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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: ‘Counting the cost’ – constructive conference or a waste of time?


The Counting The Cost programme on COP21. Video: Al Jazeera

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch in Paris

Al Jazeera’s socio-economic current affairs show Counting The Cost has featured the future of Kiribati and the Pacific in a programme devoted to exploring whether the world will finally agree to a meaningful and binding agreement on carbon emissions.

Climate change has been called the biggest threat facing humanity, yet for years, countries, particularly rich ones, have done nothing to fundamentally tackle the issue.

Global carbon emissions have increased by more than 48 percent since 1992, when the first UN climate change conference took place in Rio de Janiero. 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 »

COP21: Fiji, Kiribati and Palau back ‘protect oceans’ action proposal

The opening of the indigenous peoples pavilion that showcases cultures and traditions from around the world at COP21 in Paris. Image: SPREP

The opening of the indigenous peoples pavilion that showcases cultures and traditions from around the world at COP21 in Paris. Image: SPREP

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Samisoni Pareti, editor-in-chief, Islands Business magazine, in Paris

Three Pacific island countries of Fiji, Kiribati and Palau have added their support to a European initiative that promotes the impact of climate change on oceans.

Prince Albert II of Monaco is spearheading the initiative, which has the support of 11 countries that included the three Pacific nations, as well as Aruba, Canada, Chile, France, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand and Sweden.

Under this initiative, the group has signed into the “Because the Ocean” declaration, which among other things calls on the United Nations’ panel of climate scientists known as the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change to produce a specific report about the impact of climate change on the ocean. Read more »

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 »

‘Disappearing nation’ Kiribati refugee ordered home: Sad case of Ioane Teitiota

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Ioane Teitiota’s wife Erika and their youngest child at the petition meeting on Monday. Photo: Ida Brock/TWN

“I have often said that this is the moral challenge because it calls on answers which are unprecedented – never written and never heard of, so this calls for outside-the-box solutions.”

– President Anote Tong, 2014

Pacific Scoop:
Special climate change analysis – By Taberannang Korauaba

The deportation of Ioane Teitiota by the John Key government signals a strong message to the low-lying islands in the Pacific that they are not disappearing because their people are still “alive”.

The New Zealand government’s response isn’t surprising given its admission a few weeks before the general election it won last year, it would not accept climate change refugees from the Pacific.

Prime Minister Key has missed a very important opportunity as the eyes of the world have been on New Zealand since 2013 when the courts rejected the climate change refugee case. Read more »

VIDEO: Kiribati ‘climate change refugee’ loses plea to stay in NZ


Niklas Pedersen reports for Te Waha Nui on the petition meeting. Video: TWN

Pacific Scoop:

Report – By Ida Brock and Niklas Pedersen of Te Waha Nui

Kiribati’s “climate change refugee” Ioane Teitiota and his family have lost their campaign to stay in New Zealand.

Associate Immigration Minister Craig Foss has declined to intervene in the case in spite of a petition in his support, reports TV3.

Te Waha Nui’s Ida Brock and Niklas Pedersen report that members of the Tuvalu and Kiribati communities in Auckland gathered on Monday to petition the New Zealand government about the fate of the family. 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 »

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