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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 »

‘No indigenous respect’ in climate deal, says Timor tribal chief

Indigenous peoples’ advocate Abdon Nababan … the rights of indigenous people are only mentioned in the preamble instead of the operational text. Image: Ryan Dagur

Indigenous peoples’ advocate Abdon Nababan … the rights of indigenous people are only mentioned in the preamble instead of the operational text. Image: Ryan Dagur

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Ryan Dagur

A leader of a Jakarta-based indigenous people’s organisation has expressed disappointment at the agreement recently adopted at the Paris climate conference COP21, saying the pact failed to show recognition of tribal peoples.

Abdon Nababan, secretary-general of the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago, said tribal peoples’ position as keepers of forest and peatland ecosystems ¬ which are vital for climate change mitigation ¬ should be strongly recognised.

“What I hoped for isn’t included in the Paris agreement. The rights of indigenous people are only mentioned in the preamble instead of the operational text,” said Nababan, who particpated in the Paris summit. 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 »

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

png sis climate change 2015 425wide

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 »

Balibo media killings widow angry over implicated Indonesian spy chief

Indonesia's top spy Sutiyoso thanks the presidential Jokowi team for support. Image: The Jakarta Globe

Indonesia’s top spy Sutiyoso thanks the presidential Jokowi team for support. Image: The Jakarta Globe

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

The widow of Australian journalist Greg Shackleton says it is a disgrace that a retired general implicated in the murder of the Balibo Five has been appointed chief of Indonesia’s intelligence agencies.

Almost 40 years since the killing of the five journalists in Timor-Leste, Shirley Shackleton fears the appointment of retired lieutenant-general Sutiyoso has dashed hopes of her husband’s remains ever being returned.

The 70-year-old Sutiyoso, who President Joko Widodo named in June as the new chief of the Indonesian Intelligence Agency (BIN), was an army captain in charge of a special forces unit in East Timor when the newsmen were killed on October 16, 1975. Read more »

Melanesia takes lead on brokering future peace for West Papua

west papua octo mote benny wenda honiara MSG 2015 425wide

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 »

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