Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 971

MELANESIA

1) Vanuatu daily news digest | 29 April 2014 – trying again

by bobmakin

  • The Government is re-structuring the Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board (VCMB) into a more farmer-focused, innovative and transparent institution. The aim is to eradicate agricultural poverty by 2016. The key commodities of copra, dried cocoa beans and kava chips remain at the top of the list but the VCMB replacement body is moving away from “ineffective subsidies” towards a “sustainable foundation” for the success of Vanuatu farming. 20,000 hectares at South Santo and Malo are to be certified organic for production of organic copra oil, copra meal, virgin coconut oil and other value added products. The initiative seems to be that of the Ministry of Trade and Industry rather than Agriculture. Details of the plan are given in Daily Post today.
  • In opening the first ordinary session of Parliament yesterday, President Abbil drew MPs’ attention to the importance of teaching young people of the respect and behaviour that have always been important in Vanuatu but which seem to have broken down. He urged “Vanuatu must remain strong as a true Christian nation.” PM Carcasses called on leaders to give a good example to the young. Opposition Leader Lini also urged leaders to heed what President Abbil had stated.
  • Sunday evening saw the start of the Vaturisu conference at Pango village, a conference which brings together all the Efate chiefs and those from offshore islands. Chairman Chief Manlaewia spoke of the reconciliation which has enabled Pango to become united under Chief Rolland Maseiman. Such reconciliation is the principal theme of the entire conference.

2) Autonomous Bougainville Islands


250414NINE NOMINATE FOR BY-ELECTION
By Aloysius Laukai

Nine Candidates have nominated for the TAONITA TINPUTZ BYELECTION at the close of nominations yesterday.
The nine candidates are, DYSON KAETAVARA,LAWRENCE WONE,DAVID BRAUN VATAVI,ROBERT SINGKO KEKEVIO,GABRIEL SPAE,GREGORY MANAO,CLARENCE KOSUN,VINCENT OVINS and PETER BOEVIRI.
These nine candidates have only three weeks to campaign to get support from their voters.
Polling will commence on May 19th, 2014 and will close on May 23rd, 2014.
The writs will be returned to the ABG Speaker, ANDREW MIRIKI on May 26th, 2014.
This seat became vacant when the former member and Minister for Works, the Late CAROLUS KETSIMUR died at the end of last year.
The Bougainville Electoral Commissioner, GEORGE MANU said that counting will start as soon as the polling is completed on May 23rd, 2014.
He said that counting and declaration will be made in Tinputz to allow the people of Tinputz to appreciate the process of choosing a member of Parliament.

280414 ABG MUST BUILD ITS OWN HOUSE

By Aloysius Laukai

The Regional member for Bougainville, JOE LERA says that the Autonomous Bougainville Government has taken nine years since 205 and has not decided to build its own Parliament house.
Speaking at the NOVA United Church, MR LERA said that the ABG has to leave the building he built with funds from donations outside the ABG.
MR. LERA who was the University Director, when he built the building in 2004, told the people of NOVAH that the ABG continuous to deny the right of Bougainville students to education and the use of these facilities.
He said that he was working with the ABG to make sure that education institutions are established to train Bougainvilleans to become the workforce Bougainville desperately needs today.
MR. LERA said that he has already started the ITI school in Kokopau, Agriculture School at Aero in Wakunai, Mananau OISCA Project, The Bougainville Poly-technical school at HAHELA, MANETAI Soccer academy and the Bougainville Nursing School in Haku.
He said that plans are already been made to establish specialized schools in Kunua and other Districts.

280414 ABG TO PARTNER WITH CHURCHES ON PROGRAMS
By Aloysius Laukai

The ABG Minister for Community Development which covers, Women, Youth, Sports and Churches, MELCHIOR DARE says that the ABG through his division is embarking on working with the churches to address social issues affecting Bougainville today.
MR. DARE said that this Government and Church Partnership started with the allocation of ONE MILLION KINA to support the work of Churches throughout the region.
He said that the churches have been providing Education and Health services in the past and it was only proper for the ABG to support and also utilize these proven channels to achieve results.
MR. DARE revealed this during the 28th anniversary celebrations for the NOVA UNITED CHURCH Building in Nova village last Saturday.
He said that Bougainville has established a Bougainville Churches Council in which the Bishop of the United Church, TIM AUTHER is the chairman.
MR. DARE said that the ABG will work with four different denominations under this Government/Church Partnership program.
These denominations are, CATHOLIC, SDA, UNITED CHURCH and God’s Kingdom Network which covers all other smaller and Pentecostal churches.

280414 AKOITAI BLAMES GOVERNMENTS FOR LATE AWARENESS
By Aloysius Laukai
The former National Member for Central Bougainville and National Minister for Mining, SAM AKOITAI today blamed the National Government and the ABG for failing the people of Bougainville with awareness of the Bougainville Peace Process.
Speaking to New Dawn FM from Port Moresby, MR. AKOITAI said that he was concerned at the delay in carrying out awareness throughout Bougainville.
He said that the Awareness on the Bougainville Peace Agreement should have been done just after the signing of the Agreement and also by the first ABG House.
MR. AKOITAI said with the five year window to referendum coming up in less than twelve months he is worried that the people are totally in the dark on these issues.
He also said that he was more concerned at the ABG Elections coming up that may distract the leaders from addressing these very critical issues.
On the plan by the ABG Communication division to establish another radio station for Bougainville, MR. AKOITAI said that the government must work with the two existing radio stations to carry out these awareness programs instead of creating another money drainer again.

280414 DISASTER EVICTS LAE VICTIMS
By Aloysius Laukai
The Bougainville Disaster Office this afternoon completed its task to remove Bougainvilleans from the troubled Lae’s back road back to Bougainville.
The Disaster Office was tasked by the ABG to make sure those affected by the conflict returned home to Bougainville when troubles were first reported.
AND this afternoon an Airlines PNG Charter arrived with more than twenty men, women and children who are mostly students who were disturbed by this conflict.
They told New Dawn FM that they had to return home because their houses were destroyed and this made life miserable for them to continue living in Lae.
The Disaster Office will bring them to their respective village tomorrow.

POLYNESIA

3) Teachers Speak Out Against Samoa’s Proposed Education Bill
Teaching without proper qualifications could become criminalized

By Deidre Taotua Fanene

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, April 28, 2014) – Teachers are speaking out against a draft Education Bill that could see them fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to five years for teaching without a proper qualification.

They say that the Bill does not reflect the reality of the educational workforce, and unfairly seeks to punish teachers for a lack of qualifications.

The draft Bill was discussed during a gathering of teachers in Upolu who gathered at EFKS Youth Hall, Mulinu’u on Saturday. More than 300 teachers attended.

“I do not support the bill, and I have a lot of reasons to give as to why I do not support it,” said Loimata Te’o, a 50 year old teacher at Faleula Primary School, who is been teaching for over twenty years.

“First of all, a big question has come up, why are they doing this?

What is the real reason behind this bill?

“Being a teacher is different from all the other works, because teachers have to multi task in what they do, they have to teach the students on the spiritual side, discipline them and help them to study hard so they can get a better future.

“That is why many say, teachers are professors which is true.

“I say it’s true because that is what I do, and those are the things that I teach to my students starting from the bottom all the way up to their spiritual side.” Secondly, she said, the bill also says that, even if the teacher has a Bachelor’s degree but no teaching qualification they must go back to school.

“A teacher has a God given Bachelor which is experience and the knowledge, that Bachelor no one can ever take that away from the teacher because it’s a gift from God,” she said.

