Regional Archive January 2009

Turtle Tag Recoveries Go Online

Press Release - For the first time, tagged turtles recovered throughout the Pacific can be reported quickly and easily to the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) using a simple online form.

DNA Study Supports Taiwan as Pacific's Origin

DNA of a certain parasite has helped to provide further evidence of Pacific settlers having originated from Taiwan.

Forum Leaders Special Retreat Communique on Fiji

Press Statement : PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM SPECIAL LEADERS' RETREAT: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 27 January 2009.

Another Fiji Times Publisher Deported

Rex Gardener, the Fiji Times publisher who replaced Evan Hannah, the publisher that was forcefully deported from Fiji last year by the interim government, has also been served with deportation papers today and expected to leave tomorrow.

Connectivity Theme of Pacific Wetlands Celebrations

Press Release: The impacts human activities have on watersheds, rivers, mangroves, coral reefs, and other types of wetlands, is the message behind planned celebrations of global wetland conservation in the coming weeks.

Vanuatu Faces New Drug Threat: Opium

Vanuatu, already engaged in a battle against the trade of cannabis, now has to face the production and trade and of another drug, opium.

Pacific ACP Countries and Timor Leste Agree on 10th EDF Priorities

PRESS STATEMENT (02/09)21st January 2009 - Representatives of the Pacific ACP countries together with Timor Leste have agreed on a number of high priority areas to be developed into project proposals to be considered for funding under the 10th EDF Regional Indicative Programme of the European Commission.

Vanuatu Newspaper Publisher Assaulted by Prison Officers

The publisher of Vanuatu's Daily Post was brutally assaulted by members of the country's Correctional Services following the publication of pictures and stories on the burning down of the former French prison in Port Vila.

Pacific Islands Forum-Fiji Joint Working Group on the Situation in Fiji

PRESS STATEMENT (01/09)19th January 2009AGREED OUTCOMESThe Working Group held its thirty-fifth meeting at the Forum Secretariat Headquarters in Suva on 19 January 2009, attended by senior officials from Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tuvalu.

Update 2: Flooding in Fiji

As the flooding situation continues in Fiji, help is pouring in from neighbours and authorities are starting the enormous task of assessing the damages left behind by the floodwaters.

New Advisory Center to Improve Pacific Infrastructure

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - A partnership of government and international development agencies today announced the establishment of a new advisory center to assist in improving infrastructure and services in Pacific Island nations.

USP Professor and Oceania Centre Founder Passes Away

University of the South Pacific professor and acclaimed writer, Epeli Hau'ofa, has passed away in Suva, Fiji.

Climate Refugees - the Hidden Cost of Climate Change

By Margarita Windisch (Green Left Weekly) 3 December 2008 - The culturally diverse 7 million Pacific Islanders live in 22 nations. They only contribute 0.06 percent to global greenhouse gas emissions but are three times more vulnerable to climate change than countries of the global North, according to the IPCC.

Update: Fiji Flooding

Flooding is still affecting the Western division of Fiji's main island of Viti Levu and other parts of the country with more casualties and destruction.

Flooding in Fiji's Main Island

The North West of Fiji's main island, Viti Levu, is experiencing prolonged heavy rain resulting in heavy flooding which had led to the shutting down of many areas including Nadi which is home to the country's main international airport and the loss of one life.

Sorcery Killings on the Rise in PNG

The number of people being killed for being allegedly involved in sorcery has risen in Papua New Guinea, with more than 50 people in last year alone becoming victims.

Former Australian Prime Minister Named PNG Chief

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 7, 2009) - The Prime Minister's office yesterday confirmed that Sir Michael Somare had written to former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke late last year to formally inform him of becoming a PNG chief.

Fiji Panel Seeks to Mend Relations with New Zealand

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 6, 2009) - A three-member team, headed by interim Education Minister Filipe Bole, will work at mending bilateral relations between Fiji and New Zealand.

Security Scare For PNG Airlines

Airlines operating in Papua New Guinea have been urged to tighten security after police found a rocket launcher and grenades concealed in a passenger's luggage.