Regional Archive August 2009

Protecting the Natural Heritage of Samoa

Press Release - As fairytales go, Hamelin used a pied piper and pipes to rid the town of rats. In real life, Samoa is using a helicopter and rat bait.

Samoan Court Rules Road Switch Will Go Ahead

Samoa's Supreme Court has ruled that the switch from right to left-hand driving will go ahead, rejecting the lobby by a group wanting to stop the switch.

ADB Emergency Loan to Help Rebuild Fiji's Flood-Affected Rural Economy

28 August 2009 - MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is extending an emergency loan of $17.6 million to help rebuild damaged infrastructure and revive economic activity in rural areas of Fiji that were badly affected by floods earlier this year.

Asia's Progress on Millennium Development Goals Remains Mixed - ADB

Asia and Pacific countries continue to make broad progress in reducing extreme poverty but hunger still remains widespread and many economies are struggling to meet other Millennium Development Goals (MDG), including reductions in maternal mortality rates and access to sanitation, latest available data show.
Names of the 74 lives lost in the tragedy, engraved in marble.

Tonga Holds Mass Burial at Sea for Victims of Shipping Tragedy

The island kingdom of Tonga held a mass funeral at sea for the victims of the MV Princess Ashika tragedy yesterday.

Swine Flu Deaths in Tahiti and New Caledonia

Tahiti and New Caledonia have had recent cases of deaths resulting from influenza A (H1N1) or Swine Flu, as it is more commonly known, prompting the French government to send medical and technical reinforcements.
The tragic MV Princess Ashika on the seabed as captured by a Remote Underwater Operating Vehicle.

Families of Shipwreck Victims End Vigil As Search Ends

The families of the victims of the Tongan vessel, MV Princess Ashika, ended their 17-night vigil on Friday. Earlier, the country's Police Commander, Chris Kelley, announced that the aerial and surface search for survivors has ended.

PNG Pulls out of Pacific Mini Games

The Papua New Guinea Athletics team won't be part of the Pacific Mini Games in the Cook Islands in September.

Concerted Action Needed Now to Help Stabilize Pacific Economies, Says ADB

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Economic growth in the Pacific region in 2009 is expected to dip below earlier forecasts, but will remain positive at 2.8%, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) publication released today (17 August 2009).

PNG Terrain and Weather Slows Rescue

The thick jungles of the Owen Stanley ranges, near Kokoda in Papua New Guinea, and bad weather are slowing combined efforts to recover the bodies of 13 people, including nine Australians, killed in Papua New Guinea's worst air crash.
Flowers are thrown over the last mooring place of the MV Princess Ashika.

Search Ongoing for Survivors of Shipping Tragedy

The search for survivors of the sunken ship, MV Princess Ashika, is still ongoing as numbers of passengers reported to be onboard the vessel when tragedy struck increase.

Greenpeace Captain Arrested in Pacific Campaign

The captain of the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, Vladimir Votiacov, was arrested by Cairns police last week after taking part in a blockade of the Hay Point coal.

Search on for Survivors of Sunk Tongan Ship

The search is on for more survivors of passengers of MV Princess Ashika, which overturned in Tongan waters late Wednesday, with fears that women and children were unable to make it out of the sunken ship.
Wayne Suliana, the Fijian national among the 24-member crew, which also includes 11 Tuvaluans, of German container ship, Hansa Stavanger.

Pacific Island Hostages Freed

The crew of a German vessel that had been captured by Somali pirates in April, among which were a Fijian and 12 Tuvaluans, have been finally freed after a ransom was paid.

40th Pacific Islands Forum Opens with Concern for the Situation in Fiji

Press Statement - 5 August, 2009 - The situation in Fiji remains a concern for the Pacific Islands Forum as Leaders gather for their 40th Forum in the Australian northern city of Cairns.

Response to Economic Crisis must be Pacific Tailored - SG

Press Statement - Cairns, 4th August 2009 - A regional conference addressing how to tackle the impact of the global economic crisis on countries in the Pacific region has been told that any response to the crisis must be a Pacific tailored one acknowledging the special challenges of the region.

Leaders Arrive in Cairns for 40th Pacific Islands Forum

Pacific Islands Forum Leaders have started arriving in Australia's northern city of Cairns for the 40th Forum which official opens on Wednesday 5th August 2009.

Commonwealth Gives Fiji Deadline

The Commonwealth has given Fiji until September this year to announce a 2010 election or it will be suspended fully from the Commonwealth.