Pacific

US give climate change aid to Pacific

The United States says it is providing US$5 million dollars for a Pacific climate change strengthening project.
 
The US Ambassador to Fiji, Judith Cefkin, made the announcement during the Pacific Community Conference underway in Niue.
 

Cyclone shift

Kumar says there is a possibility that the country should expect to have Fiji cyclone season earlier instead of November, the usual month.

He said the official Tropical Cyclone season was from November to April, but records showed cyclones occurred outside the official tropical cyclone season.

“The current El Nino has a potential to change the distribution and frequency of tropical cyclones in the region. Please note that apart from August and September, tropical cyclones have occurred in all other months in the South Pacific,” Kumar said.

Pacific vocational education training: the way forward

The Committee aims to provide a platform for Pacific Island countries to present their gap analysis and training needs assessment under the project, set out their work plans and identify possible development partners and donors for collaboration.  

This regional gathering serves as a follow up to the recently completed in country consultations held in each of the 15 countries in order to identify priority areas needing further educational development as well as identifying partners for possible collaboration.  

France continues continental shelf extension in Pacific

Surveys have been held this year and an application to add the sea shelf beyond the internationally recognised 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone is expected to be submitted within two years.

This comes just days after France added a total of half a million square kilometres off New Caledonia and its territories in the Atlantic Ocean after a favourable recommendation by the United Nations' Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

EU warns Taiwan over Pacific fishing

The EU issued the 'yellow card' after a pirate tuna vessel was busted fishing in Papua New Guinea waters by the NGO three weeks ago.

This means Taiwan, which has the biggest fishing fleet in the Pacific, may face European sanctions and import bans if changes aren't made.

An oceans campaigner for Greenpeace, Karly Thomas, says Taiwan has too many boats flying its flag with too little control.

UNICEF calls for EL Nino costing

The El Nino has caused severe drought through much of the region including Vanuatu which is still recovering from Cyclone Pam.

UNICEF Pacific Representative Karen Allen says affected children are showing signs of malnutrition and diarrhoea which could lead to greater developmental issues in the future.

Dr Allen says although governments have said there is no need for any mass appeal, there is a pressing need to look at the potential costs of the system.

Leaked documents puts spotlight on Australia's self interest in Pacific

A draft chapter titled "Development and Economic Cooperation" from the regional free trade agreement known as PACER-Plus has been leaked by the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), Link: http://tinyurl.com/nvk242n

"The leaked material confirms that Australia is using its aid programme against Pacific nations, offering only weak voluntary commitments under PACER-Plus whilst demanding ever growing market access for Australian companies," said Greens spokesperson for international aid and development Senator Lee Rhiannon.

Pacific bishops to head to Rome for family meeting

The Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is set to take place from October the 4th to the 25th and will look at the role of the family in the church and the world.

The bishop of Tonga, Cardinal Soane Patita Mafi, and the Archbishop of Suva, Peter Loy Chong, will join the bishop of Kundiawa, Anton Bal, who will represent Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

Cardinal John Dew, of Wellington, will also travel to Rome.

Tsunami advisory lifted in American Samoa

Tsunami warnings were in place for much of the Pacific following yesterday's massive 8.3 earthquake in Chile.

The earthquake has claimed at least 11 lives in Chile.

The Pacific Tsunami warning Centre has now advised that there is no further tsunami threat for American Samoa as a result of the massive earthquake in Chile.

However residents have been advised to be observant and exercise normal caution if you are in or near the ocean.

Pacific lawyers gather for conference

There are about 1700 lawyers in the Pacific, excluding Australia and New Zealand, and about 100 of them are expected at the two-day conference being run by the South Pacific Lawyers Association.

Its chairman, Ross Ray QC, says the meeting will include sessions on issues such as document drafting, case analysis, commercial law and legal aid.

He says the conference is a good opportunity to promote ties between the different law societies across the region.