied away from some of its responsibilities, especially in the area of climate services, said Tavuto.
“That is why we are represented here to seek help from other Pacific Island Countries and Territories and try and find ways to seek funding from donors.
Tavuto however admits that New Zealand provides million of dollars to other areas of the administration of the island but climate services, including meteorology has been neglected.
“For example, my department receives NZ$900,000 for three government department – which is sub-divided into environment, economic development and meteorology.
“Even though each ‘nuku’ or village is provided budget for its own, residents often rely on the national government to provide these essential services to the community, said Tavuto.
Responding briefly to the Tokelau country report, the Pacific Manager for NZMet, Penehuro Lefale said New Zealand has been and continues to assist Tokelau with its climate services.
One of the immediate needs for Tokelau is the establishment of weather offices on all the three islands.
“My main purpose here is to reach out to potential partners and donors to assist us. Tokelau will not reach its potential unless we get help from our Pacific brothers and sisters.
“I would expect them to assist us with the implementation of climate change programs and improved, severe weather updates, said Tavuto.
This is the first time that Tokelau is being represented at the Pacific Meteorological Council meeting.
28) French nuclear fallout far worse than previously admitted
Posted at 06:15 on 02 July, 2013 UTC
French Polynesia’s nuclear test veterans say a declassified French document shows Tahiti was strongly affected by fallout, contrary to assurances by the authorities.
Following court action in France, just over 2,000 documents were released, but citing defence secrets 114 pages were left blank, prompting concern that many pertinent facts keep being withheld.
The documents confirm that fallout from the atmospheric tests of between 1966 and 1974 affected all islands and not only the 21 atolls listed by the defence ministry three years ago.
The head of Moruroa e tatou, Roland Oldham, says a total of 26 navy vessels were also contaminated, as was Tahiti.
“There is one document that says in Tahiti, the fallout of plutonium is 500 times higher than the maximum dose that human beings can have. This is a big worry for us.”
Roland Oldham says the group will consult its lawyers for the next step in getting full disclosure from the French military.
The group will tomorrow mark the 57th anniversary of first French nuclear weapons test in the South Pacific.
Radio New Zealand International
29a) Vanuatu beach volleyballers ready for World Champs
Posted at 06:15 on 02 July, 2013 UTC
Vanuatu will make history on 2 July when they become the first Pacific team to compete at the Beach Volleyball World Championships
Oceania winners Miller Elwin and Henriette Iatika have spent the past few weeks in Europe acclimatising ahead of the competition in Poland.
Head coach Lauren McLeod told Vinnie Wylie that just being there is a massive achievement, especially after failing to qualify for the Olympics.
LAUREN MCLEOD: After missing out on London last year we had to regroup the programme and set some new focuses and really come back together. We’ve struggled financially a lot this year, but due to the hard work and effort of the programme pulling together we’ve been able to get here and the girls have worked really hard on the sand to be able to maintain our points and keep our performance level high enough throughout the time on the sand and off the sand, so we can qualify on merit.
VINNIE WYLIE: You’ve had a few efforts on the world tour so far, but have struggled to get out of qualifying. Has that been a challenge not being able to get a lot of top-level competition leading into this tournament?
LM: Yeah, definitely. The better the teams you can compete against, the more competitive we can be when it comes to international tournaments. And we haven’t had a lot of opportunity to travel outside the island or do a lot of training camps due to just lack of funding.
VW: In terms of those events on the World Series, whilst the results haven’t been so great over the past six months in terms of getting to the main draw, you did have a bit of success last year making a couple of really good runs on those tournaments. So even though you perhaps haven’t had so much match time in recent months, does that give you confidence that you can pull something out of the bag?
LM: Yeah, absolutely. With the lead-up events this year, we’re not disappointed at all with the first two events because we played really well in China and we had tough matches both first rounds of the qualification. And both first rounds we ended up losing in three sets by narrower and narrower margins. We know that we’re in good shape and we’ve been training hard for the last few weeks. So for the world championships it’s pool play, so anything can happen.
VW:And you’ve obviously arrived in Poland ahead of the start of the tournament on monday having a training camp in denmark, fine-tuning some things. Where are you guys at at the moment? Are you feeling good going into it now?
