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Scoop Coverage: ‘In the Eye of the Storm’ Pacific Climate Change Conference 2016

In February 2016, Victoria University hosted its first climate change conference focused on the effects, challenges and possible solutions for countries in the Pacific.

Speakers from the Pacific region and beyond from a range of fields – science, politics, indigenous rights, media, arts and the environment – came together to discuss the realities of climate change in the Pacific.”

Thomas Leaycraft reported from the conference for Scoop. Read more »

AUT Pacific Media Centre launches AsiaPacificReport.nz news website

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By AUT Media

AUT’s Pacific Media Centre and Evening Report editor Selwyn Manning have teamed up to launch Asia Pacific Report, a news website that will provide a fresh “Pacific” voice to bolster Asia Pacific news and analysis in New Zealand.

PMC director Professor David Robie says the collaboration is a result of a gap in the media market for an independent Asia-Pacific voice that addressed issues of equity and justice.

“AsiaPacificReport.nz will feature in-depth current affairs news stories focused on telling the ‘untold stories’. It will be a public space for no froth journalism about real pressing issues,” he says. Read more »

#COP21: Drama over ‘most important global agreement in history’

The Paris Agreement on climate action ... what faces New Zealand's obligations to the Pacific? Image: COP21

The Paris Agreement on climate action … what faces New Zealand’s obligations to the Pacific? Image: COP21

Pacific Scoop:
Analysis – By Vernon Rive

For an hour and a half on Sunday evening – in the final excruciating stages of a marathon negotiating session involving through the night meetings on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – it looked as if a typo in the final draft text might derail proceedings on the Paris Agreement.

A ‘shall’ had been included in the final draft text of Article 4, a clause recording obligations of wealthy countries to set economy-wide targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions. It should have been ‘should’, the US team insisted.

The difference was no small one. A ‘shall’ would potentially have triggered the need for the Agreement to be presented to the US Senate for approval; a ‘should’, it seems, not. 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 ’s truth-seeking remembered as secrecy lingers

The Pen Sydney article.

The Pen Sydney article.

Pacific Scoop:
Commentary – By David Robie

EXCERPT: This seems to be a remarkable year of memories and reflection for freedom of speech and bearing witness struggles  in  the  Pacific  region.  The  townsfolk  and  children  of  the  remote  Timor-Leste border town of Balibó have recently marked the 40th anniversary of the murder of five young Australian-based television newsmen dubbed forever as the Balibó Five.

The November issue of Pen Sydney.

The latest issue of Pen Sydney.

The November issue of Pen Sydney.

On  16  October  1975,  the  five  journalists  –  Greg  Shackleton,  Gary  Cunningham  (New  Zealand),  Tony  Stewart, Malcolm Rennie and Brian Peters (both British) from  channels  Seven  and  Nine  –  were  reporting  on Indonesian  special  forces  incursions  into  independent Timorese territory. Read more »

AI accuses Australian border officials of ‘lawless’ actions on asylum-seekers

amnesty money 425wide

Graphic: Amnesty International

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

New evidence gathered by Amnesty International suggests that Australia’s maritime border control operations now resemble a lawless venture with evidence of criminal activity, pay-offs to boat crews and abusive treatment of women, men and children seeking asylum.

Through interviews with asylum-seekers, a boat crew and Indonesian police, a new report – By hook or by crook – exposes evidence that, in May 2015, Australian officials working as part of Operation Sovereign Borders paid six crew who had been taking 65 people seeking asylum to New Zealand US$32,000 and told them to take the people to Indonesia instead. The Australians also provided maps showing the crew where to land in Indonesia.

Witness testimonies backed by video footage reveal how the intervention by Australian officials endangered the lives of the people seeking asylum by transferring them to different boats that did not have enough fuel, and how the incident fits into a wider pattern of abusive so-called “turnbacks” or “pushbacks” of boats. Read more »

Remove all asylum seekers from Pacific detention centres plea to Turnbull


An alleged rape victim makes call to Nauruan police. Video: ABC News

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By the PMC news desk

An Australian women’s human rights campaign has appealed to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to urgently remove all asylum seekers from the Pacific detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.

The group Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru has announced that a crowd-funding drive has raised more than $20,000 to send investigative journalist Wendy Bacon and former West Australian premier Carmen Lawrence to Nauru to “bear witness” in the wake of allegations of 23 men, women and children being raped with impunity.

A 26-year-old Somalian woman – whose terrified phone plea to police for help after allegedly being raped was broadcast by ABC television – is still on Nauru. Police have dropped her case citing lack of evidence. Read more »

Pat on back for Pacific public health successes, but also criticism

Participants of a walk against Diabetes and for general fitness around Nauru airport.  Photo by Lorrie Graham.  Contact photolibrary@ausaid.gov.au to request a high resolution original.

A walk against diabetes and for health around Nauru airport. Image: Lorrie Graham/PhotoLibrary

Significant achievements in Pacific public health, reports Asia-Pacific Journalism. But there is a serious downside too.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Chelsea Armitage

Progress is being made in Pacific health in New Zealand in some areas, but falling short in others, says a recent public audit report.

The first six-monthly update on ‘Ala Mo’ui: Pathways to Pacific Health and Wellbeing 2014-2018 was released this month, collating quantitative data on Pacific health.

Pacific Islanders in New Zealand trumped the general Kiwi population in a number of factors, the report says. Read more »

19 years on, Wansolwara’s student journalists still tackle tough issues

distributing Wansolwara 425tall

Student journalists Avneel Abhishay Chand (left) and Sharol Kondaiya out distributing the latest issue of Wansolwara on the University of the South Pacific campus. Image: Wansolwara

Pacific Scoop:
Special Report – By Kai Ping Lew

The editorial supervisor watches the students like a hawk as they type frantically, occasionally barking questions about their stories.

Her eyes alternate between scanning the laptop in front of her and monitoring the progress of her reporters-in-training doing their best to meet the looming print deadline.

The modest classroom is a makeshift newsroom, home to the award-winning University of South Pacific’s Wansolwara student newspaper. “Wansolwara is pidgin for “one ocean, one people” and the newspaper covers serious local and regional issues. Read more »

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