Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 867

MELANESIA:

1) PNG Family Protection Bill passed

By Online Editor
4:25 pm GMT+12, 19/09/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Parliament has passed the Family Protection Bill making domestic violence an offence under PNG laws.

Attorney General and Justice Minister Kerenga Kua who introduced the Bill received an overwhelming 63-0 votes to pass the bill that will give teeth to the current interim protection orders issued by the district court.

Kua said the highly sought after interim protection orders by destitute women do not have a legislative backing where victims often find themselves in situations where interim protection orders are not enforceable.

“When a breach occurs there is no penalty under the law so the cycle of violence in the family continues.”

He said the Family Protection Bill is neutral and intends to protect both man and woman who have had domestic violence in their homes. “The Bill recognizes that domestic violence of any kind is not an acceptable behavior.”

He said the purpose of introducing the law is to get legislature to address the urgent need to make domestic violence an offence and to provide family protection orders for victims of domestic violence in PNG.

“Domestic violence has been a long standing concern in PNG which commence with the referral to the Law Reform Commission in 1991, after conducting extensive research and consultations over a number of years the LRC concluded in 1992 that “domestic violence is a widespread problem affecting over two thirds of families in the country and that its main form is wife beating”

“All forms of domestic violence are contrary to the constitution that affects women and children. Many citizens have expressed disgust at the continuous incidents of domestic violence and openly stated that it can no longer be treated as a house hold matter.”

Kua said while there has been much publicity over recent months about violence particularly sexual violence against women by strangers, a study by the World Bank “Trends in violence and crime in PNG” published in November 2012, states that PNG women are much more likely to become victims of crime at home and the perpetrator is more likely to be a man known to them such as a relative or neighbor rather than a stranger.

He said 72 per cent of sexual offences prosecuted in the National Capital District involve perpetrators who are either a member of the family or knew the victim.

Meanwhile, most PNG parliamentarians agree that a new law on polygamy is not necessary.

During debate Wednesday, Lae MP and Community Development Minister Loujaya Kouza said it was unnecessary to create new laws on polygamy as the bill covered areas related to the issue.

Western Highlands Governor Paias Wingti then called for a division. It showed that only three MPs supported the creation of a new legislation on polygamy.

Kouza said she had already discussed the matter with Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Kerenga Kua.

“At this point in time, in regards to the Family Protection Bill, I would state that from the outset that it does assist where areas of polygamy are concerned and we do not have to introduce a polygamy bill,” she said.

“I had discussions with the attorney-general with regards to a thinking that was floated around to have a polygamy Bill brought to Parliament.

“The discussions with the Attorney General  proved that we did not have to bring in that polygamy bill simply because of the way in which the Family Protection Bill has been framed.”.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

2) PNG PM tables reports into controversial land lease system

Posted at 02:01 on 19 September, 2013 UTC

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister has tabled in parliament two reports from a Commission of Inquiry into Special Agricultural Business Leases.

The government ordered the inquiry in 2011 to investigate the SABL system which civil society groups claim has been used for a huge ’land grab’, often for unsustainable logging projects.

Peter O’Neill tabled reports from two of the three Commissioners, but has slammed the overall performance of the Commission as being substandard and costly.

Mr O’Neill told parliament the lease system was marred by shocking corruption and mismanagement.

Of the overall 75 leases in the SABL system, 42 were examined.

The reports found that only four secured consent of local landowners and had viable agricultural projects.

The government has signalled the creation of a taskforce to develop a new legislative framework to free up customary land for development.

It will also consult nationally to draft a new SABL system.

Radio New Zealand International

3) Indonesian police officer found to have bribed Papua Police Chief

Posted at 05:02 on 19 September, 2013 UTC

An investigation by the internal supervision agency within Indonesia’s police force has found that a Papua police officer had paid bribes to 33 police officials, including the Papua provincial chief.

The Jakarta Post reports that Labora Sitorus is alleged to have paid the bribes, totalling around 1 million US dollars, to protect his illegal logging and fuel-smuggling businesses.

The chairperson of Indonesian Police Watch, Neta Pane, said that Labora had wired and personally handed the money to officials within the Papua and the national police between January 2012 and March 2013.

Neta says the officer also bribed a number of police officials, including the Papua police chief, who was paid on at least five occasions.

However the IPW chair has refused to say whether the Papua Police chief in question was Tito Karnavian, whose tenure started in September 2012, or his predecessor Bigman Lumban Tobing.

Radio New Zealand International

4) Solomons Leadership Commission Considers Penalties For MPs
Officials who fail to report on financial accounts may be fined

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 18, 2013) – The Solomon Islands Leadership Code Commission (LCC) says a decision will be made by next week on the politicians who have failed to submit their financial accounts.

In June, the LCC gave over 21 members of Parliament and 15 other officials 60 days to declare their interests and accounts, and the Commission’s chairman, Emmanuel Kouhota, threatened them with misconduct, and fines of up to US$700.

Mr. Kouhota says many of the people served notices have not responded and the three-man panel on the LCC will make a decision by next week as to how they may be punished.

“Quite a big number did not respond. The next step would be for the commission to impose a penalty on them. There’s a warning or a fine of up to SBD$5,000 [US$677].”

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

5a) France Provides Funds For Rural Development In Vanuatu
10 micro-projects include renovating classrooms, libraries

By Godwin Ligo

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Sept. 18, 2013) – The French Embassy in Port Vila, Vanuatu, has allocated Vt60 million [US$621,762] for micro-projects in rural Vanuatu over the period 2010-2013.

The Social Development Fund by the French Embassy is specifically earmarked to meet the needs of the rural population in remote areas of the country.

Ten micro-projects have already been identified and approved by a Special Committee set up by the French Embassy for funding in 2013 and that will cost Vt4 million [US$41,450] out of the Vt60 million four year funding period.

Around 50% of the projects to be funded in 2013 include renovation and completion of classrooms and small libraries for very remote areas of Vanuatu such as Bakavegug on Toga Island in the Torres Islands and Nergar primary school on Meralava.

A French Embassy spokesman said the list of request for water tanks is numerous and is the reason that the Embassy has concentrated its micro-funding projects in the remote communities of the country.

One small isolated island that the French Embassy has stepped in with one of their priority need is the population the small island of Merig in Torba Province.

Not only does the French Embassy supports micro-projects such as schools and water tanks but it has also expand into the economic development of the remote rural communities such as supporting a market house in the population of Nasawa in Maewo.

A spokesman from the French Embassy division managing the schemes said the micro-projects program over the past years has a direct positive outcome for the beneficiaries in the isolated rural areas of Vanuatu.

The French Embassy will commit a further Vt7 or 8 million [US$72,538 to US$82,901] in November this year towards requests received from the remote rural communities of Vanuatu.

Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com

5b) New post on Vanuatu Daily Digest

Vanuatu daily news digest | 19 September 2013

by bobmakin

The news under discussion concerning the two most important current topics reaches new depths in the last 24 hours. Daily I am slow in bringing Daily Post into the blog presently, but the excellent article concerning the new Rentabau airport (only wanted by the politicians of both sides of the house), claimed by the government airports task force and Deputy Prime Minister to be a company of the Mewah Corporation is not, as they have previously and at length explained. But now we learn that it is their chairman alone who is in command. Yesterday’s Post had an excellent aerial photo showing the probable area of extent of works in the Erouiti area. Anyway, now we know. It is not the Mewah Corporation producing food oils, only their Singaporean billionaire chairman, who met all the conditions for being an expert in airport design and construction whom the 20 man team which flew to Singapore met. One wonders how many other contenders there were and who paid their tickets.

And today (and last night) on VBTC News we are told by the Chairman of the Task Force for the Capital Investment Plan and Consular Programme, Bill Bani, that theConstitution does not prescribe a referendum to give citizenship of Vanuatu. No it doesn’t. One wonders who has suggested this. The Constitution adequately provides for people to acquire citizenship after ten years of residence. It should not be necessary to have a referendum on a point adequately expressed. Therefore one can only ponder as to why he is saying this. Unless, of course, a change to the Constitution is required for, say, less than ten years residence, when, of course, it would be required. Neither the government nor Mr Bani can change the Constitution at a stroke. Why would they want to, anyway?

bobmakin | September 19, 2013 at 6:45 am | Categories: The News, Digested | URL:http://wp.me/p2A4RK-rR

6) Fiji women encouraged to contest 2014 elections

By Online Editor
4:21 pm GMT+12, 19/09/2013, Fiji

Women already play an important role in everyday life and it’s only fair that they also have a say in the running of the country.

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator Shamima Ali says now is the time to encourage more women to run for elections next year.

“Women actually do most of the work in the country from household work to community work as well as in the paid sector of employment so they should be part and parcel of decision making, they should be consulted because they bring in a different kind of thinking into leadership and so on which is really important.”

FemLINKPACIFIC Executive Director Sharon Bhagwan Rolls shared the same sentiments, saying more recognition must also be given to rural women.

She says quite often rural women are seen as not qualified but this has changed.

“The majority of women in informal communities, in informal economies in Fiji right now, the number of women who’ve demonstrated leadership from the seventies onwards, are women who are qualified as leaders at local levels, they’re just not been recognised.”

Fijians are expected to go to the poll by September 30th next year, and there’s hope that more women will be voted in to Fiji’s next parliament.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS

POLYNESIA:

7) Tonga’s Repayment Of $64.5 Million Loan To China Deferred
Final decision on loan grace period yet to be announced

By Pesi Fonua

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Sept. 18, 2013) – China has deferred Tonga’s repayment of its $119 million pa’anga loan [US$64.5 million] indefinitely, the Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano told the Tongan parliament this morning, 18 September.

Tonga was scheduled to start repaying its loan from the Exim Bank of China, this coming Saturday, 21 September.

Lord Tu’ivakano who had recently been to China, said that there had been negotiation with Chinese officials to extend the loan grace period from five years to 10 years.

Chinese officials had insisted for the grace period remain at five years, though they told the PM and his delegation in China that they would write and inform them of their final decision.

The first repayment of the interest amounts to TOP$11 million [US$5.9 million], but with interest plus principal, the amount due is TOP$13 million [US$7 million].

Repayment deferred

Lord Tu’ivakano said that this morning they received a letter from China informing them that the date for the repayment of the loan had been deferred. The Chinese officials had not made a final decision on Tonga’s extension request, but they would let them know at a later date.

The Prime Minister went on to stress that companies which borrowed from government for the reconstruction of their premises would have to repay their loans from government, disregarding how long the Chinese would extend the grace period for government to repay its loan.

The loan policy for the reconstruction of the Nuku’alofa Central Business District (CBD) was for government to borrow from the Exim Bank of China, at a very low interest rate and then relend it to business whose properties were destroyed, by offering a slightly higher interest rate.

No loans agreements

However, the Prime Minister admitted that though construction was completed in early 2012 and the loan money had been spent, but none of these businesses had signed a loan agreement with government.

The discussion over the Chinese loan became very tense when Lord Nuku questioned what happens to people whose properties were destroyed but they had not been rebuilt, though government and the tax payers were about to repay the loan.

He queried why were not the people who were responsible for destroying the Nuku’alofa CBD asked repay the loan.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Samiu Vaipulu told the House that a few people were imprisoned for their involvement in the destroying of Nuku’alofa, but for the others, “we will leave it to god.”

Hon. Clive Edwards, the Minister of Justice and one of the members of parliament who was charged with sedition, relating to the destruction of Nuku’alofa, told the House that the court had set some of these people free because it was for a political purpose, it was national issue and not for individual gain. He said that even though people suffered because their businesses were destroyed and would continue to suffer, but it was for political change. He believed that government should look at how to help these people.

The Chinese loan issue was raised by ‘Akilisi Pohiva, one of the members of parliament who was also charged with sedition, relating to the destruction of Nuku’alofa.

He raised the loan issue because he said he heard that China was about to build a government building complex at Pangai Si’i and he wanted to know if it was another loan from China, on top of the loan that Tonga was still trying to figure out how to repay.

Hon. Samiu told the House that the rebuilding of government offices complex at Pangai Si’i was not a loan. He also reminded the House that only government loans of more than TOP$15 million [US$8.1 million] must be approved by parliament.

Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/

8) Tonga Judiciary Discussing Family Justice, Youth Violence
3-day workshop follows recent passage of family protection law

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Sept. 18, 2013) – Tonga’s recently passed Family Protection Bill 2013 is at the forefront of a ‘Family Violence and Youth Justice Workshop’ being held in Nuku’alofa this week to provide the judiciary and stakeholders with a better understanding of the new bill, that will help tackle the increasing problem of family violence.

The three-day workshop, which also deals with youth justice, began on September 18 under a Pacific Judicial Development Program funded by NZAID and administered by the Federal Court of Australia. It is chaired by Judge Peter Boshier a former New Zealand Principal Family Court Judge and current Law Commissioner, with Tonga’s Chief Justice Hon. Michael Scott.

It was timely that Tonga addressed this issue especially since the recent passing of the Family Protection Bill and the growing recognition and condemnation of violence against both men and children in the Pacific, said Tonga’s Chief Magistrate Folau Lokotui.

“I have read in the local media alarming statistics about the rate of domestic violence in Tonga and a recent report cited 45 percent of Tongan women have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime. Family violence and youth justice has always been present but in recent years communities have started tackling this issue with renewed vigor,” he said.

Youth justice

Lokotui said the most recent incident involving student violence between two high schools highlighted the difficulty in addressing youth justice in the Pacific.

“It is important that the Tongan judiciary continues to develop and adapt its practice and procedure to achieve justice in every situation and I hope this workshop provides us with the opportunity to work together to confront domestic violence and youth justice,” he said.

Family

Chief Justice Scott said there was nothing more important than the health of our families because without healthy families we would have an unhealthy society.

He said they would discuss the different aspects of Family Law. “We want our families to be safe and to be non-violent and for our children to be brought up without problems or difficulties but, inevitably, families are faced with a breakdown of marriage and we want that breakdown to be handled where children are brought up by their parents and in suitable arrangements.

“The Family Protection Bill will provide the core of this workshop and we will go through it line by line so that everybody understands what it is about and at the end hope we all understand it.”

