Autonomous Region of Bougainville

Referendum: Criteria for non-B’ville residents

They have agreed on the criteria for non-Bougainville residents to take part in the Referendum.  

In the recent JSB meeting held in Arawa, both the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, under section 55, 1 of the Organic Law on Peace Building in Bougainville, agreed on two criteria to determine the links with Bougainville, that a non-resident Bougainvillean must have in order to vote at the Referendum.

The first criteria is that; the person is a Bougainvillean, as defined in section 7, 1 of the Bougainville Constitution.

Gardens, land lost

The Islanders are facing serious food shortage and are in dire need of assistance.

The plight of Nuguria Islanders is similar to the volcano and earthquake affected provinces.

However, their cries and needs have gone unheard.

The Islanders sadly do not have the backing of the Government of PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Yesterday (May 6), the Nuguria community based in Port Moresby hosted a fundraiser for the plight of more than 600 affected Nuguria Islanders.

Women defenders, male advocates

These women and men raise awareness and respond to family and sexual violence and gender inequality.

Assessments of the project have revealed that women human rights defenders play many roles; they are educators, defenders, advocates and activists.

A valuable lesson learned from the project is that when male advocates work alongside women’s human rights defenders, it gives women an opportunity to work closely with male traditional leaders and in turn, change traditional norms around the role of women in leadership positions.

Chair proposed for Referendum Commission

He is former Prime Minister of Ireland, Bertie Ahern. Although this was made known by President John Momis during a recent parliamentary sitting with his government, a formal joint announcement is yet to be made by both governments.

A reliable source within the ABG told Loop PNG that “President Momis and PM O'Neill have written a joint letter to the former PM of Ireland as a nominee for the position of Chair of the Bougainville Referendum Commission”.

Challenges in unifying women of B’ville

However, challenges still remain with regard to unifying the women of Bougainville; having them take a seat at the same table to further the common goal of maintaining peace by peaceful means.

In August 2017 an historic conference took place that saw women from North, Central and South Bougainville come together to highlight the significant role, both in times past and at present, women play in both building peace and fostering social cohesion in the region.

EPF finds footing in ARoB

EPF’s CEO Jacqui Joseph, in praising the effort of staff and volunteers, said the organisation has had more than a learning experience but also an opportunity to embrace the challenges that the environment has created for EPF to find the best way to work. 

“2017 was a good challenge for us as an organization, especially in the autonomous region,” said Joseph.

New library, world of opportunities

Nicole Smith, second secretary - Bougainville Program Australian High Commission, handed over the keys for the new library to Kepesia school principal, Marvin Naru, and four other principals of the schools that received a new library. These schools include Kepesia, Kavaranou, Kekesu, Mungkala and Sipuru Primary School. 

Ms. Smith said Bougainville remains a development priority for Australia with education one of the important sectors. 

K5m jetty for Buka

The project is an initiative of the National Fisheries Authority.

NFA’s provincial support coordinator, Bolton Towok, gave an overview to Loop PNG during a recent field trip.

“This is the Buka Jetty and shore base facility. It will cater for fishermen to land and market their fish,” Towok explained.

“It will contain a fish market, cold storage facility, processing and office space on the top for the Autonomous Region fisheries.

Exploration in Bougainville led by LOs

Prospecting has started since the introduction of legislation allowing landowners complete ownership of customary land, and the lifting of the moratorium on specific localities for mineral exploration.

However, the ABG is making sure the exploration is done in the best interest of the people.

ABG Treasury and Finance Minister, Robin Wilson, said currently there is a moratorium on Panguna Mine due to its history and sensitive nature, which is being carefully addressed.

However, exploration has been allowed in other parts of the island.

Meetings to determine Panguna’s future

According to Business Advantage, Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) chairman, Rob Burns, says the meetings, to be held in November and December, include a mediation as well as a wardens’ hearing.

The first meeting on November 23 and 24 is the third round of mediation talks to settle a dispute over the chairmanship of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA).

SMLOLA is one of the nine landowner associations in the project area.