Pacific

Pasifika critical of proposed changes to kava regulation

The food and drink regulator is calling for public comment on proposed changes to the food standard regulating kava use which it said would clarify the original intent of the kava standard, and limit its preparation and consumption to traditional use.

A kava health expert in New Zealand Apo Aporosa said the regulator's proposed changes are just the latest in a long list of questionable regulatory requirements for kava.

Investors should understand Pacific culture first

New Zealand needs to attract $40 million for a fund that will enable projects targeting climate change, sustainability and covid-19 recovery in the Pacific.

But, Pacific Cooperation Foundation Project Manager David Vaeafe said it's important the Pacific way is acknowledged, and the fund has the potential to do a lot of long term good.

China offers increased fisheries presence, IUU cooperation to Pacific island nations

During a recent meeting of the China-Pacific Island Countries Fishery Cooperation and Development Forum, held in Guangzhou, China, Ma Youxiang, the deputy minister of fisheries at China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said China stands ready to cooperate on finding solutions to problems related to illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, proposing the establishment of an “intergovernmental multilateral fishery consultation mechanism.”

New vaccine programme aims to reach 100 thousand Pacific kids

The three-year programme, which is part of a partnership between the charity Rotary and UNICEF, the UN children's agency, involves delivering vaccines for rotavirus and pneumococcal disease, while teenage girls will also be immunised to protect them from cervical cancer.

 

The vaccine rollout will run in Nauru, as well as Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue and Palau.

 

Work has started in Nauru, where Mizuli Apadinuwe's 14-year old daughter received the human papillomavirus vaccine that protects against cervical cancer.

 

Transparency says Pacific corruption survey invaluable

The Pacific has been included in Transparency latest global corruption barometer with a survey of more than 6,000 people from more ten Pacific countries.

It revealed rampant corruption in a number of Pacific states, with the survey participants revealing cases of bribery, vote buying and sexual extortion are common experiences.

Regional advisor, Mariam Mathew, said more needs to be done but this first initial information is invaluable.

NZ Reserve Bank to improve money transfers to the Pacific

The central bank's latest Financial Stability Report indicates the changes will improve the region's financial stability and prosperity, and assist with its recovery and growth.

Difficult access to banking services is one of the reasons why there has been a rise in the use of cryptocurrencies across the Pacific, which are largely unregulated, with trading prohibited in some nations.

Cost is another factor, with a recent study indicating New Zealand's recognised seasonal employer workers paid about 400-dollars a season in remittance transaction fees.

China to create fund to help Pacific Island countries defeat COVID-19

Wang made the remarks at the first China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Beijing via video link.

He said the bilateral relationship between China and the Pacific Island countries has shown a good development momentum, and the comprehensive strategic partnership has continued to deepen.

Relations between the two sides are based on mutual respect and equity, Wang said.

Double dip La Nina forecast for Pacific summer

La Niña is the phenomenon where the trade winds become stronger, warming waters in the Western Pacific and causing the sea surface temperatures in the Central and Eastern Pacific to cool.

These conditions can mean cooler and above normal rainfall in the west compared to the eastern Pacific.

Climate models and prediction tools used by Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological services (NMHSs) show this phenomenon is likely this summer.

Aust To Keep Making AstraZeneca Doses

Australian Health Minister, Greg Hunt on Thursday rejected reports CSL would stop producing the vaccine in Melbourne this year, as coronavirus cases reached a new national daily record.

“CSL and AstraZeneca are on track to complete the full 50 million-dose production run in Australia and the 3.8 million supply from overseas,” he told reporters.

“Our expectation and our plan is that that program will be completed in full. All of those extra doses are being supplied to the region.”

ADB to provide climate financing

Its President, Masatsugu Asakawa, said "the battle against climate change will be won or lost in Asia and the Pacific."

He said the crisis is worsening daily, so the bank is elevating its ambition to $US100 billion in cumulative climate finance from its own resources by 2030.

The expanded climate finance ambition will channel money towards five key areas:

First, new avenues for climate mitigation, including energy storage, energy efficiency, and low-carbon transport.