Pacific Islands

NZ declares war on coconut rhinoceros beetle in the Pacific

A new strain of the beetle, CRB-G, is resistant to traditional control methods, and the government said it could cause $US150 million dollars to be lost from the Pacific's coconut and palm oil industries every year.

CRB-G is established in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands where it is damaging palm trees.

New Zealand is contributing about $US11 million dollars to the fight, some of which will go to science institute AgResearch.

Once a stronghold, Taiwan's presence in the Pacific wanes

In just four days, Taiwan's diplomatic allies fell from 17 to 15, further isolating the island as Beijing aggressively courts the handful of countries that still recognise the government in Taipei.

The Pacific had been a stronghold of support for Taipei as its diplomatic allies steadily dwindled. Until this week, six countries in the region recognised Taiwan over China. But in terms of population, Solomon Islands and Kiribati were the biggest.

Auckland city kava bar hopes to win hearts and minds over drink

The drink - an earthy-tasting ground root which numbs muscles and has been used to treat anxiety and stress - has been used widely across the Pacific and among its diaspora for centuries.

But the West, commercial traction has been held back by a lack of education around Pacific culture and limited research into its effects, experts say. Although legal in New Zealand, kava imports been restricted in many Western jurisdictions, including parts of Australia.

Pacific Islands to be well represented at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin

Member countries are represented by their national tourism offices and these include Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, New Caledonia Tourism, Samoa Tourism Authority, Vanuatu Tourism and the Solomon Island Visitors Bureau.  Private sector participants are Turama Pacific, Air Caledonie International and Noumea Discovery Travel Company

PNG to attend Peace Summit

The event will be attended on PNG’s behalf by the Chief Justice, Sir Gibbs Salika, and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jeffrey Komal, and Acting PNG High Commissioner to Australia, Sakias Tameo.

They will be accompanied by other Pacific Islands Nation dignitaries to attend the event which aims to promote peace around the world.

Major League Rugby scouting for Pacific talent

Major League Rugby completed its inaugural season last month with the Seattle Seawolves beating the Glendale Raptors in the grand final.

Former Fiji sevens captain Osea Kolinisau (Houston SaberCats) and 'Ikale Tahi first five Kurt Morath (Utah Warriors) were among the Pacific players to feature in the debut Major League Rugby campaign.

The competition's top try-scorer, Tonata Lauti, was born in Tonga before moving to Salt Lake City with his family in 1996.

Illegal fishing on Pacific leaders summit agenda

The Pacific Island Leaders Meeting, known as PALM, is held in Japan every three years.

Japan's government hosts the PALM summits as a way to share its assistance programme with Pacific Island Forum countries.

Ahead of this summit, Tokyo said measures to help Pacific countries enforce maritime law within their maritime jurisdictions would be included in a joint statement for the eighth PALM meeting.

Pacific Island countries struggle to adequately police their exclusive economic zones which have become subject to regular incursions by so-called Vietnamese blue boats.

Kiwifruit body wants more RSE workers

The body's chief executive, Nikki Johnson, said this reflected the current labour shortage facing the industry in the Bay of Plenty region.

The cap was increased from 10,500 to 11,100 for this year's season and around 2000 RSE workers would operate in the Bay of Plenty at some point, Ms Johnson said.

An extra 1200 workers were needed over the next month, however, to pick and pack the kiwifruit crop, she said.

Countries agree to cut shipping emissions, to Pacific delight

The agreement came at the end of a week-long meeting of the International Maritime Organisation, a United Nations body, in London, where small countries were pitted against large shipping nations that were against such restrictions.

Friday's agreement calls for global shipping emissions to peak as soon as possible, and to reduce the total annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent of 2008 levels by 2050. It also calls for efforts to be pursued to phase out greenhouse gas emissions from shipping entirely.

Traditional vaka used to tackle climate change

The Okeanos Foundation is stationed across the Pacific mostly in remote islands where big freight companies don't usually operate.

Commander and master navigator Peia Patai says they're pushing for traditional Pacific navigation methods to be revived and raising climate change awareness.

"Our ways of propelling these vessels are sustainable," he says. "Using the sun, the wind and we have engines fitted on that use coconut oil that have been created by people on the islands so at the same time we're conscious of the ocean's health."