LM: Yeah, feeling really good. We’ve had a few weeks in Europe getting used to acclimatisation, then training in denmark has been really good. We actually had a little bit to do with a few of the men’s national team players helping us out. So it was fantastic and good to lift the standard of our training, as well. Definitely feeling really confident. And we’re just happy that tomorrow we’re on centre court. The girls love to play in front of a crowd so the atmosphere will get right behind them, I’m sure.
VW:Have you set any sort of target for this tournament?
LM: Yeah, our goal is definitely to get out of pool. And after we get out of pool we see what the draw has to say. But we’ve got to work really hard. We’ve got two really strong match-ups against Italy and Poland first up. And then the game against Brazil will be a very hard task. So what we’re looking for is just to focus on one game at a time and just play our best volleyball.
Radio New Zealand International
29b) Tietjens the master in Sevens success
By Online Editor
11:01 am GMT+12, 02/07/2013, New Zealand
-Gordon Tietjens’ management of his veteran sevens stars was a key to regaining the World Cup and how he handles them over the next phase will be vital to New Zealand’s Olympic chances.
The master coach was at the peak of his powers in Moscow, cleverly juggling his talented squad and then tweaking tactics on a dramatic final day when wild weather hit the tournament, including sending New Zealand and Fiji from the field for safety reasons during their semifinal.
When New Zealand returned to action an hour later, they saw off their arch enemies 17-0 and then blitzed England in the final 33-0.
In between those two matches the New Zealand women’s team won its own World Cup, beating a dogged Canadian team 29-12 in the final.
The double glory in the Russian capital meant a gold-letter day in New Zealand rugby – the men and women own both the 15s and sevens World Cups.
For Tietjens, it was as much about transferring their annual world series dominance – 11 titles in 13 years – to the World Cup stage.
It’s a recipe he will try to repeat at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow but the biggest question will be whether his cunning ways can earn New Zealand a gold medal when the sport is introduced to the Olympics in Brazil in 2016.
Tietjens has managed to retain a core of experienced players while the up and comers his scouting unearths are regularly whisked away to Super Rugby squads and, in many cases, All Blacks honours.
Captain DJ Forbes, aged 30, Tomasi Cama, 32, and Lote Raikabula, 29, all have Father Time chasing them.
Tietjens values their experience incredibly, especially in big moments. But he will monitor them carefully.
Already injuries are starting to plague the talented trio.
Forbes shrugged off a serious foot complaint to make Moscow and Cama battled a back injury.
Tietjens held Cama back from the first two days of the cup, only unleashing him yesterday.
The Fijian was a key figure in helping dispose of defending champions Wales in the quarterfinals, his old homeland in the semifinals, and the English.
The three were part of the last World Cup disappointment four years ago in Dubai and Tietjens was especially pleased for them yesterday.
“To come off a world series win and cap it off with a World Cup is tremendous for us . . . and great to do it with the core of guys I had here as well.”
Tietjens also saw the success as justification to his theory that the game has become a specialist environment rather than one where 15s players can come and go as some of his opposition went down that road for the cup.
“Every game [yesterday] we performed superbly. We got the buzz going . . . attitude was the key really and most pleasing was the way we stuck with the game plan to beat England.
“They played right into our hands.”
New Zealand struck early twice in the final and then sucked England into a kicking war which the All Blacks Sevens won handsomely, forcing their opponents into mistakes at the wrong end of the field. Forbes, with his work rate, was influential and young playmaker Gillies Kaka capped a superb tournament with a standout performance in the final.
So did Tim Mikkelson, whose slick finishing brought two tries to double his tournament tally.
But that had nothing on Portia Woodman, the New Zealand women’s try-scoring freak, who also notched a double in the final against Canada to total 12 throughout the tournament.
Her speed and movement were capitalised on by a team that has developed rapidly in its first year under coach Sean Horan.
“It is amazing. I can’t explain it. A year ago I never thought I would be here,” Woodman said modestly.
“It’s great to score tries but I didn’t even notice how many. That is my job. The forwards get me the ball and it is my job to finish it.”
The women face an even tougher task building into the Rio Olympics because the improvement on their side of the game is more rapid.
It’s an increasingly even playing field. The Kiwis struck a few hiccups along the way to claiming the inaugural world series this year but were clearly the form side in Moscow, erasing the disappointment of their extra-time loss in the last cup final.
