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US withdrawal from Pacific tuna treaty will take effect next January

Starkist tuna from American Samoa ... A drop in tuna prices in 2015 has been blamed by fishing trade journals as a reason that US fishermen are struggling in the Pacific Ocean. Image: Danny Johnston/LAT

Starkist tuna from American Samoa … A drop in tuna prices in 2015 has been blamed by fishing trade journals as a reason that US fishermen are struggling in the Pacific Ocean. Image: Danny Johnston/LAT

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch in Suva

The decision by the United States to withdraw from the 30-year Tuna Treaty with Pacific Island countries will not take effect until January 2017, says Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) deputy director general Wez Norris.

In his initial response to Pacnews queries, Norris admitted that the impact of the US withdrawal “will be markedly different among individual Pacific Island Parties (PIPs)”.

“Some of them have viable alternative markets that could absorb their fishing days with relatively little impact. Others, however that are reliant on the Treaty to sell their days would struggle to achieve revenues similar to those currently enjoyed, said Norris. Read more »

#COP21: The Paris climate agreement: The real work starts now

The more ambitious target of 1.5C will be beyond our reach within a decade or two at current rates of fossil fuel use around the world. Image: Pulse

The more ambitious target of 1.5C will be beyond our reach within a decade or two at current rates of fossil fuel use around the world. Image: Pulse

Pacific Scoop:
Analysis – By
Pep Canadell and Rob Jackson

The Paris climate agreement is an extraordinary achievement. It codifies the long-term goal of keeping global temperature increases below 2°C. It also sets a more ambitious aspirational target of capping global warming at 1.5°C degrees.

But this more ambitious target will be beyond our reach within a decade or two at current rates of fossil fuel use around the world.

Beyond how achievable the goals are, and at what cost they can be achieved, they are aggressive and consistent with minimising the dangerous interference of human activities on the climate system. Read more »

COP21: Draft Paris Outcome on table for climate deal includes Pacific options

Draft Paris Agreement on the table ... relief for the moment for Pacific. Image: Politico

Draft Paris Agreement on the table … relief for the moment for Pacific. Image: Politico

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By
Makereta Komai, editor of PACNEWS, in Paris

After a week of negotiations, negotiators from 195 countries have produced a Draft Paris Outcome that is likely to become the new global climate agreement on 11 December.

To the relief of Pacific, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and G77 and China, the proposal by the United States and other developed countries to remove loss and damage from the Paris Agreement is now gone, replaced with a proposal (Option 1) to include it  as a stand-alone Article 5.

The second option wants to push Loss & Damage back to Article 4, alongside the Adaptation provision. 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 »

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 »

Pacific broadcast media aim to get people ‘to care’ about key goals


Pacific Media Watch’s Alistar Kata reports on community news and the UN sustainable development goals. PMC video

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Alistar Kata

Beyond2015, a global campaign focused on working with civil society groups to develop their regions, is planned to end poverty, inequality and climate change in the Pacific.

But the challenge is how to engage Pacific communities with these messages in a way they can understand.

Last weekend Pacific media were invited to a workshop in Auckland to come up with ways to get the message through. Read more »

Rainbow Warrior student campaign climaxes with author’s call for justice


Alistar Kata’s report on the Eyes of Fire book launch. Video: PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report by Michael Neilson

A two-month Eyes of Fire student educational campaign with a microsite on the Rainbow Warrior experience has climaxed this weekend with a relaunch of the book and the author calling for justice for the Pacific victims of nuclear testing.

The relaunch of David Robie’s Eyes of Fire coincided on Friday with the 30th anniversary of the Rainbow Warrior bombing by French spies on July 10, 1985, at Marsden Wharf in Auckland Harbour.

First published in early 1986, the book tells of Greenpeace’s campaign with the Rainbow Warrior against nuclear testing in the South Pacific, the penultimate mission to Rongelap, its subsequent bombing and the political fallout that followed. Read more »

Nuclear testing legacy haunts Pacific Island countries

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The cover of the Eyes of Fire memorial edition in 2005. In July, it will be 30 years since the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior. Cover image: John Miller

The Pacific will be virtually absent from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) review conference at the United Nations next week. Some regard this as an apparent sign of the overall decline of anti-nuclear advocacy in the region, which is seen as a worrying trend that needs to be arrested, writes Shailendra Singh.

Pacific Scoop:
Analysis – By Shailendra Singh

Prominent Pacific Island anti-nuclear campaigners want a revival of their once-robust movement to support the international effort against “nuclearism”.

Their call coincides with a major international meeting at the United Nations in New York – the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) from April 27 to May 22.

The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology while promoting co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Read more »

SIDS wrap in Samoa: It really is a matter of life and death

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Facing the future … the SIDS conference in Apia, Samoa, this week. Image: SIDSlive.com

Pacific Scoop:
Comment – By Mata’afa Keni Lesa

The urgency with which a number of challenges the small island developing states are confronted with means only one thing. That is the third Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference, which has just ended in Samoa, cannot be treated as business as usual.

While it’s easy to get lost and become totally overwhelmed by the emotions and magnitude of the issues and the personalities who have been to Samoa to talk about them, the reality of life for small island states must never be forgotten.

It’s quite scary in fact. Our islands are slowly but surely sinking. Coastal erosion and sea level rise are becoming more menacing with each single day so that countless families have had to relocate or risk being swept out to sea. Read more »

Women campaigners tackle Pacific deforestation, militarised disasters

Mere Ratuva and Celine Kearney

Fiji’s Mere Ratuva (left) and WILPF Aotearoa president Celine Kearney at the weekend conference against militarisation of the Pacific. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Paul Kendon

Tales of deforestation, militarised disaster and recovery aid, human rights abuses, infanticide, discrimination and indigenous marginalisation were the focus for an international women’s campaigners conference at the weekend.

A highlight was the screening of the documentary Noho Hewa: The Wrongful Occupation of Hawai’i by independent film maker Anne Keala Kelly which struck a chord with participants from several Asia-Pacific countries.

While the place names change, the stories remain the same, says president Celine Kearney of the Aotearoa section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). Read more »

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