At the same time they would hear developments happening overseas in terms of juvenile offenders.

“We will look at young people who are deported from the United States and other countries after committing serious crimes and who have no family in Tonga. We want to find a way to reintegrate them into our society and look at the particular laws, the application of policy or what policy is there,” he said.

Training

Judge Boshier said this was a fantastic bill that Tonga could be proud of and it was one of the best he had seen. “Our job here is to talk through the parts of the bill to make sure we understand what it says and offers so when the workshop is finished our knowledge is in a good place to make the bill work.”

He said in most cases of family violence the victim was normally a woman and under this bill if she suffered from domestic violence she could apply for protection orders. “One is that the police can visit and issue a safety order that can affect the violent person for up to seven days or she can apply to the Magistrate’s court for a protection order so the violent person keeps a distance,” he said.

This workshop was an opportunity for judges and other participants to pause, read and reflect how to use this bill for the good of Tonga and for victims of violence, he said.

Meanwhile, the NZ High Commissioner HE Mr. Mark Talbot commended Parliament for passing the bill, and the Minister of Internal Affairs Lord Vaea, ‘Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki and other victim advocates for their hard work in arguing their case to get it passed.

“The Family Protection bill is a remarkable piece of legislation and it is quite an accomplishment for Tonga. I congratulate you for your leadership in the region on an issue that is really hard on all our countries, and New Zealand is no exception to that… We (New Zealand and Australia) are delighted to support this workshop,” he said.

The Pacific Judiciary Program provides judicial training to judges and others in the Pacific region.

The Australian High Commissioner HE Mr. Brett Aldam and the Police Commissioner Grant O’Fee attended the opening of the workshop, which is participated by Magistrates, lawyers, police, victim advocates, and other stakeholders, at the Loumaile Lodge.

The Bill awaits the assent of King Tupou VI before it becomes an Act.

Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/

9) Samoan Mormons in Australia battle for Samoan language services

Posted at 01:59 on 19 September, 2013 UTC

Samoa’s prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has agreed to help a group of Samoan Mormons from Brisbane upset at a ban prohibiting Samoan language worship services.

The ban, which also affects other ethnic language services, was ordered by church elders.

The group met with Tuilaepa earlier this week, and lawyer Leulua’iali’i Olinda Woodroffe who accompanied them says the prime minister had promised to write to church elders in Brisbane and Utah.

A member of the group Anne Hakula told Talamua online they had sought help from other elders without success.

She says when they disputed the ban threats were made that their names would be removed from the list of Latter Day Saints members.

The members then turned to the Human Rights Court and no more threats have been issued.

Radio New Zealand International

AUSTRALIA:

10) Oxfam, World Vision hit out at Government’s decision to bring AusAID into DFAT

By Online Editor
4:22 pm GMT+12, 19/09/2013, Australia

Aid agencies have criticised the Federal Government’s decision to merge AusAID into the Foreign Affairs Department.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday announced a wide-ranging shake up of the public service, which included moving AusAID into the Foreign Affairs Department.

Abbott, who has planned a $4.5 billion cut to foreign aid, said the shift will more closely align the aid budget with the Government’s diplomatic policies.

But the heads of several prominent aid agencies say their programs will be worse off for the move, and, as a result, so will people in poverty.

World Vision Australia’s chief executive, Tim Costello, says AusAID should remain a stand-alone agency and the move risks confusing what aid is all about.

“Once you mix it up with our trade and diplomatic goals, you lose a focus on what aid is,” he said.

“The reason you have free-standing aid agencies that aren’t subsumed under foreign affairs agencies is because you want clarity that aid is actually to deal with absolute poverty.”

Dr Helen Szoke from Oxfam wants to ensure there continues to be transparency about how the money is used.

“Voices have to be raised in the interests of the people who go hungry every night” she said.

Archie Law, executive director of charity ActionAid Australia, says the move will have “massive and devastating effects” on Australia’s aid program.

Law told The World the move from Abbott is “the third strike in the triple whammy”, following the $4.5 billion budget cut and Abbott’s decision not to name a minister for international development.

He says the realignment will not result in a more efficient way of delivering aid, and there is a clear clash in objectives.

“There is a conflict because then you get into this ridiculous discussion around how aid is a part of a global relationship to lift people out of poverty but it’s actually all about trade,” he said.

“This has been the dominant narrative from conservative politics for the last 20 years.

“I think AusAID has performed very well over the years. It’s been difficult dealing with the scale-up, but there’s a single driving force in there to work with people living in poverty and transform their lives.

“You can’t neatly align that with Australia’s national economic and political interests.”.

SOURCE: ABC/PACNEWS

11) AusAID fears massive staff cuts

By Online Editor
1:42 pm GMT+12, 19/09/2013, Australia

AusAID is bracing for sweeping staff cuts after Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott ordered it be merged with the foreign affairs department.

AusAID Director General Peter Baxter resigned after Abbott flagged the merger as part of his bid to cut “duplication and waste” across the public service.

Abbott says the move to “integrate” AusAID – which administers Australia’s $5 billion official aid program – with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will ensure the aid and diplomatic arms of the country’s foreign policy are “more closely aligned”.

The announcement sent shockwaves through AusAID.

One senior AusAID official says the agency’s roughly 1300 Canberra-based staff members are bracing for wholesale change.

“It doesn’t bode well,” the official told AAP on condition of anonymity.

“I would say a lot of people are going to be out of work.”

Baxter thanked AusAID staff for their “dedication and professionalism”.

“I know you will continue to display these qualities under the new arrangements for the program,” he said in a statement obtained by AAP.

“The last four years have been the most challenging and rewarding period of my career. It has been a privilege to work with you all.”

DFAT secretary Peter Varghese also released a message to staff, in which he said the merger would be a “major undertaking”.

“We are at the beginning of what will be a lengthy and complex process which we will approach logically and strategically, in a considered and transparent way,” he said in the statement, also obtained by AAP.

Varghese will establish a full-time taskforce to oversee the merger, to be led by official Jennifer Rawson.

“I know there will be many questions on your mind. I want to reassure you that we will not rush this process,” he said.

AusAID Deputy Director General Ewen McDonald will act as the agency’s head during the merger process.

The merger comes after the coalition declared it would stop the planned growth of the aid program, effectively stripping it of $4.5 billion over the forward budget estimates.

AusAID split from DFAT and became an executive agency under Labor in July 2010.

In June last year, AusAID employed 2124 people – 1301 in Australia and 823 overseas.

Human rights group ActionAid spokesman Archie Law said integrating AusAID into DFAT would have dire consequences for the world’s poor and described the decision as short sighted.

“The message Tony Abbott is sending to the world’s poor is that Australia is no longer committed to ending poverty,” he said.

A spokesperson from the Office of the foreign minister said the government looked forward to Baxter’s continued service in another senior official role.

World Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello said potentially subordinating poverty alleviation aims to diplomatic and trade priorities was a “retrograde step”.

He paid tribute to Baxter’s work, particularly in building closer partnerships with countries that are supported by Australia’s aid program.

Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said keeping the DFAT and AusAID separate had ensured the commitment to reducing poverty was not compromised to further Australia’s national interest.

