Pacific Island countries

Pacific trade deal PACER-Plus is PACER-minus

“The PACER-plus trade deal with the Pacific Islands, tabled in the Senate today, has not been signed by PNG and Fiji, the two largest Pacific island economies which together represent over 80% of GDP of the combined island economies,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

“Without the two largest Pacific Island economies, PACER-plus has failed as a regional agreement and should really be called PACER-minus.”

Pacific island countries vote to ban asbestos

The proposal to advance work on banning asbestos, championed by Cook Islands, was agreed to by representatives of the 21 Pacific island and five metropolitan members of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) at its Twenty-eighth Meeting of Officials.

Speaking on behalf of Cook Islands, Director of the Cook Islands National Environment Service, Mr Joseph Brider, expressed delight at the positive outcome.

Vanuatu joins other PICs to tackle plastic problems

American Samoa, the Marshall Islands and the Micronesian state of Yap have already brought in bans and Fiji is launching its levy on plastic bags today.

On Friday lawmakers in the Northern Marianas passed a bill which fines shops if they offer them.

The bill, which passed unanimously in the House of Representatives and now heads to the Senate, proposes to impose penalties of between $US100 and $1,000 each day on stores that use plastic bags.

Climate partnerships needed to tackle climate change in the Pacific

Latu presented a perspective on the ‘Need for Accelerated Climate Change Action’ at the 14th Regional Meeting (Pacific Region) of the ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly in Vanuatu last week.

“The Pacific has done very little to contribute to the problem of climate change yet stand to suffer the most as a result of the actions of developed countries and some emerging economies,” he said.

Pacific trade deal weakened by Fiji, PNG, Vanuatu withdrawal: AFTINET

Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade in Investment Network (AFTINET), said today that this is because the three largest Pacific island economies are saying there are no benefits for them.

Dr Ranald said that the text was released only two weeks ago. Pacific island, Australian and NZ community groups are calling for an independent analysis and time for proper public and parliamentary consultation about the deal.

Pacific nations may face droughts, floods if El Niño develops later this year

Conversely, the Eastern Pacific including countries such as Kiribati, Nauru, Northern Cook Islands and Tuvalu would have the opposite effects, with higher rainfall likely to lead to flooding, damage to roads and bridges, and pollution of water sources.

The alert was released this month by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP), a regional body for the protection and sustainable development of the region's natural resources. Twenty-two Pacific nations are members.

Pacific decries global climate fund access, delays

The message was heard loud and clear at a two-day meeting that preceded the United Nations biennial forum Mexico is hosting this week in its holiday city by the Caribbean Sea coast this week.
Island Business reports presentations at the meeting by SIDS and members of the UN lobby group, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) showed that access to finance and delays in fund disbursement continued to hamper the implementation of GCF.

Meeting focuses on cultural development priorities

The week-long meeting, hosted by the Government of New Caledonia with support from the Pacific Community (SPC) opened with a National Culture Policy Peer Review and Learning Meeting yesterday which will inform the second meeting of the Regional Culture Strategy Working Group to be held from 4 to 5 May.

The meeting provides an important opportunity for represented Pacific Island countries to undertake a national culture policy peer review and share lessons learnt in an effort to develop their respective national cultural policies.

Workshop aims to strengthen Pacific aquatic biosecurity

The quarantine, biosecurity and aquaculture representatives attending the workshop are from Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Aquatic biosecurity is a system of standardized protocols and measures to deal with biological risks in aquatic environments, such as the risk of diseases and the risk of invasive species.

Australians sending 'unhelpful' donations like high heels, handbags, chainsaws to disaster zones

Aid agencies have issued a firm plea to Australians who donate goods to people in disaster zones to avoid sending unrequested items, saying they will likely end up in landfill.

They said the best way to help people in disaster-struck zones was to instead send money.

The report is the first piece of research examining the often huge financial burden of disposing unrequested goods sent by well-meaning Australians.