Regional Archive March 2009

Strong Action Needed in the Pacific to Counter Global Crises: ADB

Economic growth in the Pacific will slow to 3%, down from a record 5.1% in 2008, as the impact of the global economic crisis and falling commodity prices takes it's toll on the region, says the ADB in a major new report.
19 year-old Mary Kuna with the bleeding crucifix in a cup at her home.
Picture by John Pangkatana

'Miracle' in PNG Drawing Crowds

A small bleeding and sweating statue of Jesus is being deemed a miracle in Papua New Guinea as many flock to see the sight for themselves.

Region's Officials Gather for Pacific Plan Meeting

Press Statement - The first meeting of the Pacific Plan Action Committee (PPAC) for 2009 convenes 31 March-1 April at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva, Fiji.

More Than 50 New Species Discovered in PNG

Scientists have discovered more than 50 new animal species in Papua New Guinea in an expedition in the country.

France to Compensate Victims of Nuclear Tests

The French government has announced that it will compensate victims of nuclear tests carried out by the government in the region and in Algeria.

The Coral Reef: The Year that was our Pacific focus for 2008

Press Release - Coral reefs are dying living organisms.

SPREP Supports Earth Hour

Press Release - Vote Earth, by turning off your lights for one hour on Saturday March 28 beginning at 8.30 pm local time, wherever you live in the Pacific.

Forum Education Ministers to Consider FBEAP Review

Press Statement - Pacific Islands Forum Education Ministers will gather in Nuku'alofa, Tonga 24 - 26 March to discuss a review of the Forum Basic Education Action Plan (FBEAP) which was endorsed in 2001.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Cancelled

A tsunami warning that had been issued for some islands in the region following an earthquake in Tonga has been cancelled.

ADB Welcomes New Companies Act

The Asian Development Bank A-D-B welcomes the passing of a new Companies Act in the Solomon Islands.

Underwater Eruption Off Tonga Coast Generating Interest

An underwater volcanic eruption off the coast of Tonga is generating interest with spectacular columns of smoke spewing out of the sea near Nuku'alofa, the country's capital.

PIF Chair Welcomes Outcome of Fiji Political Leaders' Forum

Press Statement - The Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum and Premier of Niue, the Hon Toke Talagi, MP, welcomes the resumption of the political dialogue in Fiji after a meeting of the Political Leaders Forum held in Suva on 13 March.

Human Rights Advisor: Pacific Laws Do Not Protect Women

Human Rights advisor, Imrana Jalal, says that Pacific laws on violence against women (VAW) are outdated and treat women with indifference and that Pacific Island governments need to make a concerted effort to review this legislation so that laws can better protect women.

One Islander's Climate Change Experience

Tomasi Daunivucu, a Fijian living in a village that sits on north-east edge of Viti Levu, Fiji's main island, reveals the signs of climate change taking place in his village.

New Zealand Removes Pacific Division of Immigration Department

New Zealand will remove the Pacific division of its immigration department following a report that revealed failures in the division.

ADB, PIFS Build Regional Cooperation

Press Statement - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 9 March 2009 establishing a framework to foster deeper cooperation to encourage conditions for sustainable growth and facilitate greater economic integration in the Pacific.

U.S. Supports Coral Triangle Initiative

The U.S. Ambassador Leslie Rowe announced the continued U.S. support of the Coral Triangle Initiative at the Senior Officials Meeting and Ministerial Meeting in Port Moresby.

Pacific Islands Meet to Save Marine Turtles

Press Release - Marine turtle conservation efforts throughout the Pacific region are driven by the sad fact that all marine turtle species are now experiencing serious threats to their survival.

Managing Your Wetland Sites

Press Release - There are six designated Wetlands of International Importance, or "Ramsar sites," in the Pacific islands region. Effectively managing these Ramsar sites is a significant challenge.

PNG MP Refuses Nomination of Women into Parliament

A Papua New Guinea MP has refused to support a bill that would allow women into the country's parliament and called on other Members of Parliament to reject the bill.

Deadly Plutonium Shipment Headed for Pacific

March 07, 2009 - Sydney/Suva - Last night's announcement by French nuclear company Areva that the largest ever plutonium (MOX ) shipment is enroute from France to Japan through the Pacific requires strong opposition from Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith.

Japan, ADB Grant to Improve Living Conditions in Remote PNG Communities

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan are assisting Papua New Guinea (PNG) to boost economic opportunities and improve living conditions, especially for women, in remote roadside communities in the Highlands region.

Fiji Faces Suspension from Commonwealth

Fiji faces suspension from the Commonwealth if it does not show "sufficient" progress towards returning to democratic rule.

Record Gas Discovery in PNG

The latest gas discovery in Papua New Guinea is said to be the largest in the Asia-Pacific region and possibly, the world.

PNG Hosts the Launch of the Pacific Inclusion Programme

"We are committed to financial inclusion and we are open to discussing the best way to reach more Papua New Guineans so they have savings, a way to transfer money safely and even financial education," said the Deputy Governor of the Bank of PNG, Loi Bakani.

Leatherback Turtle Nests Surveyed in Bouganville

Press Release - The leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) is the world's oldest and largest turtle. Having witnessed the extinction of the dinosaur and the development of mankind, this magnificent sea creature is now facing extinction in our Pacific Ocean.