“This barrier no longer exists,” she said.

SOURCE: AAP/PACNEWS

TOK PISIN:

12) Pasin gavman i tekova long OK Tedi ino stret: Gary Juffa

Updated 19 September 2013, 16:21 AEST

Pius Bonjui

Gavana blong Oro Province long Papua New Guinea, Gary Juffa itok em ino wanbel long pasin gavman i kisim kontrol long OK Tedi Mine long Western Province.

Odio: Gary Juffa, Gavana blong Oro Province i toktok

Gary Juffa, Gavana blong Oro Province i toktok (Credit: ABC)

Mr Juffa itok em save long tingting blong gavman long laik halvim ol pipol long kantri, tasol em ino wanbel long pasin we gavman i kisim kontrol long OK Tedi mine long wanpela lo palamen i pasim aste.

Mr Juffa ino laik vot long dispela bill na i lusim Palaman Chamber pastaim long oli vot longen.

Em ino wanbel long wanem gavman ino toktok gutpela wantaim ol pipol blong Western Province na i kisim kontrol long OK Tedi mine.

Em itok tu olsem gavman imas tokaut klia long ol pipol na investa long wanem trutru as blong dispela tekova long OK Tedi.

Mr Juffa i tok tu olsem oli save askim kompensesen long gavman tu sapos em i ronim dispela mine na toromwe pipia insait long Fly River olsem PHP ibin wokim.radio australia

13) Westpac mobile phone banking long Solomon Islands

Postim 19 September 2013, 16:48 AEST

Paulus Kombo

Westpac Bank long Solomon Islands i rere long lonsim mobile phone banking servis long ol planti hap bilong ol rural eria bilong kantri.

Jeffry Pitamama, Westpac Bank manager na hetman bilong retail banking itoktok (Credit: ABC)

Jeffry Pitamama, Bank manager na hetman bilong retail banking ibin tokim tokpisin servis bilong Redio Australia olsem, bank i laik mekim isi long ol kastoma bilongen long ol rural eria.

Em itok despela i min olsem inogat nid nau bilong pipol long igo long Kapitol Honiara long kisim moni, putim moni in or sekim account bilong ol.

Em itok dispela em long wanem olgeta despela servis bai rere long mobile phone bilong pipol.

Mr Pitamama itok banking servis bai stat long naba tu wik bilong mun October despela yar

Em itok dispela bai mekim isi long ol kastoma husat i save peim bikpela moni blong go long ol taun long wokim banking blong ol.radio australia

BAHASA:

14) Tony Abbott hormati kedaulatan Indonesia

Diperbaharui 19 September 2013, 15:27 AEST

Perdana Menteri Tony Abbott menyatakan menghormati kedaulatan Indonesia terkait implementasi kebijakan pencari suaka yang akan dijalankan pemerintahan Koalisi yang dipimpinnya.

Pernyataan Abbott ini disampaikan Kamis (19/9/2013) menyusul pernyataan anggota Komisi I DPR Tantowi Yahya yang menuding kebijakan Abbott ilegal dan menghina Indonesia.

Tantowi dalam wawancara dengan ABC mengatakan, Komisi I DPR memiliki keprihatinan serius atas kebijakan pencari suaka yang akan dijalankan pemerintahan baru Australia.

Rencana implementasi kebijakan itu mencakup antara lain, memulangkan kembali perahu pencari suaka ke Indonesia sebelum mencapai wilayah teritorial Australia. Abbott juga pernah menyatakan akan memborong perahu-perahu di desa nelayan yang sering dijadikan pangkalan keberangkatan para pencari suaka. Abbott juga menyatakan akan membayar warga Indonesia yang memberi informasi tentang aktivitas penyelundup manusia.

Kebijakan bernama Operation Sovereign Borders atau Operasi Kedaulatan Perbatasan ini tetap dibela oleh PM Abbott yang menyatakan akan bekerja sama dengan Indonesia untuk mengimplementasikannya.

“Banyak pendapat yang berkembang di Indonesia. Tapi saya yakin bisa secara efektif bekerja sama dengan Indonesia sebagaimana pernah terjalin di waktu pemerintahan Koalisi sebelumnya,” kata Abbott.

PM Abbott menambahkan, ia tidak memiliki masalah dengan tokoh-tokoh dan anggota DPR di Indonesia. “Masalah saya adalah dengan para penyelundup manusia,” katanya. “Kami sepenuhnya menghormati kedaulatan Indonesia”.

Ia mengatakan, pihaknya tidak akan berdiskusi dengan Indonesia melalui komentar-komentar di media. “Banyak kesalahpahaman di masa lalu karena komentar-komentar lantang di media. Dan ini tidak akan terjadi di bawah pemerintahan saya,” tegas PM Abbott.radio australia

FRENCH

15) Remue-ménage à Ausaid

Posté à 19 September 2013, 8:30 AEST

Pierre Riant

Le nouveau gouvernement de Tony Abbott envisage l’intégration de l’agence australienne responsable de la coordination des programmes d’aide à l’étranger (AUSAID) au ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Commerce (DFAT).

Pour le Premier ministre, le but est d’aligner les programmes d’aide à l’étranger en fonction des stratégies diplomatiques du gouvernement.

D’après ce que nous savons, le directeur-général de l’agence d’aide, Peter Baxter, aurait démissionné de son poste à la suite de cette décision. Une information toutefois que le gouvernement réfute en affirmant que M. Baxter s’est mis en indisponibilité prolongée et que Peter Baxter sera appelé à jouer un rôle important dans d’autres fonctions.

Anne-Marie O’Keefe, l’ancienne directrice générale adjointe d’AUSAID, qui travaille maintenant avec le Lowy Institute, un laboratoire d’idées, indique qu’elle n’a pas encore tous les éléments en main, mais que cette décision d’intégrer AUSAID au ministère des Affaires étrangères suscite des inquiétudes : « La magnitude de cette décision n’est pas de 2 mais de 10 sur l’échelle de Richter. Les ramifications aux programmes d’aide australiens vont être énormes et cela ne va pas être évident à gérer.
Il y a toujours eu de temps en temps quelques tensions entre AUSAID et les Affaires étrangères en termes de comment les programmes de développement peuvent contribuer aux objectifs de la politique étrangère. Et parfois, certains s’enthousiasment un peu trop sur le montant de l’assistance au développement qui devrait servir aux objectifs de la politique étrangère. »

Selon Anne-Marie O’Keefe, le gouvernement de Tony Abbott aurait peut-être pris exemple sur le Canada et la Nouvelle-Zélande : « Deux pays avec des gouvernements conservateurs alors peut-être que l’Australie a décidé de calquer  le Canada et la Nouvelle-Zélande.
En tous les cas, ce serait vraiment dommage car cela aura beaucoup d’impact sur l’efficacité des programmes de développement puisque l’on ne se concentre plus sur les résultats de ces programmes de développement. »radio australia

PASIFIK:

16) Greenpeace says Pacific should cut back foreign fishing fleets

Posted at 04:05 on 19 September, 2013 UTC

Greenpeace says the only way that Pacific Island countries can achieve higher returns from the tuna sector is if distant water fishing fleets are pushed out.