“So it doesn’t matter whether a teacher has a diploma or Bachelor as long, as they have the bachelor of experience from God all the teachers can work together and nobody that comes from overseas with their degrees and bachelor can take on the teachers who have good experience, in anything.”

The draft bill provides for “non-citizens” to teach temporarily in Samoa.

“Even if they say that, students don’t know anything, the teacher who has a lot of experience can teach them and they can be very smart, but if they bring teachers from overseas that have degree or bachelor to teach the children and they don’t learn anything, then you are nothing.”

Thirdly, she asked, does this bill help decrease the number of prisoners in jail or is it going to put all the teachers in jail? “Another thing is, will this bill help to get more teachers or is it going to make all the teachers resign because they don’t want to teach?

“These are the things that the Ministry has to look at before they finalise this Bill, because a lot of the teachers who have been teaching for so long will be affected by this new bill. The bill does provide for a two year transition period and “temporary” registration of existing teachers. Ms. Teo said that two years is not long enough for all teachers to attain the new standards.

“They need teachers and if this bill passes then a lot of teachers will not be able to teach anymore. Ms. Teo said the bill should only apply to new teachers who have just graduated from university, because they have less skills and little experience on the job.

“Last but not the least, for example I’m 50 years old and I have been teaching for more than twenty years.

“If this bill goes through and I go back to school to meet the standards of the Ministry that will take five years for me to study again, so by the time I graduate it’s no use for me to teach because I have to retire.”

Another teacher of Avele College who did not want to be named shared similar thoughts.

“This new Bill will affect all of us, she said.

“For example myself, I have a Bachelor in Education but I don’t have a teaching qualification, so I have to go back to school to get it. “So why did they accept us in the first place if this is the case?”

She acknowledged that if teachers do go back to university study the Ministry of Education sponsors them. However, she said, they have to pay the enrolment fee themselves and then it will be reimbursed after two years.

“It’s not fair, they said that there aren’t enough teachers and yet they are telling us to go back to school. “So the question is who will teach the children?

“So I do not support this new Bill.”

Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture, Matafeo Falana’ipupu Tanielu said the preview of the Teachers Bill was very important.

“The Bill that the teachers are discussing is to prioritise the importance of teachers work as teaching being that of a professional,” he said.

“For example being a doctor, they have their own council, engineers have their own association, accountants have theirs too.

“The focus of the new Bill is for the teachers, to see if the teachers have been registered.

“If they are then we will check whether they have all the professional standards and teaching experience.” Teachers have to have a good attitude and be committed, he said, that is why it is important to setup this new bill.

“Because to me, it’s injustice for the teachers to be in the system but we are not sure whether they have all the professional standards, so it’s injustice to the children. “So this council is to register all our teachers we will make sure that all the teachers have professional standards.

The draft bill sets out the establishment of a Teachers Council and a Teacher’s Tribunal. Functions of the Council are to represent their interests, develop policy, approve professional standards, determine ongoing development, deal with registration and discipline, and promote the teaching profession.

The council is also set the task of reviewing the proposed Act in a report to the minister.

A separate three member Teachers Tribunal, made up of a lawyer, a retired teacher and a community representative, will handle complaints. If passed, the bill would provide for complaints from students, teachers, principals, the Teacher’s Council, or the Registrar of teachers. Handling of complaints under the tribunal includes assessing whether further investigation is required, or dismissing a complaint if it is “baseless”, referring matters to police, and deciding on alleged breaches of contract. Matafeo said that the bill aims to achieve better standards.

“The first professional standard is the delivery, the teachers should know how to teach the student, they should have certificate in Bachelor of Education from whatever university they attended, so it’s all towards for the betterment of the students.

“This new Bill also covers Mission Schools, Private schools and private teachers, as we all know that teachers move around as well. “Another advantage of the new Bill, if our teachers are registered they can go to New Zealand and also Australia and be able to teach there.

“Even with the doctors they take their registration overseas and they can just get a license there, this should have been done with the teachers a long time ago.

“This is rather than going overseas and working at a petrol station or picking fruits because to be honest that’s an insult to the profession. Matafeo said that the draft bill will be delivered to all school principals for discussion with teachers and school committees.

“So everyone is going to be involved, even the parents can give comments.”

“All government ministries will have consultations because this bill is everyone’s business, because the centre of this bill is the students, and we should’ve done long time ago because this is what New Zealand and Australia is doing for the betterment of the children. Without the bill, he questioned whether any difference would be made between teaching of past years and the future.

“To me, I know there is a big difference, and we can tell by the results of the students, because if the results are good then that tells us that everything is going well.

“However with so many changes to do, it doesn’t mean that once we do it will be perfect, no it will take up to ten to fifteen years just like overseas countries, then we will know the impact of these change, but as for me, we should never fear change.

“We should always have the courage to implement changes then we will know whether it’s good or bad,” he said.

“There’s a saying, “It is always better to try and fail rather than not trying at all, then we will spend our whole lives saying, “If only, if only.”

“I don’t take that, I would rather see someone trying to cope with the changes, and if we go through with the new changes and it works then we carry on with it, but if it does not work then we can always go back.”

Teaching needs to adapt to modern life, he said. “Look at nowadays, if the child does not know how to use technology he/she will struggle when they go overseas, because they should look ahead.

“My goal as a C.E.O., I want all the children of this country to have a good future.

“I don’t want just the children in town, not just the children with money, not just the children whose parents are professionals, what about the Savaii children and the children who are from the rural areas?

“My heart really goes out to those children, so I want 100 percent of the children to be smart not 99 percent but 100 percent, because we are not going to be here forever.

“When we pass on, we leave a legacy and that is for our children to have good education and a good future.

“More than 300 teachers are here today and this is a really good turnout, these teachers included mission teachers and private teachers. Teachers who missed the consultation can ask for the bill to be sent to them, he said.

“That’s my style and because this is everyone’s business.

“I am also thinking of putting it on Facebook because it’s very effective and it will also give the chance to the children and to everyone to comment on this Bill and besides everyone has a Facebook page. Next stage for the draft bill would be to incorporate feedback from teachers.

“After the pre-discussion the Attorney General will do a final draft and then take it to the Cabinet to endorse it, and then to the Parliament for the final say.

“It will go through the same process just like any other bill.” Teachers in Savai’i will get their say on the draft bill this week.

Samoa Observer

AUSTRALIA

4) Report shows Australia’s drug trade is at an all-time high, big increase in ice and steroid arrests

Updated 29 April 2014, 17:59 AEST

Australia’s illicit drug trade is at an all-time high, with a record number of drug-related arrests in 2012-2013, according to the latest report from the Australian Crime Commission.

Police seized more meth crystalline methylamphetamine in 2013 than any other year. (Credit: ABC)

The commission’s Illicit Drug Date report says law enforcement officials seized $2.7 billion worth of illicit drugs last financial year.

A record 100,000 arrests were made, and there were 80,000 seizures of illicit drugs.

More than 19 tonnes of drugs were seized by police and border patrol agents.

While 2012-13 was a record year that saw increases in almost every drug market, the number of drug labs found nationwide decreased.

Australia facing crystal meth ‘pandemic’

The figures show a disturbing trend of methamphetamine use in Australia, with the number of “ice” seizures up more than 300 per cent in one year.

Acting chief of the ACC Paul Jevtovic said the rapidly evolving ice market was a national concern.

“With its relative accessibility, affordability, and destructive side-effects, crystal methylamphetamine is emerging as a pandemic akin to the issue of crack cocaine in the United States,” he said.

