Big dependency in Pacific on imported food

Last week the Pacific Community launched the Pacific Islands Trade Report 2010-2014, which gave a rare insight into the flow of goods between Pacific Island countries themselves and the rest of the world.

According to the author of the report, Sally-Ann Hughes, within the region's primary sector, the products showing good potential are fish, wood, cocoa, virgin coconut oil and root crops.

Pacific records high incidence of sexually transmitted infections

The study found that young people's sexual behaviour, especially unmarried young people, is a sensitive topic that many governments are failing to confront.

The lead researcher, Dr Elissa Kennedy from Australia's Burnet Institute, says the Pacific has high rates of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies among adolescents.

Pacific employment at all-time high

The figures for the December 2015 quarter, released by Statistics New Zealand today, show the unemployment rate for Pacific people dropped over 2015 to 9.7 per cent, from 11.4 per cent a year earlier.

This is the lowest rate since December 2008, when the figure was 7.7 per cent.

The number of Pacific people in employment also increased over 2015 by 14,500 to 130,700. This is a 12.5 per cent increase and represents the highest number of Pacific people employed.

Supporting the Pacific through sport

Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Steve Ciobo announced support for the programme.

The Australian Government is providing $780,000 to Cricket Australia over the next two years, in partnership with the International Cricket Council, to support community programs that address health, gender equality and disability challenges in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa and Fiji.

Australia supports Pacific basketball’s female leaders

The program aims to identify, support and train women leaders involved in basketball in the Pacific region. This support builds the capacity of women through a multifaceted training regime that develops leadership, governance, public speaking and negotiating skills.

Zika virus monitoring continues in Pacific

SPC closely monitors the Zika situation regionally and internationally, along with other diseases, such as dengue and chikungunya.


Report provides snapshot of Pacific trade

The report uses International Trade Centre data to illustrate the main primary sector export products from 15 Pacific Island countries, the main export markets for these products and whether they are growing or declining. 

Fiji shines as an example for other Pacific Island countries to follow, accounting for 96 per cent of all regional exports.

Pacific scientist in China to present taro supply breakthrough

Ulamila Lutu is currently attending the inaugural World Congress on Root and Tuber Crops in Nanning, Guangxi, which brings together around 750 key industry stakeholders including farmers, researchers, the private sector and donor agencies.

US withdrawal from Tuna Treaty will take effect in January 2017

In his initial response to PACNEWS queries, Norris admits the impact of the US withdrawal ‘will be markedly different among individual Pacific Island Parties (PIPs).’

“Some of them have viable alternative markets that could absorb their fishing days with relatively little impact. Others, however that are reliant on the Treaty to sell their days would struggle to achieve revenues similar to those currently enjoyed, said Norris.

US pulls out of Pacific fisheries treaty

According to the terms of the nearly 30-year old deal with the islands region, the move will take effect in 12 months.

It is likely to hurt budgets of the island countries involved who had benefited from the annual payment of over US$80 million from the US government and industry.

The US State Department this week advised the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)that it had officially communicated to the Papua New Guinea government - which is the depository for the treaty - that it is withdrawing from the treaty.