During the 4th Pacific Tuna Forum in Solomon Islands Greenpeace has expressed alarm that despite the increased drive for domestic investment and value adding, Pacific Island nations risk losing out on real sustainability and development for their people.

Greenpeace’s Duncan Williams says Pacific Island countries have one of the largest tuna stocks in the world and need to receive a fair share of the returns.

Mr Williams says the distant water nations’ business model conflicts with the push for sustainability.

“Pacific Island countries need to start limiting licences that they issue to distant water fishing, with the long-term view of actually cutting back on distant water fishing licences altogether. In the short term there needs to be zonal based measures where areas need to be reserved entirely for domestic and local tuna fishing operators.”

Mr Williams says Pacific government should revitalise more local sustainable industries such as pole and line fishing.

Radio New Zealand International

17)  Pacific Tuna Forum focuses on broadening investment in fisheries

Posted at 05:02 on 19 September, 2013 UTC

Pacific fisheries representatives have met in Honiara for the 4th Pacific Tuna Forum to discuss how to broaden the investment base of tuna fisheries in the region.

But Greenpeace has expressed concern that despite an increased drive for domestic investment and value-adding, Pacific Island nations risk losing out on real sustainability and development for their people.

Mary Baines reports:

Greenpeace’s Duncan Williams says Pacific Island countries have one of the largest tuna stocks in the world and need to receive a fair share of the returns.

“DUNCAN WILLIAMS: At the moment, larger-scale distant water fishing nations from China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan take the bulk of the returns back. They fish using a ’pay, fish, and go’ model, where they pay for an access fee and they take away a bulk of the sector.”

Mr Williams says smaller-scale, socially responsible tuna fisheries should be developed so that the benefits are kept in Pacific Island economies. He says Pacific governments should revitalise more local sustainable industries such as pole and line fishing.

“DUNCAN WILLIAMS: At the moment the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea stand ready to actually implement and develop their pole-and-line fisheries over the next few months and over the next couple of years. We’d just like to encourage the governments to look at developing pole-and-line fisheries, it’s more sustainable, it employs a lot more local people and even small scale communities can get involved in the industry.”

Mr Williams says the distant water nations business model conflicts with the push for sustainability.

“DUNCAN WILLIAMS: Pacific Island countries need to start limiting licences that they issue to distant water fishing, with the long-term view of actually cutting back on distant water fishing licensing altogether. In the short term there needs to be zonal-based measures where areas need to be reserved entirely for domestic and local tuna fishing operators.”

Mr Williams says the only way that Pacific Island countries can achieve higher revenues from the tuna sector is if distant water fishing fleets are pushed out. But the deputy director of the Forum Fisheries Agency, Wez Norris, says the FFA is working hard to develop fisheries management frameworks that deliver opportunities for local communities.

“WEZ NORRIS: The way that that is panning out is through rights-based management. This is creating tangible property rights in the fisheries and vesting those property rights in the developing coastal states so that they have a greater influence and control over fishing, and they can then onsell those rights to the fishing vessels.”

Mr Norris says such a scheme increases competition for access to fisheries, which then increases the benefits that Pacific Island countries can leverage. He says they could be cash returns or development opportunities, such as on-shore processing. He says the FFA is also developing an information system so Pacific nations can work together to track unlicensed fishing vessels in their waters. Mr Norris says it is important to broaden private investment in the Pacific tuna industry because employment, food security and government revenue rely on it.

“WEZ NORRIS: Sustainable fish stocks are the absolute starting point for any increased economic development for the Pacific Island countries. And until we can be very confident that the management regimes that we’ve got in place are sustainable and capable of delivering benefits, then it’s always a big challenge to take the next step and talk about attracting investment from the private sector.”

Mr Norris says the forum has provided a good opportunity for industry members to get together to discuss these big issues.

Radio New Zealand International

HEALTH:

18) 8 Sacked Over Solomon Islands Health Ministry Fraud
Irregularities in transactions uncovered by Finance officials

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept. 19, 2013) – Eight public servants have so far been sacked in relation to the SBD$10 million [US$1.4 million] fraud uncovered last week in the Solomon Islands’ Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

That’s according to one official in the Prime Minister’s Office who is familiar with the investigations.

“From the report we received so far, eight people have been sacked,” the official told the Solomon Star.

“But the discovery has shed more light on the ring of fraud within the ministries so we should expect the number to increase,” he added.

Officials in the Ministry of Finance uncovered the scandal recently during a normal risk assessment undertaken in the Government’s financial management information system within the Ministry of Finance and Treasury.

In doing so, irregularities were detected in transactions relating to the Health Sector Support Program funded by AusAID.

It was uncovered that government contracts allocated under the health project involved grossly inflated pricing of freight service charges and shipping charters by contractors who were not shipping operators, but merely middle-man shell companies that charged exorbitant margins of around three to four times the normal freight service charges.

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo when commenting on the case said government officials involved have allegedly colluded with contracted service providers to defraud the state.

He said as part of a raft of measures to curtail further misconduct, certain provisions in the Financial Instructions will be amended immediately so as to remove the discretion of Accounting Officers of Ministries to waive procurement procedures of certain types of services.

“Any rip offs and potential frauds involving Government and donor funds will not be tolerated,” Mr. Lilo said.

He commended the investigation work carried out within the Ministry of Finance and Treasury and highlighted that their report was a testament to the benefits of the public financial management reform efforts in the Ministry over recent years, which was supported by donors like Australia.

Solomon Star

EDUCATION:

19) Some Overseas Vanuatu Students’ State Scholarships Ended
Education ministry claims students showed poor performance

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 18, 2013) – The Vanuatu Ministry of Education has denied claims it has not been supportive of scholarship students sent to the University of South Pacific in Suva.

The Scholarship Office announced last month the termination of about twenty scholarships because of students’ poor performance in the first semester.

The Daily Post reported that the Scholarship Office had ignored a provision in the contract which exempts first year students from termination.

It reported that students arrived at the campus two weeks late, with no text book allowances, which contributed to their failing some courses.

But the director general of education, Yoan Noel Mariasua, says the claims are ill-informed.

Mr. Mariasua says the ministry made a decision in early August that all first year students would continue studying in the second semester, regardless of whether they failed courses.

He says other scholarships were terminated because of information from USP that students were not handing in assignments or showing up to class.

He says the Vanuatu Scholarship Office met with the students to tell them they would be withdrawn if their grades did not improve.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

20) Remedial Students Burden Am. Samoa Community College
ASCC president: 90% of high school grads need remedial courses

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 18, 2013) – The president of the American Samoa Community College, Dr. Seth Galeai, says high school graduates needing remedial courses place a huge burden on the college’s resources.

90 percent of local high school graduates need remedial courses before they are ready to start a college programme.

Dr. Galeai has told lawmakers the college is spending an inordinate amount of time on remedial classes and programmes.

He will shortly provide to the lawmakers a cost assessment of the resources allocated to remedial courses but he says it is already the largest programme on the campus.

“It has the most faculty and most resources go to this programme. That is just an indication as to the urgency and the focus that we have to focus on remediation even before thinking about allocating resources for our college level programmes.”