The report says the long-term use of crystal methylamphetamine can lead to aggressive and violent behaviour, depression, and cardiovascular problems and kidney failure.

Executive director of the ACC Judith Lind says ice has been directly linked to a number of violent crimes in the past year.

“The reason that we’re concerned about ice in particular is that it’s a really insidious drug in terms of the impact it has on people around the users,” she said.

“Many illicit drug users seem to think that they’re doing no harm to anyone, but because of the nature and effect of ice in particular, people can become paranoid, they can become very violent.

“There’s been a number of instances over the last 12 months where meth-addicted people have caused fatal car accidents, have been involved in attempted murders and very violent incidents involving others.”

Bulking up: steroid use still rising

Performance and image-enhancing drugs were another area of growth, with a record number of steroid seizures at Australian borders in the past year.

Steroid arrests were up 29 per cent from the previous year, part of a trend that has seen steroid seizures at the Australia border increase more than 750 per cent in the past decade.

New South Wales is the epicentre of Australia’s steroid trade, with the state accounting for nearly half of the performance drug market.

The report lists a number of serious side-effects of steroid use, especially for males, including extreme mood swings, mania, depression, paranoia, delusions, impaired judgement, organ damage, high blood pressure and blood clots.

The ACC draws a connection between peptides and steroids acting as a gateway for injecting drugs, with an Australian Needle and Syringe Program survey finding that 68 per cent of males who started injecting drugs listed performance and image-enhancing drugs as the last drug they used. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

5a) Australia’s Asylum Seeker Policy Violates International Law: Report
Monash University’s annual Human Rights Report released

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 29, 2014) – A new human rights report by a Melbourne University [2014 Castan Centre Human Rights Report] says Australia’s current asylum seeker policies and practices are in breach of at least seven international laws.

A chapter in the report by Monash University’s Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, written by Azadeh Dastyari, says the violations range from political and social rights to refugee rights to the rights of children.

Dr Dastyari says the violations are very serious, and the government must be aware of them.

But she says the weakness of International law means there’s not much that can be done about it.

“International law, when it comes to human rights, has very few effective enforcement mechanisms, so whilst it can be clearly pointed out to the Australian government that they are clearly in violation of many, many of their obligations and there have been attempts to draw attention to what’s happening, and to shame Australia, but that can only take you so far,” says Dastyari.

Radio New Zealand International

TOK PISIN

5b Vanuatu President bifo i wari long Gavman airpot plan

Updated 29 April 2014, 16:31 AEST
Hilare Bule

Ol Chif i laik toktok wantem gavman long wari blong ol long tingting blong gavman long nupla international airport long kantri.

Odio: Chif Ati George Sokomanu blong Vanuatu itok tok wantem Port Vila niusman Hilare Bule
Chif Ati George Sokomanu blong Vanuatu itok tok wantem Port Vila niusman Hilare Bule (Credit: ABC)

Ol Chif i laik toktok wantem gavman long wari blong ol long tingting blong gavman long nupla international airport long kantri.

Tede ol Chif ibin holim miting blong ol  long Pango Vilij na ol i toktok long makim wanpla komiti blong ol Chifs iet long igo paitim toktok wantaim Gavman long ol plen blong nupla ples balus blong Port Vila.

Displa miting blong ol Chifs i save kamap olgeta yar.

President bifo blong blong Vanuatu, Ati Georges Sokomanu i stap insait long displa miting na tede em i tokim olgeta pipol long konfrens olsem, bai ol i ilektem wanpla komiti blong Vaturisu – ol Chifs blong oli go tok tok wantaem displa Ad-hoc komiti gavman i makim long nupla intenasional ples balus.

Mr Sokoman blong Mele Vilij i tok  olsem, ol narapla ples olsem Santo na Malekula ino gat wanpla intanesinol ples balus na em igat tingting long ol.

Mr Sokomanu ibin wok bifo olsem nambawan President blong kantri taem Vanuatu ibin kisim indipendans long 1978.Radio Australia

BAHASA

6) Pinjaman Beresiko Kembali ke Pasar Australia

Terbit 29 April 2014, 16:38 AEST
Pat McGrath

Pinjaman beresiko tampak meningkat di Australia. Pinjaman tersebut menyerupai kredit pemilikan rumah (KPR) sub prime di Amerika Serikat yang dikatakan memicu tumbangnya bank-bank besar dan mengakibatkan resesi global.

Commonwealth Bank dan NAB membantu lembaga pemberi pinjaman non-bank, Pepper, mendapatkan investor untuk pinjaman kepemilikian rumah yang disebut pinjaman non-conforming, senilai 500 juta dollar.

Padahal, bank sentral Australia, Reserve Bank, telah memperingati akan adanya resiko bank melonggarkan standar peminjaman mereka.

Menurut Pepper Australia, dikeluarkannya sekuritas senilai 500 juta dollar yang ditopang oleh KPR rumah tinggal adalah jumlah paling besar di Australia sejak krisis finansial global.

Analis perbankan Martin North berkata bahwa tindakan tersebut menunjukkan adanya perubahan penting di pasar KPR.

“Ada peminjam yang tahun lalu akan sulit mendapat pinjaman,” jelas North, “Sekarang, mereka akan bisa menemukan peminjam yang akan menawarkan pinjaman ke mereka…”

Pinjaman yang disebut non-conforming adalah yang diberikan ke mereka yang memiliki catatan peminjaman buruk, atau pinjaman dalam jumlah besar pada peminjam yang tampak beresiko dalam hal rasio pembayaran, jelasnya.

Selain bangkitnya pinjaman non-conforming, bank-bank besar dan pemberi pinjaman juga makin bergantung pada pasar modal untuk modal mereka, dan bukannya pada deposito nasabah.

Pepper Australia tidak merespon permintaan ABC untuk wawancara perihal pemberian hutang. Dalam sebuah pernyataan resmi minggu ini, perusahaan tersebut mengatakan bahwa tingkat permintaan tinggi akan sekuritas merupakan dukungan bagi model bisnis Pepper, dan kualitas kolateral kredit, yaitu kapasitas peminjam untuk membayar hutang.

Pepper tidak menjelaskan cara menjual pinjaman tersebut, namun perusahaan ini pernah menawarkan pinjaman melalui broker KPR.Radio Australia

FRENCH

7) Eramet et la SLN dans le vert

Alain Jeannin
Publié le 28/04/2014 | 15:08

Eramet produit du manganèse et des alliages spéciaux pour l’industrie. Pour les analystes du dernier groupe minier et métallurgique français, le principal indicateur reste le nickel calédonien qui a représenté 22 % du chiffre d’affaires en 2013.

© A.JEANNIN Géologue d’un site minier en Nouvelle-Calédonie

Après l’effondrement de l’an dernier, le fort rebond des cours en 2014 entraîne la SLN dans son sillage.

Le rebond des cours du nickel n’est pas menacé. Tout juste le Metal Bulletin de Londres annonce t-il des contacts entre mineurs philippins et aciéristes chinois pour la fourniture de minerai. Il s’agit pour la Chine de trouver une alternative afin de contourner l’embargo indonésien. Pour le moment, ces contacts entre Chinois et Philippins n’ont pas freiné la hausse des cours du métal au LME, la bourse des métaux de Londres.

La SLN redevient rentable

L’appréciation du nickel depuis trois mois est spectaculaire. Plus de 3 000 $ gagnés par tonne de métal, et un cours lundi 28 avril qui atteint les 18 465 $. Un nouveau sommet et une très bonne nouvelle pour le groupe français Eramet. Selon plusieurs analystes et compte tenu de la structure de coûts actuelle, sa filiale calédonienne SLN atteint son équilibre opérationnel et redevient rentable dans son activité de pyrométallurgie du nickel.

