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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 »

Rainbow Warrior campaign pushes spotlight on Pacific fish ‘laundering’

Crew of illegal fishing vessel Shuen De Ching No.888 look on as the Rainbow Warrior pulls up alongside. The Rainbow Warrior travels in the Pacific to expose out of control tuna fisheries. Tuna fishing has been linked to shark finning, overfishing and human rights abuses.

The crew of the illegal fishing vessel Shuen De Ching No.888 watch as the Rainbow Warrior pulls up alongside. Tuna fishing has been linked to shark finning, overfishing and human rights abuses in the Pacific. Image: Greenpeace

Nauru’s recent announcement that it would ban transshipping practices makes it the third Pacific Island country to do so. Asia-Pacific Journalism reports on the impact for the region.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Kai Ping Lew

Nauru has joined the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu to become the third country in the Pacific to ban the controversial practice of transhipping.

The ban comes in the wake of the Rainbow Warrior III discovering Taiwanese longliner Shuen De Ching No 888 operating illegally in its waters, including offloading its catch to a mothership and keeping incomplete records of its catch.

The practice of transhipping allows longliner vessels to stay out on the high seas without coming to port for long periods at a time by transferring their catch to other ships. 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 »

Do more for the Pacific over ‘climate refugees’, pleads asylum case lawyer

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Vanuatu’s Cyclone Pam in March … increasingly intense weather patterns in the Pacific make it difficult for agriculturally reliant communities to support themselves. Image: Pacific Scoop archive

A lawyer who defended a Kiribati national seeking asylum in New Zealand based on climate change says more can be done for Pacific people whose islands are significantly threatened by rising sea levels, writes an Asia-Pacific Journalism reporter.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Latifa Daud

The lawyer who defended Ioana Teitiota, a Kiribati national seeking asylum in New Zealand because of climate change, says the Supreme Court decision could open doors for future climate change cases.

The two-year long campaign to allow Teitiota and his wife to stay in New Zealand as “climate change refugees” was denied by the Supreme Court in July 2015. The ruling was based on a claim that the Kiribati government is taking steps to ensure the safety of its citizens.

The 1951 Refugee Convention says that to claim refugee status, one must face persecution based on religion, ethnicity or being a member of the social group. 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 »

Pacific anger lingers 30 years on after the Rainbow Warrior spy ‘fiasco’

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The new Rainbow Warrior book being relaunched tomorrow on the 30th anniversary of the 1985 bombing by French secret agents. Image: David Robie/Little Island Press

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Neil Sands of Agence France-Presse

The ire still crackles in Pete Willcox’s voice when he discusses the sinking of the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior.

Willcox was captain of the environmental group’s converted trawler when frogmen working for French intelligence slipped into Auckland Harbour late on July 10, 1985, and fixed two large limpet mines to its hull.

Portuguese-born photographer Fernando Pereira died in the subsequent blasts, which New Zealand’s then Prime Minister David Lange described as “a sordid act of international state-backed terrorism”. Read more »

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