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

MEDIA:

21) Akauola appointed head of Fiji’s media authority

Posted at 05:02 on 19 September, 2013 UTC

A veteran Fiji journalist and media figure, Matai Akauola has been appointed director of the country’s Media Industry Development Authority.

Mr Akauola is leaving his role as manager of the Suva-based Pacific Islands News Association to take up his new appointment next month.

The Media Industry Development Authority was established by Fiji’s regime in 2010.

The authority was officially aimed at improving the media’s objectivity and discipline.

Matai Akauola has already been serving as the media representative on the Authority.

Radio New Zealand International

22) Fiji TV screens documentary on Lifuka Island’s struggle to adapt to a rapidly changing coastline

From SOPAC/SPC

News
Wed 18 Sep 2013

SUVA, Fiji —-This Sunday, 22 September at 18.30pm, Fiji TV’s ‘Close Up’ will screen ‘Lifuka Island – The Coastline of a Future Pacific’, a documentary that explores this small community’s struggle to adapt to a rapidly changing coastline. Lifuka’s story also provides important lessons for all small, vulnerable coastal communities throughout the Pacific region that are concerned about the impacts of sea level rise.

Lifuka is the administrative centre of Tonga’s Ha’apai Group and, in May 2006, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake caused the western coastline of the island to subside by 23cm. Since the earthquake this small community of 3000 people has witnessed significant erosion impacting on houses and key infrastructure located along three kilometres of its foreshore area.

Because of this unique event Lifuka was chosen as part of a regional effort to understand how vulnerable Pacific Island communities can adapt to the impacts of rising sea levels.

Arthur Webb, Manager of the Oceans & Islands Programme at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community says the rapid subsidence in Lifuka resulted in the equivalent of rapid sea level rise that could provide an opportunity to understand what projected sea level rise may mean for other vulnerable coastal communities throughout the region.

“We were interested in what the dynamics of shoreline erosion and coastal vulnerability were in association with that rapid sea level rise. And that might be a way for us to get a better understanding of what the future might be in terms of processes under current regimes of sea level rise across the region,” he says.

With support from Australia’s ‘Pacific Adaptation Strategy Assistance Program’ the Tongan Government worked with the Tonga Community Development Trust and experts from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community to help the Lifuka community understand the problem and the most cost-effective solutions. The project took a unique approach by combining scientific surveys of the coastline and groundwater resources together with community surveys and discussions about their coastal problems and the potential solutions

It is expected that, over the next several decades, rising sea-levels and resulting wave impact particularly at high tide will rapidly deteriorate the existing coastline and inundate the infrastructure situated along the Lifuka’s western shoreline. Jens Kruger, an Oceanographer from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, says that much of the community has already been impacted by coastal inundation that has forced some families to move inland.

“At the moment probably 30% of the population that lives within 120 metres of the shoreline, have already experienced flooding and a large proportion of those households are experiencing flooding on an annual basis. I think with climate change, or further subsidence, there are going to be more people that will need assistance,” he says.

However, Mr Kruger says that aerial photography dating back to 1968 has shown that the earthquake was not the only factor that has contributed to the significant coastal erosion witnessed in Lifuka.

“It looks like parts of the coastline at least have experienced up to 40 metres of erosion in the last four decades and it turns out coastal erosion was actually a problem even before the earthquake and the subsidence. There seems to have been a lot of development on the coast as well, that has interrupted the sediment supply in the past, so the beaches were not as healthy and able to naturally adjust to any natural changes that were occurring,” he says.

The documentary examines the struggle of this remote rural community, with limited available land, to find practical solutions that will enable its families to adapt to the changing coastline of a future Pacific. The three main adaptation options include: planned migration inland; sand replenishment and; the construction of an engineered revetment or seawall.

While it is clear that no form of seawall can halt the impacts of rising sea levels, the story of Lifuka poses challenging questions for all Pacific communities that are being forced to deal with the increasing risks posed by their own vulnerable coastlines. http://www.islandsbusiness.com/

BUSINESS: 

23) Parliament passes bill giving PNG Govt 100 percent in Ok Tedi mine

Posted at 23:28 on 18 September, 2013 UTC

The Papua New Guinea National Parliament has passed amendments to the OK Tedi Mining Agreement which will see the State own 100 percent of OK Tedi mine.

The bill introduced by the prime minister Peter O’Neill was passed by 62-0 votes despite several members including former prime minister Sir Michael Somare, abstaining by walking out of the chambers before the vote was taken.

The chairman of OK Tedi mine limited, Sir Mekere Morauta, also a critic, had accused the state of trying to steal Ok Tedi Mining Limited from the people of Western Province.

But Peter O’Neill said the legislation was an important Bill to be introduced to the House, and that no one can sit in the House and excuse the mine’s former owner BHP Billiton for the destruction it had caused.

The new legislation will repeal the indemnity given to BHP making it liable for environmental damage created by the mine in the Fly River.

When making the amendments, parliament also passed a new tenth Supplementary Agreement that will result in the cancellation of PNG Sustainable Development Program shares in the mine and the issue of new shares to the State.

The Program is responsible for overseeing aid and income generating programs across PNG and was set up by BHP Billiton in 2002.

Radio New Zealand International

24) Company law reforms in Vanuatu will boost ease of doing business: ADB

By Online Editor
1:31 pm GMT+12, 19/09/2013, Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s new Companies (Insolvency and Receivership) Act and Insolvency (Cross Border) Act, in combination with the 2012 Companies Act, will make it easier for local people to conduct business

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) supported drafting of the legislation through the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI).

“These ADB-assisted business law reforms will help lower the costs of establishing, running and winding up businesses in Vanuatu,” said George Andrews, Commissioner of the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission.

“ADB is supporting the implementation of the Acts to ensure the benefits are enjoyed by all involved in business in Vanuatu,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Country Liaison office. “These new laws present a range of choices for entrepreneurs, including single shareholder/director companies, and an innovative community company structure. Electronic business registry development is also part of implementation.”

ADB and the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission have begun consultations to assist the Government in implementing the new laws. Awareness-raising is an integral part of implementation, during which members of the private sector, potential entrepreneurs and others will be informed of the benefits of the new laws.

The company law reforms in Vanuatu are part of a larger regional effort by ADB to introduce modern company laws that are more suitable for small island economies. Through, PSDI ADB is also supporting company law reform initiatives in Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa Cook Islands, Palau and Kiribati

PSDI is a regional technical assistance facility cofinanced by AusAID, the New Zealand Aid Programme, and ADB. Since 2006, PSDI has been working with ADB’s 14 Pacific Developing Member Countries to improve the enabling environment for business and support inclusive, private sector–led economic growth.

SOURCE: ADB/PACNEWS

25) Fiji top tourism destination

By Online Editor
10:53 am GMT+12, 19/09/2013, Fiji

Fiji remains the top tourism destination in the Pacific region.

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) says 1.6 million tourists visited the region last year of which six hundred and sixty thousand visited Fiji….forty percent of the total arrivals.

SPTO Project Manager Chris Cocker says there is still a lot of potential.