Employant 2 500 personnes, dont les deux tiers dans la métallurgie, la SLN est aujourd’hui le sixième producteur mondial de nickel et le premier producteur mondial de ferronickel. La SLN possède la plus ancienne usine de Nouvelle-Calédonie. Elle est alimentée par les sites de la société minière française : Thio, Kouaoua, Poro, Népoui et Tiébaghi et d’autres de la société minière Georges Montagnat.

Une renaissance pour la compagnie nationale des mines de France?

Eramet doit tenir sa prochain assemblée générale mixte le 14 mai prochain. Le groupe reste porté par la flambée des cours du nickel et du manganèse. Mais aussi, par l’accord de partenariat conclu avec le géant brésilien Vale et la Province Sud de Nouvelle-Calédonie pour l’étude et l’exploitation d’un énorme gisement minier. Le site de Prony-Pernod est évalué à 6 millions de tonnes de nickel; certains experts envisagent même le double. Il s’agit de l’un des derniers grands gisements de classe mondiale et d’un évènement pour l’industrie mondiale du nickel. Une nouvelle qui accrédite l’idée  de la « renaissance » d’une « Compagnie nationale des mines de France. »http://www.la1ere.fr/

8) Mobilisation des gendarmes à Saint-Louis: quatre évadés du Camp Est ?

Par Angela Palmieri
Publié le 29/04/2014 | 10:22, mis à jour le 29/04/2014 | 10:28

Ce mardi matin, un important dispositif de gendarmerie a été mis en place à la tribu de Saint-Louis au Mont-Dore. Des perquisitions sont menées dans plusieurs habitations de la tribu et ont probablement un rapport avec les quatre évadés du Camp Est, la prison de Nouvelle-Calédonie.

Sur place ce mardi matin, de nombreux gendarmes qui procèdent notamment à des perquisitions dans certaines habitations de la tribu.

Cette opération massive a très probablement un lien avec les quatre évadés du Camp Est qui dans leur cavale ont aussi réussi à dérober une arme au domicile d’un gendarme ( A lire ci-dessous). Pas de confirmation officielle pour le moment.

A suivre plus d’informations, une de nos équipes est sur place. http://nouvellecaledonie.la1ere.fr/

9) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – mardi 29 avril 2014

Mis à jour 29 April 2014, 15:51 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Le gouvernement papou déclare l’état d’urgence à Porgera, pour discipliner les orpailleurs clandestins.  
La mine d’or et d’argent, l’une des 10 plus grandes au monde, est située dans les hauts-plateaux. Depuis des années, des orpailleurs clandestins (voir photo ci-contre) travaillent dans la mine, interrompant parfois la production de l’exploitant légal, le géant minier canadien Barrick Gold. Cela crée des problèmes d’insécurité. Plus de 100 policiers et militaires ont été déployés pour rétablir l’ordre.

Tony Abbott fait appel au patriotisme des Australiens pour accepter l’austérité. Le Premier ministre australien a confirmé lundi soir qu’il ne diminuera pas les retraites. Mais la réforme est « inévitable et fondamentale ». L’âge du départ à la retraite pourrait passer de 68 actuellement, à 70 ans sur le long terme, « pas avant cinq ans », a précisé Tony Abbott. Le Premier ministre va aussi s’attaquer à l’assurance maladie. Il a redit hier soir que la gratuité des soins n’était plus possible, particulièrement pour les plus riches.

Le faux détourneur d’avion de Bali comparaîtra devant les juges de Brisbane en juin. Matthew Christopher Lockley est rentré lundi soir en Australie. Vendredi, ce passager australien d’un vol Virgin Australia en direction de Bali a mis en alerte les autorités indonésiennes. Sous l’effet de calmants, il a confondu les toilettes avec le cockpit. Le pilote a cru à une tentative de détournement. Matthew Lockley invoque une simple attaque de panique. Les analyses médicales ont prouvé qu’il n’était ni saoûl, ni drogué. L’Indonésie n’a rien trouvé qui puisse le lier à une entreprise terroriste.

Australie: Grocon est poursuivi au pénal. Le géant australien du BTP devra répondre de la mort de trois passants, écrasés sous un mur en plein centre de Melbourne en mars 2013. Une chercheuse française figure parmi les victimes. La paroi de briques d’un chantier s’est effondrée sur le trottoir sous l’effet du vent. Grocon est accusé de ne pas avoir sécurisé le chantier.

Les réfugiés de Nauru obtiendront un visa de travail de cinq ans. À condition qu’ils ne déclenchent pas des émeutes comme ça été le cas en juillet 2013. C’est ce que prévoit un document officiel nauruan, publié lundi par “The Guardian Australia”. Si les demandeurs d’asile sont reconnus comme d’authentiques réfugiés, ils devront donc rester à Nauru. La première liste de réfugiés sera publiée d’ici quelques semaines. Ensuite, une liste de soixante réfugiés autorisés à rester à Nauru sera établie chaque mois.

Fidji ne rejoindra le Forum des Îles du Pacifique que si l’Australie et la Nouvelle-Zélande quittent l’organisation. C’est ce qu’exige le ministre fidjien des Affaires étrangères, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, dans une interview publiée lundi. Samedi, Franck Bainimarama a inauguré le siège du Forum du Développement des Îles du Pacifique, le concurrent du Forum des Îles du Pacifique historique. Fidji est exclu du Forum depuis 2009, quand Franck Bainimarama a suspendu la Constitution et imposé ses propres décrets.

Boxe: le retour triomphal du vaincu. Lundi, une cinquantaine de fans et des chanteurs samoans sont allés accueillir Alex Leapai à l’aéroport de Brisbane. Le poids-lourd samoan-australien a perdu samedi contre l’Ukrainien Vladimir Klitschko, qui conserve son titre de champion du monde. Mais Leapai est considéré comme un héros en Australie, et au Samoa.

Le réchauffement se poursuit entre l’Australie et Fidji. Le secrétaire parlementaire du ministre australien des Affaires étrangères est en visite à Suva. Brett Mason a rencontré le ministre fidjien des Affaires étrangères, Ratu Inote Kubuabola. Ils ont discuté des élections du 17 septembre, et de diverses questions bilatérales, régionales et mondiales. Entre autres projets : la création d’un système réciproque de visas vacances-travail.

Les Mariannes du Nord en état d’alerte. La tempête tropicale Tapah va passer au large de Saipan, l’île-capitale, et de Tinian aujourd’hui. Les écoles publiques et privées sont donc fermées. Lundi, un avant-goût de Tapah a déjà déversé de fortes pluies et soufflé des vents puissants sur les deux îles. La tempête va s’intensifier et pourrait se transformer en ouragan dans la journée.

EDUCATION

10) ustralia Gives $45.5 Million To University Of South Pacific
USP enters into partnership agreement to improve education

By Ana Madigibuli

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, April 29, 2014) – Following a partnership agreement, the Australian Government gave University of the South Pacific $84 million [US$45.5 million] yesterday.

The $84m will assist the university in carrying out its responsibility particularly in helping students from around the region in getting high standard learning experience.

Launching the partnership, Senator Brett Mason said people were the most important resource especially in the Pacific and would become good leaders when educated and nurtured properly.

Mr Mason also said he would have discussions with government ministers this week about engaging in issues about governance and the election in September.

“I will be meeting with ministers and government officials and one of the good things about Fijian people is that they’re polite and very frank,” the Senator said.

