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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 »

Pacific languages more popular with youth but funding cuts impact on role

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Professor Tania Ka’ai speaking at the launch of the Cook Islands language app. Image: International Centre of Language Revitalisation

In spite of an increase in interest in Pacific languages from second and third generation Pacific Islanders in New Zealand, critics say the government “doesn’t value Pasifika languages and cultures”. Asia-Pacific Journalism reports in the wake of Pasifika Education Centre funding cuts.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Mata Lauano

Language retention among second and third generation Pacific people is on the rise, but recent funding cuts to a major education provider is jeopardising this.

Labour MP Su’a William Sio says funding cuts to the Pasifika Education Centre could mean the demise of a charitable trust that exists to preserve, maintain and promote the use of Pacific languages.

This doesn’t bode well for the retention of Pacific languages in New Zealand, says Su’a. 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 »

SIDS wrap in Samoa: It really is a matter of life and death

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Facing the future … the SIDS conference in Apia, Samoa, this week. Image: SIDSlive.com

Pacific Scoop:
Comment – By Mata’afa Keni Lesa

The urgency with which a number of challenges the small island developing states are confronted with means only one thing. That is the third Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference, which has just ended in Samoa, cannot be treated as business as usual.

While it’s easy to get lost and become totally overwhelmed by the emotions and magnitude of the issues and the personalities who have been to Samoa to talk about them, the reality of life for small island states must never be forgotten.

It’s quite scary in fact. Our islands are slowly but surely sinking. Coastal erosion and sea level rise are becoming more menacing with each single day so that countless families have had to relocate or risk being swept out to sea. Read more »

NZ failing support for threatened Pasifika languages, say linguists

Tongan school dancers in the annual Polyfest in Auckland ... keeping the language alive. Image: Spasifik magazine

Tongan school dancers in the annual Polyfest in Auckland … keeping the language alive. Image: Spasifik magazine

New Zealand doesn’t have enough parents from Pacific communities – Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau in particular – speaking indigenous languages to be able to speak to their children. Asia-Pacific Journalism reports on a threat to vulnerable languages.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Eva Corlett

Pasifika and Māori cultural well-being is under threat through the decline of native language speakers – with some Pacific languages tipped to disappear this generation if the New Zealand government does not act now, say many linguists.

A recent Victoria University report indicates growing inequality in areas such as smoking, obesity, employment, tertiary degrees, beneficiary agreements and income of Pacific and Māori people within New Zealand.

“Loss of language always occurs first among the most marginalised and disadvantaged groups in society,” says University of Auckland Professor Stephen May – an international and national authority on bilingualism and language rights – as Tongan Language Week opens tomorrow. Read more »

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