“So even with Fiji there’s still a lot of work that still needs to be done especially in the areas of food cuisine and in terms of the cruising side as well because there’s a lot more potential for cruise ships to come to Suva and Port Denarau.”

SPTO has forecast 1.7 million visitor arrivals for the Pacific this year.

This is a two point four percent growth compared to last year.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS

26) Samoa Govt to toughen up on seasonal worker selection

By Online Editor
10:51 am GMT+12, 19/09/2013, Samoa

The Samoa government is considering tough measures for the recruitment of workers into the seasonal work schemes with New Zealand and Australia.

It comes after reports some workers have broken the law.

The prime minister, Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, has told reporters there have been reports of drunkenness, rape, and the wilful destruction of a company vehicle but he would not tell local media where the offences occurred.

He says the home villages of workers found to be in breach of any of the scheme’s requirements could be banned for two years while workers committing serious offences face bans of four years.

The government is also considering not allowing foreigners to do the selection because most incidents have involved seasonal workers recruited by outsiders.

Tuila’epa says the government would become the only body authorised to undertake the recruitment process.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

LAW&ORDER:

27) Police worried about retribution over PNG trekking attacks

Posted at 05:02 on 19 September, 2013 UTC

The Police Commander of Morobe province in Papua New Guinea is concerned boiling anger over the attacks on trekkers along the Black Cat Track last week could lead to more violence.

Police have already arrested four men over the attack where two local porters were hacked to death, several foreign and local trekkers injured, and a third porter later died from his injuries.

On Saturday, relatives of one of the dead porters allegedly killed a man believed to have harboured the six suspects.

Superintendent Leo Lamei is concerned angry villagers will seek further retribution and has appealed for the two remaining suspects to surrender to police.

He told Bridget Tunnicliffe 74 personnel are involved in the hunt and believes the two men are hiding out in thick bushland.

LEO LAMEI: They’re around between Wau and Salamaua their exact location I don’t know, but we are getting the village people to assist us to give us the location where they are. At the moment, they do not stay in one area. They move around and it makes it difficult for police to catch them.

BRIDGET TUNNICLIFFE: Are you concerned about potential acts of retribution? We’ve already had someone allegedly killed by the family of a porter that died?

LL: Yes, I am afraid of that. That is why I went to newspapers and the radio to ask the remaining suspect to voluntarily surrender to police. If they are afraid of police they should surrender to the village councillors, residents and the pastors of the local church, and they can hand them to us.

BT: So for their own safety they are better off surrendering?

LL: Yeah. I ask them to come for their own safety. But I’ve already requested to the village people that they should not take law into their hands. They just capture or take. If the suspect is located they should safely hand them to police, not to injure them nor to kill them. That’s my request to the people living in the villages between Wau and Salamaua.

BT:The people that allegedly killed a man accused of harbouring the men implicated in the killing of the porters last week, have any arrests been made of those people?

LL: Not yet. We are now… We take one at a time. We are now concentrating on the suspect who ambushed and killed the two porters and seriously injured the six others. Yes, we know the suspect who killed the [accomplice] of the one of the suspects, but we will get him. We know where he is and we know the identity. But as soon as we’ve finished that, we will go and make a further investigation to arrest that person.

Radio New Zealand International

REFUGEE:

28) Tony Abbott says Coalition ‘respects’ Indonesia’s sovereignty on asylum policy

Updated 19 September 2013, 15:02 AEST

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the Federal Government “respects” Indonesia’s sovereignty over asylum seeker policy after an Indonesian MP labelled the Coalition’s policy “offensive” and “illegal”.

Video: Australia and Indonesia should share the burden of asylum seekers

Tantowi Yahya from the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Commission discusses the government’s policy on turning back boats asylum seekers, ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’ saying, Indonesia find the policy of turning back the boats offensive and won’t accept it. H (Credit: ABC)

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the Federal Government “respects” Indonesia’s sovereignty over asylum seeker policy after an Indonesian MP labelled the Coalition’s policy “offensive” and “illegal”.

A member of the Indonesian parliamentary foreign affairs commission, Tantowi Yahya, told Lateline the commission had “major concerns” about the Coalition’s policies.

The Coalition’s plan would turn asylum seeker boats back to Indonesia, buy old boats from Indonesian fishermen and pay Indonesians to spy on people-smuggling operations.

Mr Yahya says Indonesia “will fully reject the policy” and key aspects of the policy have not been discussed with officials in Jakarta.

However, Mr Abbott defended the Government’s policies – dubbed Operation Sovereign Borders – and vowed to work with Indonesia to implement them.

“There are many voices in Indonesia but I am very confident that this Government will be able to work effectively with the Indonesian Government as former Coalition Governments have done,” he said.

“I have no argument with anyone in the Indonesian establishment or parliament. My argument is with people smugglers and my point to the people smugglers is the game is up.

“We absolutely totally respect Indonesia’s sovereignty.

“We aren’t going to conduct discussions with Indonesia through the media.

“Too much damage has been done in the past by megaphone diplomacy and it’s never going to happen under this Government.”

Earlier this week, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said the Government would ask for Indonesia’s understanding, rather than its permission, to implement its asylum seeker agenda.

However, Mr Yahya says implementing the policy as it stands “will obviously damage relations” between Australia and Indonesia and the governments need to work cooperatively.

“We have to work together,” he said.

“Indonesia accepts all possible solutions, all possible proposals from Australia. We are also concerned about it. We don’t want it to happen in the future. This case should be settled in a very modest and a very peaceful way.”

In the lead up to the September 7 election, Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa indicated there was angst in Indonesia about Coalition plans to turn back the boats and said the vessels would not be accepted.

Meanwhile Australia’s ambassador in Jakarta, Greg Moriarty, will return to Canberra to brief the National Security Committee of Cabinet on the people smuggler situation in Indonesia.radio australia

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:

29) PNG in line for American climate fund

By Online Editor
4:20 pm GMT+12, 19/09/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is among 14 countries under the Strategic Program for Climate Resilience pilot programme to receive funding for projects to help communities battle climate change

A two-day PNG Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience workshop which began Wednesday in Port Moresby will come up with a plan to support policies on  climate change resilience.

PNG will receive US$30 million from donor agencies through the climate investment fund.

The funding was approved in Washington and will be channelled to each country’s regional bank. In Papua New Guinea’s case, it will come through the Asian Development Bank.

George Henry de Berdt Romilly, leader of the project preparatory technical assistance team responsible for the planning of the programme, said the money would only be available if there was a detailed plan put forward.

“The money earmarked for resilience assistance will be available if there is a detailed plan and assessment is put forward to the Asian Development Bank board,” Romilly said. “The workshop is an avenue to help with the plan.”

Meanwhile, relocation and rehabilitation of islanders from Carterets, Bougainville, affected by climate change is slowly progressing, according to a non-government organisation executive.

Ursula Rakova from the Tulele Peisa Inc is at the forefront of the relocation efforts and says there are already seven families on Tinputz where the relocation is happening.

She said there were four locations for resettlement of the Carterets islanders – Tinputz, Tearuki, Mabiri and Tsimba.

“We are expecting three more families at Tinputz to raise the number of Carterets islanders to 100,” she said.