“So I think we will have a full frank discussion and we have a lot to talk about such as education and health which is an important issue for both Fiji and Australia.”

The discussions will basically be on how Australia can assist Fiji.

On international election observers, Mr Mason said it would depend on what the Fiji government would like.

“I think it’s a good one because everyone wants to see Fiji having a full, free and fair election,” Mr Mason said.

“There are talks on it and it is on going like so many things in politics and I think it’s a good idea and I think the Fiji Government like all of us understand and respect that elections should be seen as free and fair in Fiji or in Australia or anywhere else.”

Fiji Times Online.

POLITIC

11) Don’t abandon Rabaul, MP urges PNG govt

29/4/2014

The MP for Rabaul in Papua New Guinea has urged the national government and the East New Britain provincial government not to turn their backs on the historic town.

Dr Allan Marat says Rabaul remains an important hub for economic and health services for both the province and the islands region, despite being written off by many after destructive volcanic eruptions in 1994.

Dr Marat has fended off criticism that he is not doing enough to rebuild the town, saying central government is reluctant to inject funds in Rabaul.

But he admits the uncertainty over Mt Tavurvur’s volcanic activity is an obstacle.

“The Governor, the Deputy Prime Minister, they keep referring to this, saying we cannot inject a lot of money into Rabaul, they say people are leaving. Well, the population is increasing, you cannot just turn away from them. If you want them out, provide land for them. But they are not. We are saying, where will we run to?”

The MP for Rabaul Dr Allan Marat..Radio NZ

12) Fiji shuns Pacific Forum membership unless Australia and New Zealand are expelled

Updated 29 April 2014, 18:24 AEST
By Pacific correspondent Campbell Cooney, and staff

Fiji says it won’t renew its membership to the Pacific Islands Forum unless Australia and New Zealand are expelled as members.

Fiji’s Foreign Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, made the comments following the opening of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Secretariat in Suva on Saturday.

Audio: Fiji shuns Pacific Forum membership (ABC News)

The interim Prime Minister, Rear-Admiral Frank Bainimarama, said the PIDF better represented the region.

“Fiji no longer believes that the Pacific Islands Forum, in its existing form, adequately serves the interests of all Pacific Islanders,” he said.

“Fiji wants a fundamental realignment of the Pacific Islands Forum before it considers rejoining that organisation.”

The PIDF was established in 2012, three years after Fiji’s military-backed regime was suspended by the Pacific Islands Forum for failing to return the country to a democracy in 2009.

Refusal to join

At the secretariat opening, Admiral Bainimarama said the Fiji-based group had a single purpose.

“It is not a question of prestige or establishing yet another talk fest, it is about creating an organisation that is more attuned to our development needs as Pacific countries. It is about creating an organisation that is relatively free of interference from outsiders.”

On PIDF’s website, many member nations of the Pacific Islands’ Forum, as well as the United States and French Pacific territories and protectorates, are listed as being eligible for membership.

Australia and New Zealand are notable omissions.

The Australian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brett Mason, says he welcomes further discussion with Fiji on how the Forum can better serve the region.

“Every nation in the Pacific recognises that Fiji is an important country in the region and we look forward to its return to the Pacific Islands Forum.”

Australia and New Zealand recently dropped travel sanctions on all members of Fiji’s regime and its military, which had been in place since the coup.

The decision is part of efforts to restore relations with Fiji in recognition of its progress towards democratic elections, with the country heading to the polls on September 17. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au

13) Fiji Labour Party leader Chaudhry appeals against conviction

By Online Editor
09:46 am GMT+12, 29/04/2014, Fiji

With only three more days to the sentencing of former Fiji’s Prime Minister and Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry, his lawyer Anand Singh, has made another interesting application in the High Court in Suva.

Their submission was made pursuant to an application under section 239 of the Criminal Procedure Decree 2009 made in arrest of judgment. It reads “the accused person may, at any time before sentence whether on a plea of guilty or otherwise, move in arrest of judgment.”

This was on the ground that the information does not, after any amendment which the court has made and had power to make, state any offence which the court has the power to try.

The application was brought before Justice Paul Madigan.

According to Singh, the information files against Chaudhry for breach of sections 3, 4 and 26 of the Exchange Control Act, require in law the approval of the Minister of Finance.

Their written submission, which was submitted to the court, stated that the provisions of aforesaid sections of the Act, the particulars of the information set out incorrectly alleged the absence of the approval of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, instead the absence of the approval of the minister.

He said the proper authority, as stated in the Act, is the Minister of Finance.

“It is not the Governor Reserve Bank.”

The charge, as laid therefore, is an offence not known at law as there is no prescribed or statutory requirement under sections 3, 4 and 26 for permission to be required from the Governor Reserve Bank.
He said the charges were bad in law and defective and should be quashed.

Justice Madigan then asked whether the Director of Public Prosecution could charge him again, to which Singh replied yes and that there would be a fresh trial.

When Judge Madigan asked Singh why this matter was not raised during the trial, Singh replied that this issue was discovered until after the trial.

The assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Mosese Korovou, in reply informed the court that the application by the defence was not effective and that was something dealt with previously in the stay application.

Justice Madigan will deliver his ruling tomorrow.

SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS

MEDIA

14) Media restrictions

Dawn Gibson
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

RESTRICTIONS on media bodies hours prior to the September 17 election include a prohibition of the publication of any election issue, any political parties or any independent candidates, among other restrictions.

This is made clear in section 118 (1) of the Electoral Decree 2014, which states that during the 48-hour period prior to the polling day and on the polling day until the close of polling at all polling stations, it is prohibited for any media organisation to publish, print or broadcast any campaign advertisement, debate, opinion or interview on any election issue or on any political party or candidate.

“During the 48-hour period prior to the polling day and on the polling day until the close of polling at all polling stations, any publication or broadcast by any media organisation relating to the election must obtain the prior approval of the Media Industry Development Authority to ensure compliance with subsection (1),” section 118 (2) reads.

Section 118 (3) adds that MIDA must ensure that all media organisations comply with the provisions of this section.

“If any media organisation contravenes this section, the editor, publisher or the owner of the media organisation (as the case may be) commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years,” section 118 (4) concludes. http://www.fijitimes.com/

BUSINESS

15) Vanuatu govt initiates rent review of Port Vila state land leases

29/4/2014
The Vanuatu Government has initiated the first post-independence rent review of state land leases in Port Vila .

The Minister of Lands Ralph Regenvanu says this review is urgently needed because most rental payments are at less than 1 per cent of the value of urban state land.

This is estimated to be a loss of around 2 million US dollars income each year to the Government from Port Vila leases alone.

A recent Pacific regional study by the former Governor of Vanuatu’s Reserve Bank, Odo Tevi, has shown that compared to GDP, the governments of Vanuatu and Tonga are collecting the lowest revenue as a percentage of their respective GDP’s.

Whereas Tuvalu’s revenue is over 80% of its GDP, Vanuatu only collects around 23% of its GDP in revenue from land rent.

Meanwhile, Vanuatu’s council of ministers has endorsed efforts by the Lands Minister’s to reacquire all State land titles sold under previous Minister, Steven Kalsakau, in the period 2011-2012.

Many of the titles were sold to Ministry of Lands and Department of Lands staff at massive discounts.Radio NZ

16) Restructure of Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board

29/4/2014

The Vanuatu government is re-structuring the Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board into a more farmer-focused, innovative and transparent institution.

The Vanuatu Digest reports that the aim is to eradicate agricultural poverty by 2016.

