Features Archive December 2021

For Kiribati, where employment options are scant, merchant seafarers working on international vessels have historically made an important contribution to the country’s remittance flows, which accounted for 10–12% of Kiribati’s GDP pre-COVID.

Has COVID-19 Ended Seafaring for Kiribati?

The Kiribati government closed their international border late in March 2020, to keep their island population of approximately 140,000 people safe from COVID-19.
In 2022, alongside other security challenges like climate change and transnational crime, the region’s policymakers will have to show further resilience and ingenuity as they navigate the region through and out of the pandemic.

COVID-19 – the Pacific Response: 2021 in Review

Although COVID-19 will remain a major challenge for governments in the Pacific, there is hope that 2022 will see the region reconnecting with the rest of the world.
In a terrifying glimpse of things to come, this current La Nina is raising sea levels by 15-20 centimetres in some western Pacific regions – the same sea level rise projected to occur globally by 2050, regardless of how much we cut global emissions between now and then.

La Nina Raised Sea Levels in the Western Pacific by up to 20cm

Severe coastal flooding inundated islands and atolls across the western equatorial Pacific last week, with widespread damage to buildings and food crops in the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
“As the Pacific region gradually reopens borders, safeguarding health, resuming safe travel, strengthening economic management, and promoting fiscal sustainability will be key to ensuring a resilient recovery from COVID-19,” said ADB Director General for the Pacific Leah Gutierrez.

Tourism to Help Pacific Growth Redound in 2022: ADB Report

The economies of the Pacific are set to rebound in 2022, according to the latest issue of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Pacific Economic Monitor (PEM) launched today.
"Tackling borderless issues like malaria elimination and COVID-19 requires an all-hands on deck approach to end this disease once and for all,” said H.E. Dr Lotay Tshering, Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bhutan.

Asia Pacific Leaders Unite in Renewed Call to Eliminate Malaria Amidst the Pandemic

H.E. Dr Lotay Tshering, Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bhutan, addressed the 2021 Asia Pacific Leaders Dialogue for Malaria Elimination today with an appeal to galvanize action towards ending malaria, the world’s oldest pandemic.
CANDO consortium met last week to discuss how best they can support those who are affected by the rioting and looting. There are a lot of people who are in trauma and are afraid to go out and about especially to public areas. The Church leaders discussed and came up with the idea to support those affected by bringing fresh fruits and vegetables.

Shining the Light in Times of Darkness

Church Agencies Network for Disaster Operation (CANDO) partners on Wednesday, 8th have mobilised to assist the Chinese families, their local workers and impacted friends who have been affected by the recent social unrest.
“The University welcomes the timeliness of this event, a reflection of the strong commitment by resilient youth leaders to fulfil the 2030 Agenda, specifically Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 in support of building a peaceful, just, and inclusive societies through the promotion of good governance,” said Prof. Pal Ahluwalia.

The Pacific Youth Summit: The Values of Integrity for the Achievement of Sustainable Development

Around 5,000 youths, professionals and anti-corruption practitioners from across the Pacific converged to commemorate International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December) with the 2021 theme, “Your right, your role: Say no to Corruption."
This final vote can be held any time before October 2022. The loyalist parties who support remaining a part of France favoured an earlier vote to consolidate their majority and allow for speedy recovery of the stagnating economy.

Why New Caledonia’s Final Independence Vote Could Lead to Instability and Tarnish France’s Image in the Region

France is persisting with its decision to hold the final of three independence referendums in New Caledonia on December 12, disregarding Indigenous independence leaders’ calls for a postponement of the vote and now for “non-participation” – effectively a boycott – due to the impact of the COVID pandemic on their communities.
The aftermath of the looting and riots at Chinatown in central Honiara.

The Cruel Ironies of the 2021 Honiara Riots

If you're foraging for irony and surprise in the ashes of Honiara's riots, there's plenty to be found.
66% of respondents thought their country was heading in the wrong direction. Only 18% said it was going in the right direction. Solomon Islanders aren’t the only people to be negative about their future, but a figure of 18% does put them at the pessimistic end of the international spectrum.

Solomon Islander Views

The riots in Solomon Islands last week have thrust the small Pacific country into the international spotlight. What is their cause?