Pacific Island

US to help Pacific islands access Green Climate Fund

Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama had said stringent criteria around access to the UN funding source should be relaxed so nations vulnerable to climate change could get help.

The US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Matthew J Matthews said having provided a billion US dollars to the fund, his country was deeply committed to it.

Mr Matthews said the US was doing what it could to simplify the application process in a way that provided efficiency and information for oversight of grants.

Australia provides new patrol boats to Pacific island region

Australia has also pledged to train law enforcement personnel.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop made the announcement at a Pacific Foreign Affairs Minister's meeting in Fiji's capital, Suva.
"Australia is certainly providing more resources and assistance," she said.
"For example some of the maritime issues including illegal fishing, drug trafficking and human trafficking … the Pacific Islands need more resources.

NZ Govt increases funding to Polyfest

The Pacific Peoples Minister, Alfred Ngaro, said the new funding would allow festival organisers to explore options to allow the festival to grow further.

He said his ministry would bring on a specialist and an advisory group to work with the Polyfest Trust, which has organised the festival for decades.

Mr Ngaro said the festival helped Pacific people gain confidence, leadership and many other skills, and he wanted to see more people there, celebrating Pacific diversity.


Photo: SUPPLIED Students from Avondale College perform at the festival. 

Extreme El Niño events likely to become frequent despite global warming

Under the Paris Climate Agreement, the international community is aiming to limit warming to 2 degrees celsius.

But the Australian-led study in the Nature Climate Change Journal found increases in global temperatures causing extreme El Niños would continue to see extreme weather events, even if the global temperature stopped rising.

The lead scientist from the Australia research institute CSIRO, Wenju Cai said the study indicates that extreme weather events are likely to become twice as common in the future.

Top rugby nations urged to tour Pacific Islands

The Scots were upset 27-22 in Suva at the weekend, one week after they stunned Australia in Sydney.

Italy were also beaten in Suva this month while Wales edged Manu Samoa 19-17 in Apia, a week after beating Tonga in Auckland, in a match originally scheduled for Nuku'alofa.

Flying Fijians coach John McKee said the feedback he received from the Scottish and Italian teams was encouraging.

Indonesia committed to Pacific, says ambassador

According to Tantowi Yahya, Indonesia, with its significant Melanesian population, considers itself part of the Pacific region.

He said that like Australia and New Zealand, Indonesia was interested in helping prosperity, democracy and human development in the Pacific.

Pacific Islands states, Ambassador Tantowi explained, could expect ongoing help from Indonesia on the big issues confronting them.

Pacific youth 'need to be aware of their self-worth'

A group from the Ola Fou programme was in Wellington last week for the PD Festival - that brought together youth workers from around the world.

The Pacific was represented by youth development workers from Vanuatu, Tonga, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Kiribati.

Regional manager for Ola Fou Sereki Korocowiri,who is from Fiji, says that youth culture in the Pacific is in a state of change.

Cooks gets good tourism report card

The Cook Islands International Visitor Survey report for the final quarter of last year shows the local tourism industry performing well.

The report, prepared by the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute and the Auckland University of Technology, showed visitor satisfaction levels and the desire for return visits remained very high.

Visitor yield also remained strong over the mid-2015 to mid-2016 period, largely accounted for by increased levels of expenditure on accommodation.

Labour mobility could still be a deal breaker for Pacer Plus

After more than six years of negotiations 12 Pacific Island Forum countries are expected to sign Pacer Plus this month..

Initially, the countries had pushed for legally binding arrangements on labour mobility but Australia and New Zealand convinced them otherwise, supposedly to protect the schemes' exclusivity to Pacific countries.

But the Solomon Islands foreign minister Milner Tozaka said it was still one of the main reasons they wanted to sign on.

Fiji's role at COP23 seen as great opportunity

In November, Fiji will be the president of the global climate change negotiations known as COP23, which follow on from landmark talks that led to a key climate agreement in Paris in 2015.

Krishneil Narayan, the co-ordinator of the Pacific Islands Climate Network, an umbrella organisation for 58 regional organisations, said this allows Pacific countries a real opportunity to highlight their plight.