The key commodities of copra, dried cocoa beans and kava chips remain at the top of the list but the new body will end what it calls ineffective subsidies and focus on sustainable activities.

20,000 hectares at South Santo and Malo are to be certified organic for production of organic copra oil, copra meal, virgin coconut oil and other value added products.Radio NZ

17) NGOs in PNG stunned by government buying into Nautilus

29/4/2014
Non-governmental groups in Papua New Guinea have condemned the PNG government’s decision to renew a commitment to the Nautilus company’s ocean floor mine.

The Canadian company is set to become the world’s first undersea miner through its Solwara One project in the Bismarck Sea.

A two-year delay in the project has now been resolved, with the PNG government taking a 15 percent stake in the development.

The spokesperson for the NGO Act Now, Effrey Dademo, says they are stunned because the government had said a petition from coastal landowners had made them think again about being involved.

“We have no idea and no information as to why there has been a change of position and we are asking the Government to come out clean and say why it has gone ahead with and what of the petition that was presented by the people to the Government, saying they should not consider it because it is a serious risk to the environment.”

Effrey Dademo of the NGO, Act Now..Radio NZ

18) Public given opportunity to be part owners of Air Niugini

Source:
The National, Tuesday April 29th, 2014

OWNERSHIP of Air Niugini will be opened to the public as part of Government’s plan on its partial privatisation, according to Independent Public Business Corporation managing director Wasantha Kumarasiri.
He, however, denied speculation that Air Niugini was one of two State-owned enterprises to be sold.
The IPBC looks after all State-owned enterprises.
“I am not aware on any sale of Air Niugini,” he said. Kumarasiri was a former general manager of the airline.
“There is a public announcement by the Government to consider partial privatisation.
“In this regards, IPBC and Air Niugini are working towards an independent valuation of the company and a suitable operating model.
“Subject to the willingness of several super funds in the country, Air Niugini’s ownership will be opened to the public as institutional investors to make a return to the members of super funds.”
There has also been speculation that PNG Power Ltd was to be sold.
“With regards to PPL, I absolutely have no clue. You can reach the chairman of PPL for comments,” he said.

19) Deep sea mining plans a step closer to reality

By Online Editor
12:53 pm GMT+12, 29/04/2014, Papua New Guinea

Plans to open the world’s first mine in the deep ocean have moved significantly closer to becoming reality.

Canadian mining company, Nautilus minerals has finalised an agreement with Papua New Guinea to start digging up an area of seabed.

The controversial project aims to extract ores of copper, gold and other valuable metals from a depth of 1,500m.

However, environmental campaigners say mining the ocean floor will prove devastating, causing lasting damage to marine life.

The company, Nautilus Minerals, has been eyeing the seabed minerals off Papua New Guinea (PNG) since the 1990s but then became locked in a lengthy dispute with the PNG government over the terms of the operation. Under the agreement just reached, PNG will take a 15% stake in the mine by contributing $120m (k327 million) towards the costs of the operation.

Mike Johnston, chief executive of Nautilus Minerals, told BBC News: “It’s a taken a long time but everybody is very happy.”

“There’s always been a lot of support for this project and it’s very appealing that it will generate a significant amount of revenue in a region that wouldn’t ordinarily expect that to happen.” The mine will target an area of hydrothermal vents where superheated, highly acidic water emerges from the seabed, where it encounters far colder and more alkaline seawater, forcing it to deposit high concentrations of minerals.

The result is that the seabed is formed of ores that are far richer in gold and copper than ores found on land.

Johnston said that a temperature probe left in place for 18 months was found to have “high grade copper all over it”.

Construction of the largest machine – the 310-tonne Bulk Cutter – was completed in the UKFor decades, the idea of mining these deposits – and mineral-rich nodules on the seabed – was dismissed as unfeasible because of the engineering challenge and high cost.

But the boom in offshore oil and gas operations in recent years has seen the development of a host of advanced deep sea technologies at a time when intense demand for valuable metals has pushed up global prices.

The mine, known as Solwara-1, will be excavated by a fleet of robotic machines steered from a ship at the surface.

The construction of the largest machine, a Bulk Cutter weighing 310 tonnes, has just been completed by an underwater specialist manufacturer, Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD), based in Newcastle, UK.The plan is to break up the top layer of the seabed so that the ore can be pumped up as a slurry.

The agreement with PNG now clears the way for Nautilus to order a specialist vessel to manage the operation.

Mining itself could start within five years.

Environmental campaigners have long argued that seabed mining will be hugely destructive and that the precise effects remain unknown.

Richard Page, oceans campaigner for Greenpeace, said: “The emerging threat of seabed mining is an urgent wake-up call for the need to protect the oceans.

For decades, the idea of mining these deposits was dismissed as unfeasible

“The deep ocean is not yet mapped or explored and so the potential loss of fauna and biospheres from mining is not yet understood.

“Only 3% of the oceans and only 1% of international waters are protected, which makes them some of the most vulnerable places on earth – what we desperately need is a global network of ocean sanctuaries.”

According to Nautilus, the mine will have a minimal environmental footprint, covering the equivalent of about 10 football fields and focusing on an area which is likely to be rapidly re-colonised by marine life.

Johnston said: “It’s a resilient system and studies show that life will recover in 5-10 years. An active venting site 1km to the southeast has the same bugs and snails and the current will carry the bugs and snails to the mine site. We expect it to recover quite quickly.”

But this will be the first attempt to extract ore from the ocean floor, so the operation – and the company’s assurances about the impacts – will be watched closely.

So far, 19 licences to search for seabed minerals have been awarded by the International Seabed Authority, the UN body policing this emerging industry.

The International Seabed Authority (ISA), which has welcomed the Nautilus Minerals agreement with Papua New Guinea, is currently drawing up guidelines for the environmental management of future seabed mining.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

20) Exxon’s Papua New Guinea project starts LNG production before schedule

By Online Editor
12:54 pm GMT+12, 29/04/2014, Papua New Guinea

ExxonMobil has reported the early start of production at its $US19 billion liquefied natural gas project in Papua New Guinea, paving the way for early revenues for partners including Oil Search and Santos.

The first LNG cargo is now scheduled for delivery before the middle of 2014 as a result of the early commissioning, ExxonMobil said on Tuesday.

Exxon had originally scheduled the first cargo for later this year but moved that forward earlier this year to mid-2014. The latest announcement signals the work has progressed on, or ahead of that revised schedule.

“Completion of commissioning activities and the first LNG production ensures the project remains on target for its first LNG cargo before the middle of 2014,” ExxonMobil PNG Ltd managing director Peter Graham said in a statement.

Exxon said the start-up process would be carried out in a phased way, with production ramping up over the next several months from the two-train project. Work on the second LNG production line – known as a train – is progressing and production should start from that unit in the next several weeks, it said.

The PNG LNG project is the biggest single resources investment in PNG and will drive a major increase in revenues for the country. Both Oil Search and Santos have flagged that the uplift in cash flows that they will see from the project should pave the way for increased dividends to shareholders.

The project includes gas production Hides and other fields in the Southern Highlands, as well as more than 700 kilometres of pipelines, a gas conditioning plant in Hides and liquefaction and storage facilities near Port Moresby, with a capacity of 6.9 million tonnes a year. It is expected to produce more than 9 trillion cubic feet of gas over its lifetime of several decades.

SOURCE: SMH/PACNEWS

21) Fiji to continue to support PNG in OHS

By Online Editor
12:50 pm GMT+12, 29/04/2014, Fiji
Fiji will continue to provide technical assistance in the field of Occupational Health and Safety to Papua New Guinea’s Ministry of Labour and Industrial Relations.

