Pacific

Author challenges British denial over Pacific nuclear legacy

RNZI reports US and French nuclear tests at Bikini atoll in the Marshall Islands and Murorua and Fangataufa atolls in Tahiti feature regularly in discussions about the environmental and social legacy of Pacific nuclear testing.

But the author Nic McLellan says the fallout of Britain's hydrogen bomb tests at Kiritimati island in Kiribati isn't as well documented.

Pacific campaign wants to exclude NZ and Australia from climate talks

Have Your Sei, led by global advocacy group 350.org, is encouraging people from the Pacific region to lead climate change action by signing a Pacific Climate Warriors Declaration to be presented at the United Nations Climate Change Conference later this year.

The declaration wants to kick big polluters out of climate change talks and do what is needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celcius. 

Project co-ordinator Joseph-Zane Sikulu says most of the big countries in climate change conversations are the big contributors to the problem itself.

North Korean official says H. bomb possible in Pacific

Ri Yong Ho was speaking in New York to reporters from South Korea's Yonhap news agency who asked him to clarify a threat made by his leader against the United States.

Kim Jong-un had warned of the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history."

Mr Ri said North Korea could consider a hydrogen bomb test, although he qualified this by saying he did not know Kim's exact thoughts.

Photo: STF / AFP A file photo from July 2014 shows an atomic bomb explosion in Bikini Atoll. 

VIDEO: Digicel to provide full satellite coverage across the Pacific

In this Business Plus PNG interview, David Conn talks to Intelsat’s Managing Director for the Pacific, Robert Suber about the partnership with Digicel in the region as well as the impact it has had on communication services available in the network.

 

Hawai'i tree disease could spread across Pacific

The fungal disease known as Rapid 'Ōhiʻa Death was first discovered in 2014 and has affected about 75,000 acres of ōhi'a forrests on the island of Hawai'i.

The fungus behind the plant disease, Ceratocystis fimbriata, lives in the soil and causes leaves to turn black and fall off, killing a tree within in a matter of days.

The University of Hawai'i said that while some feral animals and beetles had been vectors for the disease, human movement was the biggest cause of its spread.

Pacific electricity costs under scrutiny

Pacific island countries have some of the highest electricity costs in the world, making power beyond the reach of many.

This is mainly due to high electricity tariffs, the high cost of service connections and the cost of wiring premises.

RNZI reports the conference will explore regulatory reforms, technology and innovative financing to make electricity more affordable.

Dame Meg Taylor who leads the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, stressed the vulnerability of the region's countries to global oil price fluctuations.

World Bank tries to make Pacific solar power decisions easier

At a regional energy summit in Samoa, the World Bank said it was detailing the potential for its online solar atlas, which gives interested parties the means to find where solar power potential is most concentrated.

PACER Plus could erode social services in Pacific says CTU

The CTU secretary Sam Huggard presented evidence to New Zealand Parliament's Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee.

RNZI reports Mr Huggard examined the progress on the PACER-Plus trade agreement.

He said taxes on goods from Australia and New Zealand support health, education and social services, for which there are few alternatives.

"One of those would be a consumer tax like a GST or a VAT, and in the end those taxes hit the poor much stronger than they hit people who are well-off."

Kava drinking club - cool or cultural appropriation?

The multi-cultural group meets up for a drink each week, and is part of a trend that has seen kava go beyond its Pacific roots, but the Kava Society has got some social media users hot under the collar. 

But one of its founding members, Zbigniew Dumieński, said the group didn't pretend to follow any rituals or ceremonies and thinks it would be bad, culturally, if they did. 

He said his initial interest in kava was sparked while he was in the Cook Islands and Niue for research. 

Across the Pacific Islands, the price of kava is surging

The tradition, ceremony and culture that surrounds kava could be at the greatest risk.

Following the collapse of the kava market in the 2000s, many South Pacific kava farmers slowed production or walked away from their plantations entirely. Given kava takes a minimum of three years to harvest (depending on the season), response to surging Western and local markets is slow.