Pacific Islands

PACER Plus Pacific trade deal has fishhooks

“New Zealand and Australia are being accused of pushing a trade deal to advance their own commercial interests at the expense of Pacific Islands’ national interests,” Green Party trade spokesperson Barry Coates said.
 
“The fact that the Pacific’s two biggest economies, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, have opted out is a warning sign that Australia and New Zealand have demanded too many concessions. Their absence from PACER Plus will undermine the existing Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) and Pacific regionalism.
 

China likely to team up more on aid to Pacific

An expert on China's foreign aid programme, Denghua Zhang, said the Te Mato Vai project in the Cook Islands was helping China learn about aid delivery and monitoring.

According to his research, about four percent of China's total aid spends goes to Oceania, most of that in soft loans for new roads and other infrastructure.

Mr Zhang said China was increasingly teaming up with traditional donor countries and agencies like the UN Development Programme and it saw the Pacific as a good testing ground for such co-operation.

Sustainable development through early warning systems and forecasting

As part of this effort, SPC is developing a coastal inundation forecasting tool for the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Coastal Inundation Forecasting Demonstration Project (CIFPD) in Fiji.

This tool will be demonstrated in the Coral Coast before being replicated in other areas within Fiji including the Nadi River catchment.

This project has been established at the request of the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) and made possible with donor funding from the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) in 2017.

More Pacific countries to qualify for disaster insurance

The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company which was actually established in 2007 as a pilot initiative currently covers Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands and the Marshall Islands.

Donor funding for the initiative comes from the UK, the US, and Germany and Japan.

Already two of the countries have received payouts from the initiative: Tonga, ten days after Cyclone Ian in 2014; and Vanuatu seven days after Pam in 2015, worth a combined total of US$3.2 million.

NZ naval ship to deploy to Fiji to counter illegal fishing

Gerry Brownlee met his Fijian counterpart, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, at a South Pacific defence ministers' meeting in Auckland yesterday to discuss issues including maritime surveillance.

He said an inshore patrol vessel will be deployed to Fiji for six months in May to combat the widespread problem.

According to Mr Brownlee, the increase in illegal fishing vessels from Vietnam, also known as "blue boats", required counter-action.

Coastal and marine ecosystems critical for a resilient Pacific region in the face of climate change

This was a key message by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature at the first Oceania Ecosystem Services Forum in Brisbane held 27-31 March 2017.

Pacific island people rely heavily on ecosystem services and natural resources to support their national economies and community livelihoods.

EU eyes 'new era' of partnership with Pacific

With the EU's current partnership agreement with the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries expiring in 2020, they are working towards a new agreement.

Stefano Manservisi, the Director-General of DEVCO, is visiting the Pacific, taking in visits to Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Australia and New Zealand.

He said the EU was proposing to embed in a new agreement a "specific Pacific pillar", based on common objectives.

Strengthening resilience to Ocean Acidification in Tokelau

For Tokelau, this is now underway with a special inception workshop held in Samoa, to plan implementation of the different activities.

With the Tokelau General Fono recently endorsing the Tokelau Climate Change Strategy – 'Living with Change' the protection of the ocean is featured as a high priority.

 Being part of the New Zealand Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification (NZPPOA) regional project to build resilience to ocean acidification is especially important for Tokelau and her community.

Fiji's Minister says oceans conference will be 'game-changer'

Sweden and Fiji are co-hosting the conference in June at the United Nations' Headquarters in New York.

Fiji just held a regional meeting in Suva to prepare, which was attended by small island states, New Zealand and Australia.

Its Fisheries Minister, Semi Koroilavesau, said the meeting went well and he was feeling hopeful about what the UN's conference can achieve.

He said Fiji and other small Pacific islands would be the first to suffer from ocean pollution and rising sea levels and there needs to be global consensus on what action to take.

UN Environment, SPREP partnering to support Pacific islands as they head towards UN Oceans Conference

The historic event is targeted towards rallying global action to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14, Life Below Water.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) through its Pacific sub-regional office are partnering together to implement several different initiatives to support Pacific island countries as they prepare for the UN Oceans Conference.

Co-hosted by the Governments of Fiji and Sweden, the UN Oceans Conference will be held in New York from 5 to 7 June this year.