This was sealed with a memorandum of understanding, signed during the celebration of Occupational Health and Safety Day, at the Holiday Inn in Suva, last night.

Usamate says the signing signifies the very strong spirit of regional cooperation and aspirations between the governments and people of the two MSG countries.

Meanwhile, Usamate says the theme for OHS Day this year focuses on chemicals.

“This year is special because we are talking about chemicals. A lot of times when we talk about Occupational Health and Safety we tend to forget about these things; the storage of chemicals when you transport them and also after you use them how do you dispose of them. It’s because if you don’t do it well it can have an impact on the people who work at the place where the chemicals are stored and at the same time the wrong chemicals can get into the environment and that has a huge impact; that’s why this is important coz it focused on that area”.

Occupational Health and Safety Day recognizes the efforts and commitment of occupational safety, health and environmental professionals to protect people, property and the environment.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS

22) Fijians could work while on holiday for three months in Australia

By Online Editor
09:50 am GMT+12, 29/04/2014, Fiji

Fijians will soon be able to enjoy a working holiday for three months in Australia.

The new initiative has been approved by the Australian government.

Australian Senator Brett Mason conveyed it to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, in their meeting in Suva yesterday.

Senator Mason is Australian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The working holiday visa was one of the main issues discussed.

It is part of a reciprocal arrangement. It is different to the seasonal workers’ scheme like the recruiting of a group to work in farms as fruit pickers for a specified period. No other details were released in a Government statement announcing it.

It is understood normal rules regarding visas will apply like an applicant’s financial ability to support himself or herself, unless they are sponsored. As far as jobs are concerned:

* Is a job offer for three months required?
*Does the applicant need to have appropriate qualification and experience?
*Does the visa allow the visitor to do any type of work?
*Can the visa be extended for those who are retired or self employed in Fiji?

During the meeting, Ratu Inoke briefed Senator Mason about the developments in Fiji regarding the upcoming national democratic elections on 17 September. He also conveyed the Fijian Government’s appreciation for all the assistance Australia is providing for the elections.

The meeting also discussed a range of bilateral, regional and global issues. It is the first official visit by Senator Mason to Fiji in his current capacity.

Senator Mason returns to Australia today.

SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS

23) Overfishing has wiped out 96 percent of Pacific blue fin tuna

By Online Editor
12:57 pm GMT+12, 29/04/2014, Japan

The Pacific bluefin tuna has fallen to historically low levels in recent years — a victim of heavy fishing and Japan’s boundless appetite for sushi.

A new assessment published Monday estimates that bluefin tuna numbers in the northern Pacific Ocean are still 96 percent below their historic baseline — the same as last year. This number was pointed out by Amanda Nickson, director of global tuna conservation for the Pew Charitable Trusts.

What’s more, the assessment notes, the vast majority of Pacific bluefin tuna now being caught are under the age of two — suggesting that many tuna are being fished before they have the chance to reproduce.

The Pacific bluefin tuna — prized for its tender red meat — has never been considered an endangered species, unlike its counterpart in the Atlantic Ocean. But, Nickson argues, data from recent years points to the need for serious conservation measures in the Pacific — and soon. “This is a textbook example of what happens when fishing nations turn a blind eye to decades of severe overfishing,” she noted.

Why the Pacific bluefin tuna is vanishing

There are three main species of bluefin tuna in the world: the Atlantic, the Southern, and the Pacific. The first two are officially listed as endangered species. The Pacific bluefin, by contrast, has received far less attention — in part because it wasn’t even recognized as a distinct species until 1999.

Yet Pacific bluefin tuna have long been fished heavily at all stages of their lives. The tuna start off in spawning grounds near the coast of Japan and then make the multiyear journey across the Pacific to the Baja California coast in search of food. Fully grown fish can weigh up to 1,000 pounds:

About 80 percent of Pacific bluefin tuna are caught for use in sushi restaurants in Japan, where a single large fish can fetch tens of thousands of dollars on the open market. In 2013, one tuna was auctioned off for $1.7 million — this year, the top price was a relatively paltry $70,000.

Not surprisingly, Japan leads the way in catching bluefin. But Mexico’s industry has expanded in recent years as fishermen try to catch the larger bluefin that make it east:

At the moment, there are relatively few restrictions on fishing for Pacific bluefin. Catch limits in the eastern Pacific were first imposed in 2012, but those were set higher than conservation groups think are needed. In the crucial western Pacific, meanwhile, near the tuna’s spawning grounds, there are no overall catch limits at all — instead, countries are allowed to self-regulate.

As a result, Pew notes that fishing in the western Pacific has actually increased in recent years — even though current management measures call for a decrease back to 2002-2004 levels. Fishing activity near the spawning grounds put those younger fish at particular risk.

Could the Pacific bluefin tuna ever recover?

Conservation groups have called for two things to protect the Pacific bluefin: harder limits on overall catches in the Pacific Ocean and a minimum size limit on catches to protect juveniles.

There’s some early evidence that stricter catch limits could work. Out in the Atlantic Ocean, overfishing caused the bluefin tuna population to drop 60 percent between 1997 and 2007. In response, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) recently imposed much stricter overall limits on catches and cracked down on illegal fishing.

The results? In 2012, the population of bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea appears to have rebounded slightly. (ICCAT is planning to keep the quotas in place for the time being, though some conservation groups have called on the organization to go even further and implement electronic tracking mechanisms to thwart illegal fishing.)

A second idea is to prevent fishermen from catching smaller juveniles — in order to give them a chance to reproduce. One recent analysis suggested that a one- to three-year moratorium on catching very young fish could allow the Pacific bluefin population to rebound — within a few years, fisherman might even be able to catch more fish than they can today. But, in the short term, countries would have to take a hit, particularly Japan.

Both of those measures would be fairly novel steps. For a long time, the Pacific bluefin tuna was lumped in by ocean managers with all the other fish in the ocean (the bluefin represents just 1 percent of all tuna caught in the Pacific). Now that the numbers have plummeted, it may be time to rethink that. Here’s a longer primer on the topic.

SOURCE: VOX/PACNEWS

LAW&ORDER

24) Deputy police commissioner terminated

By NASIK SWAMI
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Update: 4:50PM ACTING Commissioner of Police Ravi Narayan has terminated the services of Deputy Commissioner of Police Isikeli Ligairi.

In a statement, Mr Narayan said the decision was based on Mr Ligairis case of insubordination against the office of the acting Commissioner of Police.

As members of the disciplinary force, every police officer is expected to display loyalty and uphold the law and give their support to whoever is commanding the Fiji Police Force. http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=267082

25) Porgera in strife

By Online Editor
09:40 am GMT+12, 29/04/2014, Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea Government has declared a state of emergency in Porgera, Enga Province.

Over a hundred policemen and soldiers from Port Moresby and Mt Hagen are already on the ground in the mining township, Highlands Divisional Commander Teddy Tei said Monday.

The rapid increase in uncontrollable illegal mining activities within the mine lease area and other law and order issues in the valley has prompted the state of emergency.

A similar response, codenamed Operation Ipili, was executed in April 2009 for the same reasons that saw more than 300 houses within the mining lease area being razed to the ground by members of the security forces. Those houses were  allegedly used by illegal miners.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations Simon Kauba will launch the three month operation today in a grand ceremony at the Ipili sports complex in Paiam.

The reckless behaviour of illegal miners who have descended into the valley and are extracting gold from the mine site has continuously disrupted production and risked shutting down the Barrick-operated world class open cut gold mine.

Killings on the streets of Porgera town have become common, resulting in tribal fights and the closure of the Highlands Highway leading into the valley.

Business houses and government departments also had to shut down as a result.

It is not clear whether security personnel will remove settlements around the mine proper as in 2009 but police have moved in with more determination than before to solve the problems. Security commanders briefed community leaders, government and business representatives on Friday.

They said their focus was to stop the illegal mining activities in the mining area, which were getting out of hand, as well as addressing other law and order issues in the valley.

The security contingent will live outside of the mining premises and conduct operations.

But as during the 2009 operation, sources on the ground say all illegal miners have already fled Porgera and will wait out the three-month period and return after the operation has finished.

In 2009, all illegal miners fled to their home provinces across the highlands region while the operation took place.

But as things cooled down the miners gradually returned and the number has increased since.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION AND ENVIROMENT

26) Help for 12,000 Cyclone Ita vicitms

Source:
The National, Tuesday April 29th, 2014

MORE than 12,000 people in Milne Bay recently affected by Cyclone Ita will receive relief assistance.
It follows a public appeal by Governor Titus Philemon to the people and business houses for donations in cash and kind.
Milne Bay people living and working in other centres have rallied to the call for help and organised their own fundraising activities.
Coordinator of the provincial disaster office Eric Balaria reported that a total of 12,346 people of Yeleyamba, Louisiade and Bwanabwana had been affected by Ita.
The provincial disaster committee plans a two-phase disaster response to provide immediate relief supplies of food and other basic needs.
It will be followed by the reconstruction of infrastructure such as classrooms and health facilities damaged or destroyed when the cyclone struck three weeks ago.
The committee has estimated it will initially cost about K1 million to provide food and other necessities, but the total cost may blow out and exceed K2 million when the second phase of public infrastructure reconstruction begins in about three weeks.
Philemon left last Wednesday with the first supply of food onboard mv Sara Lee on a 12-day tour of the worst affected islands.
They are in the three local level governments of Louisiade (Misima, Calvados, Brooker, Panaeati and Conflict Islands), Yeleyamba (Rossel and Sudest) and the Engineer Group (Ware and Kwaraiwa).
The barge mv Samarai Murua  is expected to depart Alotau tomorrow with relief supplies including food, water, clothing, tarpaulins, medicine and house building materials.
Meanwhile, more than K400,000 has been collected so far. Individuals, groups and business houses in Alotau have donated food, clothing, cooking utensils and other items to help the victims.
Acting provincial administrator Michael Kape has welcomed the positive response to the public appeal.
But the committee is concerned about one or two groups taking advantage of the disaster to collect cash from the public without giving the proceeds to the provincial disaster committee.
Cash donations can be deposited at the Milne Bay Provincial Disaster Trust Account number 600 1475 266 at Westpac Bank, Alotau.

SPORTS

27) Raising the bar

By Online Editor
1:06 pm GMT+12, 29/04/2014, Fiji

The Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) is hoping that Oceania athletes will raise the bar at the Commonwealth Games, Micronesian Games and the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China this year.

ONOC Executive Director Dennis Miller says this why the regional body has organised a comprehensive programme for top regional sports administrators coming to the weeklong ONOC meeting starting tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Leopalace Resort in Guam.

Miller says over a dozen sports federations, Oceania Foundation based in Melbourne, Athletes Commission, Women in Sports Commission and the Australia Sports Commission will also be in attendance apart from the 17 National Olympic Committees (NOCs).

“It’s basically the get together of people in sport in the region,” Miller said.

Associate members from Northern Marianas, Niue, Wallis & Futuna, New Caledonia and French Polynesia will also attend.

Miller says a good number of NOCs have new officials in place and will have to attend various organised programme during the week to have a better understanding of what’s on offer.

“The Olympic Solidarity manages four to five million dollars annually and we need to educate them (new officials) to be sensitive to what’s available to their athletes. Really we want them to raise the bar this year at the Commonwealth Games, the Micronesian Games and the Youth Olympic Games.”

He said the organizing committees of the Youth Olympics this year and the Rio 2016 Olympics will also be making presentations.

SOURCE: PACNEWS

28) Must win match for Fiji Bati

By Online Editor
1:01 pm GMT+12, 29/04/2014, Fiji

The Vodafone Fiji Bati rugby league team needs to beat Pacific rivals Toa Samoa for the opportunity to rub shoulders against Tier One nations.

Fiji plays Samoa in the Four Nations Championship qualifying match where the winner will line-up against rugby league heavyweights, Great Britain, New Zealand and world champions, the Kangaroos.

The Rick Stone-coached side beat Samoa during the Rugby League World Cup quarter-final in Europe last year.

However, with some of its top stars such as Akuila Uate, Wes Naiqama, Sisa Waqa and Apisai Koroisau ruled out of the crucial match, Stone will rely on his available players such as North Queensland forwards Ashton Sims who will captain the side, his brothers Tariq and Korbin, the experience Lote Tuqiri, Marika Koroibete, Kevin Naiqama and rising star Semi Radradra to boost its chances of beating Samoa for the second time in two meetings.

Ashton Sims, who is being handed the captain’s armband will have a huge role to play upfront along with his brothers Korbin and Tariq, Jason Bukuya, Kane Evans and Wests Tigers big man Taqele Naiyaravoro.

RLWC stars Aaron Groom will again form the halves partnership with Alipate Tani, Naiqama can man the fullback’s position while Tuqiri will provide the experience to guide the young backline which includes Koroibete, Eto Nabuli and Naiqama.

Stone said the mixture of youth and experienced players should do Fiji proud this weekend. He acknowledged the NRL clubs that released its players to represent Fiji.

“The NRL Clubs have been great in allowing their players to take part in the Pacific Test, which plays a significant role in growing the game,” Stone said in a statement.

“Last year’s Pacific Test between Samoa and Tonga was a wonderful spectacle and I expect it to be no different when Fiji meets Samoa this Saturday night.”

The side marched into camp yesterday at Penrith.

The game kicks off at 9.30pm on Saturday at the Penrith Stadium.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

29) Fiji Netball plan

By Online Editor
1:00 pm GMT+12, 29/04/2014, Fiji

Former Fiji netball coach Julie Hoornweg is back with the team and now has less than two weeks to put together a formidable side to play in the Tri-Series Plus One next week.

She arrived into the country over the weekend and was at the Suva Netball Association knockout competition on Saturday to check out the local talent.

Yesterday she had her first run with the Fiji Pearls side and said she would not make drastic changes right away.

The former England coach will guide the Pearls in the Tri-series Plus One scheduled for May 6-9 against Northern Ireland and Papua New Guinea in Suva.

“I will be having a look at them (players), and then work out plan for next two weeks,” Hoornweg said.

“At the moment, just see where they are at and it would take me a few days to work that out.”

She said making changes in such a short time before the competition would not bode well for the players and the team.

“I’ve got my way of doing things, so a little bits of changes because we have a week and a half and we will look at what we can do.

“Too much change in short time is not good because we don’t know their bodies would react to it so gradual changes.

“We would need to see what they are doing then make the changes where required but little by little.

“I would however, look at the physical, mental and also diet and also recovery part.”

Hoornweg said the players had what it took to be like the top teams in the world.

“I’m absolutely certain there will be athleticism and flair and I will have lots of raw material to work with and I might be able to have an impact on them and put a team together that will be very competitive.”

Netball Fiji president Wainikiti Bogidrau said they were fortunate to have Hoornweg back.

“We have full confidence in her ability to steer the team in the right direction,” she said.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

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