“We are slowly bringing in families to the mainland. We expect 200 more people to arrive to Tearuki soon. We expect 20 more families in Mabiri and 30 in Tsimba.”

She added that the relocated islanders had settled in well and had time to make gardens and send some food back to their island.

“The Carterets islanders on Tinputz have been making gardens and selling their surplus. Just a few weeks ago they sent back a boat load of food to their families in Carterets,” Rakova said

She said the government under Sir Michael Somare promised K2 million in September 2007 but never delivered.

“The PNG government has not delivered their promise and we are relying on donations by German Church groups like Misereor and Bread for the World,” Rakova said.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

30) Report details importance of aquaculture to central Pacific

Posted at 01:59 on 19 September, 2013 UTC

Officials meeting in Vanuatu have been told increases in aquaculture investment and the creation of marine protected areas could help Pacific countries in the Coral Triangle adapt to climate change.

This is the conclusion of a new report from the Asian Development Bank and the International Food Policy Research Institute.

The report was launched at a workshop assessing development strategies in response to climate change.

The ADB’s Marilou Drilon says aquaculture and marine protected areas can be important parts of adaptation strategies.

The report found growth of domestic fish production is likely to be slow in the period up to 2050 due to climate change and other constraints.

It also says many of the Pacific coral triangle countries could become net importers of fish and that per capita consumption of domestically produced fish could decline unless there are significant adaptation measures.

Radio New Zealand International

31) Samoa Faces Higher Risk Of Multiple Cyclones In 2013-2014
Meteorology division predicts more based on historical data

By Jason Brown

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Sept. 18, 2013) – Samoa is facing a “slightly elevated risk” of two to three cyclones this year, including the possibility of a category 4 storm with mean wind speeds higher than 159 kilometres per hour.

That was the forecast issued by the Samoa Meteorology Division yesterday for the coming 2013-2014 tropical cyclone season.

“Based on historical tropical cyclone data, for El Niño Southern Oscillation conditions such as this particular year, at least 1-2 cyclones to reach Category 3 strength, [with] mean winds peeds of at least 118km/hr or 73 miles/hr.

“A Category 4 storm [with] mean wind speeds of at least 159km/hr or 98 miles/hr or even stronger may also be possible,” warns Mulipola Ausetalia Titimaea, Assistant Chief Executive Officer at the Samoa Meteorology Division (SMD) of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

“Tropical Cyclones are associated with significant wind, storm surge, water spouts and rainfall,” he said.

“All communities are urged to remain vigilant, alert and prepared for one or a combination of all.”

SMD used data from eight similar cyclone seasons to reach yesterday’s forecast.

“This outlook is based on statistical analysis of historical tropical cyclone events that have occurred in similar ENSO conditions.”

ENSO refers to the El Niño Southern Oscillation – a cycle of weather patterns.

“Sea surface temperature anomalies across the central tropical Pacific Ocean are near average,” said the division yesterday.

“Historically, there have been eight analogue seasons that are similar in nature to the upcoming season.”

Those seasons go back as far as 1979.

Category four and five cyclones from similar weather patterns have all come in the last quarter century.

The division released a review of past cyclones affecting Samoa.

“Since 1969, a total number of 52 TCs has passed within the vicinity of the capital-Apia representing an average of 10 cyclones per decade.

“Between 1969/1970 and 2009/2010 TC seasons, only Tropical Cyclone Keli occurred outside of the November to April period – in June 1997.

“TCs are most frequent in El Niño years (16 cyclones per season) and occurrences in La Niña are less frequent (10 cyclones per season).”

Other forecasts are due out in coming weeks, including the Australia Meteorology Bureau, which is due on 15th October.

Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

SPORTS:

32) Beach Soccer World Cup to kick off in Tahiti

Posted at 05:02 on 19 September, 2013 UTC

The Beach Soccer World Cup kicks off in Papeete today with high hopes that the two Oceania representatives will rise to the occasion in their own backyard.

Defending champions Russia and beaten finalists Brazil are both in action in on day one, with hosts Tahiti and Oceania qualifiers the Solomon Islands beginning their campaigns tomorrow.

Vinnie Wylie reports:

The Tahiti team recently spent two months in Europe preparing for the World Cup, and completed their build-up with big wins over Argentina and Australia last week in front of their home fans. Head coach Angelo Schirinzi says the minimum aim for the Tiki Toa is to get past the first round, which means winning at least two of their group matches against the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Spain. He says while the Tiki Toa were previously seen as a smaller team, that view is changing.

“TIKI TOA: We won in May three times against Netherlands here in Tahiti [and] we beat France three times here in Tahiti. So I think on the world map Tahiti is no more an underdog in beach soccer. I think Tahiti have now a strong team, a team with good players and good tactics. Of course I can not tell you now to win the World Cup but my first objective [is to get] past the group and then you have three matches until the final so we will see.”

The Solomon Islands confirmed their World Cup place only two weeks ago by winning the Oceania Championship in New Caledonia. This will be their fifth appearance at a Beach Soccer World Cup, and first since 2009. Gideon Omokirio captained the Bilikiki in the previous four tournaments and has since taken up the coaching reins. He’s hopeful the team can maintain their momentum from winning the Oceania Champs and says playing so close to home will also be an advantage.

“GIDEON OMOKIRIO: Especially for us Pacific Island countries, the environment and the climate suits us so it’s best for us Oceania teams to compete and we expect to do better. We will try out best to go to the second stage, that’s our aim at the moment.”

Oceania Football’s Beach Soccer and Futsal Development Officer Paul Toohey says it’s exciting for the region to be able to host such a big event.

He says the tournament is already a sell-out and all that’s needed is a strong performance from the two local sides.

“PAUL TOOHEY: I suppose in the case of Tahiti you know there’s that feeling that they could go a little bit further – Solomons too just because of their experience – but I think we’re also aware it’s difficult. Solomons haven’t had ideal preparation so we have to be realistic, as well, because many of the teams they’re facing, players are in semi-professional or professional environments. I think getting a win for both the teams is a starting point and then just take it from there but certainly if we see one of them in that knockout phase we’d be delighted. We wouldn’t be surprised to see that but we would regard that as an amazing achievement.”

Tahiti’s first match is against the UAE tomorrow, followed directly after by the Solomon Islands against South American champions Argentina.

Radio New Zealand International

33) Barbarians name Steve Hansen as coach for Fiji clash at Twickenham

By Online Editor
1:46 pm GMT+12, 19/09/2013, New Zealand

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen will take charge of the Barbarians for their November clash with Fiji at Twickenham.

Hansen previously coached the Crusaders and Wales before joining the backroom staff of the All Blacks, helping them to win the World Cup in 2011.

Hansen replaced Sir Graham Henry at the helm after the tournament, and he has subsequently guided New Zealand to 19 wins in 21 Tests. Their only defeat came against England last year at Twickenham, while Australia held them to a draw.

The Barbarians have also confirmed South Africa duo Schalk Burger and Jean de Villiers will play in the clash on November 30 which marks the centenary of the Fiji Rugby Union.

Fiji famously recorded a ground-breaking 29-9 win over the Barbarians back in 1970.
SOURCE: SKY SPORTS/PACNEWS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *