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Digital broadcasting switchover starts for Pacific nations

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PNG’s Minister for Finance James Marape switches on Fiji-based Click TV’s equipment at the launch of the first HD broadcaster in the Pacific Islands. with him is Reenal Deo (left), Click’s engineering manager and managing director Richard Broadbridge (right). Image: Click TV

Nine Pacific countries now national “roadmaps” for the transition to digital broadcasting. Without a digital switchover, Pacific broadcasters face increased costs, reports Asia-Pacific Journalism.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Matthew Hutching

Following the Pacific Media Partnership conference in Apia last month, there are plans for Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga to start the transition to digital broadcasting within the next two years.

The conference was organised by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union and International Telecommunication Union with the aim of addressing the challenges of content production, new technologies, and digitisation of broadcasting in the Pacific region.

So far, the ITU has helped nine Pacific countries develop national “roadmaps” for the transition to digital. They include Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tonga. Read more »

Push to ban transhipments in ‘out of control’ Pacific tuna fishery


Abuse at sea – “we were paid nothing at all”. One of a series of testimonies by abused fishermen. Video: Greenpeace

Transhipment – the process of transferring fish at sea from a smaller fishing vessel to a larger storage vessel – has been linked to overfishing, and calls have been made for a Pacific-wide ban. Asia-Pacific Journalism reports.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Michael Neilson

Pressure is mounting to outlaw Pacific region transhipments – a practice linked to overfishing – after Nauru’s decision to impose a ban in its waters.

This decision follows Greenpeace’s discovery of the Taiwanese longliner Shuen De Ching No. 888, which the environmental organisation claims had been fishing without permission near Nauru’s waters for two months.

Along with an illegal amount of shark fins, Greenpeace said the logbook also showed an implausibly low catch of five tonnes, suggesting the vessel had been transferring undocumented fish to another ship. Read more »

Growing Fiji youth suicide problem pushes agencies into action


Niklas Pedersen reports from his recent Fiji assignment. Video: PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Niklas Pedersen

A suicide or attempted suicide is now reported every day and a half in Fiji, say police.

Over the past three years, 422 people has taken their own lives in Fiji. This is almost three times the number of road fatalities in the same period.

Those numbers were highlighted as hundreds of people marched through Suva for World Suicide Prevention day in the middle of September. Read more »

Mobile eye clinic changes lives for thousands of Fijians

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A patient being given an eye examination at the Fred Hollows Foundation clinic in Fiji. Image: Zoomfiji

The World Health Organisation says three-quarters of all blindness can be prevented or treated, with the Pacific Islands having one of the highest rates of avoidable blindness in the globe. Asia-Pacific Journalism reports on the Fred Hollows Foundation’s new mobile eye clinic in Fiji.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Emma Jones

An 11.5 metre container on wheels, about the same size as a Kiwi holiday caravan, has already changed the lives of more than 3000 Fijians – and it has only been working four months.

Earlier this year the Fred Hollows Foundation shipped its mobile eye clinic to Fiji. With it being the first of its kind in the world, it was an ambitious and risky venture for the charity.

The goal of the clinic is to provide eye assessments and surgery to people in outlying villages who, due to financial or supportive constraints, are unable to make the journey to Suva for treatment. Read more »

Small Pacific states defiant over stronger climate change stance


Niklas Pedersen reporting from Fiji … Pacific leader calls for stronger action on climate change in Suva spilled over into Port Moresby at the Pacific Islands Forum this week. Video: PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Koro Vaka’uta and the PNG media

The Pacific Forum leaders summit has concluded without unity on climate change. While leaders have talked of solidarity, cracks have appeared over the subject of climate change.

Representatives from the 16 forum member countries gathered in Port Moresby over the week to address issues concerning the region, but there are a several conflicting positions, particularly when it comes to Australia and New Zealand.

Small island states have called for a global moratorium on new coal mines, which may struggle to get the backing of the wider forum, and enough of a reduction in emissions so that global temperature increases do not exceed 1.5°C over pre-industrial levels. Read more »

‘We won’t be intimidated’ over West Papua at Forum, says Sogavare

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Solomon Islands stands firm over the West Papua cause. Image: PNG Loop

Pacific Scoop:
Makereta Komai in Port Moresby

Solomon Islands will not be intimidated by Indonesia or other countries in the Pacific Islands Forum in its push for West Papua.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is willing to take it to the next level, to demand global action through its membership of the United Nations in New York.

Speaking to journalists, Sogavare said he was in Port Moresby this week with three proposals – to push for observer status, agree to a high level fact finding mission and have West Papua listed in the United Nations Committee Decolonisation Committee, known as the Committee of 24. Read more »

Fiji Report: ‘Read more with your children’ pleads education minister

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Teacher Mareani Sanegar left Rewa at 6am with her Year Three and Year Four students, taking a boat to attend the Literacy Day celebration in Suva. Image: KP Lew/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Kai Ping Lew in Suva

Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy says there is a “deficit culture” of thinking and reading in Fiji.

Speaking at the Literacy Day celebrations at Ratu Sukuna Park, Suva, he added that in order to have a knowledgeable society, Fiji needed to have a literate generation.

He appealed to parents to spend time with their children, encouraging them to read. Read more »

Fiji Report: Minister Rosy Akbar calls for united stand over ‘national shame’


Video report from Niklas Pedersen.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Niklas Pedersen in Suva

Fiji’s Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar, has branded Fiji’s crisis on violence against women as a “national shame”.

Figures from the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre shows more than 750 new cases of domestic violence just this year.

The minister spoke at this week’s third meeting of Interagency Taskforce on Elimination of Violence against Women and Children on Tuesday and called for a united stand against the crisis. Read more »

Indonesia may ‘team up’ with Pacific states for climate pact at COP 21

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Pacific island states … similar characteristics with much of Indonesia. Image: PNG Loop

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By PNG Loop in Port Moresby

Indonesia may team up with the Pacific Islands to put pressure on other countries to agree on a universal, legally binding climate agreement at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) in Paris this December.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi has returned from her visit to Fiji, where she attended the Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF) and discussed how to build resilience over climate change.

“The focus is how the Pacific Islands prepare adaptation and mitigation measures for climate change,” the ministry’s spokesperson, Armanatha Nasir, said. Read more »

Smaller Pacific states’ Port Moresby Declaration calls for coal moratorium

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Pacific smaller island states representatives in Port Moresby. Image: PNG Loop

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By PNG Loop in Port Moresby

Leaders of the Pacific Smaller Island States have called on all nations  – especially  the advanced economies in the region – to rise to the challenge of climate change.

They want to steer the world on a path where climate change is no longer a threat to earth.

As a first step, they called for a global moratorium on all new coal mines. Read more »

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