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Archive for September, 2014

Chinese free-trade interests set up Asia-Pacific agenda ahead of APEC

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Indian and Chinese delegations meeting in Brazil ahead of the APEC summit planned for Beijing. Image: IPT

China is seeking a free trade agreement between ASEAN and Pacific nations ahead of the APEC summit due in November. But, reports Asia-Pacific Journalism, there are many challenges ahead.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Johan Chang

China’s pursuit of free trade within the Asia-Pacific region is shaping up as one of the key issues to be discussed at this year’s APEC summit to be held in Beijing in November.

China’s on-going efforts are to create a free trade area in the Pacific region by 2025.

New Zealand Committee of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (NZPECC) board member Robert Scollay says that the establishment of free trade is a very high priority for the Chinese government, alongside the promotion of regional connectivity, including issues such as telecommunications, transport, and people movement. Read more »

Bougainville community opposes Rio Tinto return to Panguna mine

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Bougainville President John Momis … dismisses the report introduced in the Federal Parliament by the Greens Party as “irresponsible”. Image: Pacific Scoop

Panguna community members are warning the Bougainville government that efforts must be made to heal the deep trauma caused by the decade-long civil war before arrangements to reopen the mine take place. Asia-Pacific Journalism reports on the issue.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Eva Corlett

A cross-section of the Bougainville community living near Panguna mine have expressed near universal opposition to the prospect of the mine re-opening, says a recent report.

Non-government organisation Jubilee Australia released the report, Voices of Bougainville, last week, which details individual and community response to the possibility of re-opening the mine.

The report interviewed 65 individuals from key villages near the site, including community leaders, youth, men and women, as well as conducting a focus group discussion with 17 participants. Read more »

Pacific at the crossroads over poverty – global climate change response the key

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A woman selling traditional handcrafts at a market on Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. Image: Lucas Dahlström/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Lucas Dahlström

Two thirds of the world’s deprived people in terms of poverty, hunger and lack of sanitation live in in Asia-Pacific, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

And with living costs rising faster than the general price level, there is a need to change the poverty measurements in the region, says the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Both UNDP and the ADB hosted a recent symposium “Poverty in Asia – a deeper look” which brought together thinkers and practitioners from leading institutions fighting poverty to discuss how to best measure and analyse data to make policy more effective. Read more »

Pacific Island nations develop new strategies to cope with diabetes

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Billboards like this in the Cook Islands are erected across the country to educate the people about the consequences of diabetes. Image: CI Ministry of Health

The number of people in the Asia-Pacific region suffering from diabetes is increasing every day, with now more than 138 million people estimated as having the disease. Asia-Pacific Journalism looks at how small countries such as the Cook Islands are developing new strategies.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Marcus Bank

Scooters and cars pass by it every day. Some don’t even notice it.

Others turn their head briefly to look at the billboard planted between palm trees on the main road leading in and out of the town of Avarua, capital of the Cook Islands.

The yellow and black hoarding shows the bottom of a foot. Four of the toes have a much darker colour then the rest. Read more »

NZ Voices Support for Small Island Developing Nations

Press Release – UN News

Foreign Minister Murray McCully of New Zealand addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/Kim Haughton Read more »

Goodman Fielder Appoints Reactive

Press Release – Reactive

Reactive is excited to announce a new partnership with Goodman Fielder, Australasias leading listed food company and the owner of consumer brands that every Australian and New Zealander has in their pantry including Edmonds, Vogel’s, Meadow Fresh, Meadow … Read more »

Pacific Islands Facing ‘Existential Threats’

Press Release – UN News

Joe Natuman, Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/Cia Pak Read more »

New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga

Press Release – NZ Red Cross

New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Haapai islands of Tonga. Read more »

5 Countries Consider Implementation of Zero Hunger Challenge

Press Release – FAO

Bangkok, Thailand 29 September, 2014 The Zero Hunger Challenge in Asia and the Pacific has taken another important step toward implementation, FAO announced today. Read more »

Traditional local knowledge helps Tonga face climate change

Press Release – Caritas Aotearoa

In the face of increasingly severe storms and changing weather patterns causing drought and floods, Caritas in Tonga is integrating traditional local knowledge of plants and weather warnings with scientific observations to help communities prepare and … Read more »

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