SOURCE: FAIRFAX NZ/PACNEWS
29c) Holistic approach to Rugby: Fiji President
By Online Editor
11:00 am GMT+12, 02/07/2013, Fiji
Fiji’s President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says the Fiji Rugby Union should take a holistic approach to rugby in its journeys into a new century.
During his speech at the Fiji Rugby Centenary Conference which reflects on the past, present and future at the University of the South Pacific in Suva yesterday, Ratu Epeli said the forum can forge a great sense of unity for Fiji rugby in the next 100 years.
Detailed questions were raised and discussed at the forum.
“I would like to encourage the Fiji Rugby Union to continue to consider a holistic approach to rugby,” he said.
“The sport must continue to be developed at both the local and national levels for both social and competitive purposes.
“There are many benefits to be achieved in both these areas.”
USP lecturer in sociology Doctor Yoko Kanemasu, who is one of the organisers, said the forum could assist FRU in mapping a new direction for the future.
“We have reached 100 years for Fiji rugby but this forum can help FRU to take a new approach and head a new direction,” she said.
“Actually our objective of this forum is to share information and insights about Fiji rugby.
“We believe that rugby is more than just a game.
“What we have done is try to give FRU a fair idea of where to head to in the future after we celebrate the 100 years of existence this year.”
FRU chief executive officer Manasa Baravilala supported the forum, saying rugby is more than the game.
Meanwhile rugby followers are urged to attend day two of the Fiji Rugby Centennial Conference held at the University of the South Pacific today.
The two-day event, which started yesterday at the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre, is organised by the USP Faculty of Arts, Law and Education which is doing a research on Fiji rugby.
Former All Blacks and New Zealand sevens skipper Eric Rush is one of the guest speakers today.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
29d) 2013 National Games Opened In Palau
President announces prizes for winning athletes
By Peter Erick Magbanua
KOROR, Palau (Island Times, July 1, 2013) – Play with pride and honor; represent your state at 110%: these were the encouraging words President Tommy Remengesau Jr. and Palau National Olympic Committee (PNOC) President Frank Kyota gave out to over 500 athletes, coaches and officials in the opening ceremonies of the 2013 Belau Games yesterday afternoon at the Palau National Gym.
Remengesau said that the Belau Games is the starting step toward Palau winning a medal in the Olympic Games. He stressed out to the athletes that commitment and dedication are the main ingredients toward making the best athlete out of themselves
“From the Belau Games, we come to identify our athletes that will don our colors to the Micronesian Games, Mini Games, Pacific Games and on to the Olympics. I know in the future Palau will be able to win a medal in the Olympics as to when, it remains in the hands of you athletes of Palau,” Remengesau said.
He stressed that with the Belau Games, he hopes athletes would learn to fight for their country and not against one another. He also hopes that athletes would continue to head to a healthier lifestyle to combat non-communicable diseases and be ambassadors of goodwill to one another.
Kyota thanked President Remengesau and the national government for the financial support for the staging of the games. He also thanked the Council of Chiefs, State Governors, Senators and Delegates for their support to the athletes and coaches.
“I hope that the Belau Games would showcase not only you skills in any sport but also promote our cultural value and identity for you are the future of this nation and through out the games may you be able to build a chain of friendship, respect to one another, to your state, to your homes, school and community. Be role models to the young ones and be wholesome and respectable athletes,” Kyota stressed.
Aside from rallying the athletes of the 14 participating states, President Remengesau also announced financial rewards to this year’s winners.
He said that the Office of the President will be giving $1,000 for the 1st place winners or the team with the most number of medals; High Chief Ibedul and High Chief Reklai together with the Council of Chiefs will give $500 to the 2nd place winner of the team with the most number of medals while the Governor’s Association will be giving $300 to the 3rd place winners of the team with the most number of medals.
The House of Delegates will be giving out $1,000 for the sportsmanship award while the Senate will also be giving $1,000 to the team with the most gold medals.
Also present during the opening ceremonies were Vice President Antonio Bells, High Chief Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons, High Chief Reklai Rafael Ngirmang, Senators Hokkons Baules, Phillip Reklai, Reynold Oilouch, Mason and Surangel Whipps Jr. and J. Uduch Sengebau-Senior, members of the House of Delegates and State Governors.
Island Times: www.islandtimes.us