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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 »

Melanesia takes lead on brokering future peace for West Papua

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Disappointed … but a step forward. United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) leaders Octo Mote (left) and Benny Wenda with observer status at the Honiara meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Image: Stefan Armbruster/SBS

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Stefan Armbruster in Honiara

Melanesian nations have taken the lead in trying to broker a peaceful future for Indonesia’s contested West Papuan provinces.

Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia’s FLNKS took the step at the 20th Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) summit in Honiara.

Since Indonesia took over the former Dutch colony in the 1960s, there has been a brutal conflict in West Papua that is estimated to have cost hundreds-of-thousands of lives. Read more »

Asia-Pacific political media PJR book launched at AMIC 2015

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AMIC secretary-general Ramon R. Tuazon, chairman Dr Crispin C. Maslog, and PMC director Dr David Robie at the book launch in Dubai. Image: Tarleen Archuleta/AUD

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch in Dubai

A new book edition of Pacific Journalism Review featuring Asia-Pacific political journalism has been launched at AMIC 2015 along with three titles by prolific Filipino mass communication scholar Dr Crispin C. Maslog.

Editor Professor David Robie of PJR spoke at the launch of the special edition marking 20 years of publication of the regional research journal and praised the collaboration between the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) and Pacific Media Centre (PMC) at the Auckland University of Technology.

“Publication of this book represents a new stage in the Asia-Pacific partnership between these two centres and we hope more books of this nature will follow for the region,” he said. Read more »

Tropical cyclone Pam leaves 24 dead, thousands displaced in Vanuatu wake

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Vanuatu blames tropical cyclone Pam devastation on climate change. Interview with Alex Mathieson, former Vanuatu country director for the aid group Oxfam. Video: DemocracyNow

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

Twenty-four people have been confirmed dead days after a massive tropical cyclone lashed the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.

“There are 24 confirmed fatalities, 11 from Tafea, eight from Efate and five from Tanna,” the UN’s Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a situation report.

SBS correspondent Stefan Armbruster is in Port Vila and reports here. Read more »

More tuna eating needed for public health in Pacific, says study

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Tuna fisheries … need to allocate more of the catch for local Pacific consumption. Inage: SPC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By  Jean-Noel Royer in Noumea

In the ongoing battle against obesity, heart disease and diabetes in the Pacific region, a new study has revealed that allocating sufficient tuna for local consumption and keeping it affordable could significantly improve health outcomes.

Pacific Island communities have the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the world, primarily because traditional foods such as root crops, fish and shellfish are being replaced by relatively cheap, energy-dense and nutritionally-poor imported foods.

Increased consumption of fish and shellfish, which are rich in protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, is seen as an important part of the solution. Read more »

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