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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 »

Push to ban transhipments in ‘out of control’ Pacific tuna fishery


Abuse at sea – “we were paid nothing at all”. One of a series of testimonies by abused fishermen. Video: Greenpeace

Transhipment – the process of transferring fish at sea from a smaller fishing vessel to a larger storage vessel – has been linked to overfishing, and calls have been made for a Pacific-wide ban. Asia-Pacific Journalism reports.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Michael Neilson

Pressure is mounting to outlaw Pacific region transhipments – a practice linked to overfishing – after Nauru’s decision to impose a ban in its waters.

This decision follows Greenpeace’s discovery of the Taiwanese longliner Shuen De Ching No. 888, which the environmental organisation claims had been fishing without permission near Nauru’s waters for two months.

Along with an illegal amount of shark fins, Greenpeace said the logbook also showed an implausibly low catch of five tonnes, suggesting the vessel had been transferring undocumented fish to another ship. 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 »

Fiji Report: Suva Declaration pushes losses, damages issue for COP21 in Paris

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President Tong of Kiribati (left) and Tongan Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva at the PIDF in Suva yesterday … “migration with dignity”. Image: KP Lew/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Kai Ping Lew in Suva

Recognising losses and damages as a separate issue from adaptation in climate change policy is one of the major developments featured in the Suva Declaration signed by seven Pacific leaders.

The third Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) summit in Suva saw leaders, civil society representatives and the private sector convening to form the declaration which will be brought before COP21 Paris in 12 weeks’ time.

The previous COP agreement featured losses and damages as an element under adaptation, forcing governments to prioritise between both. Read more »

Fiji Report: PM Bainimarama blasts ‘coalition of selfish’ on climate change


Video clip at the opening of the third PIDF today by Niklas Pedersen.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Niklas Pedersen in Suva

Fiji Prime Minister Voreque Bainimarama used the first day of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) in Suva to call for further assistance from Australia to fight climate change.

Bainimarama once again used his self-coined term “coalition of the selfish” to describe the policy of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott over climate change.

“Mr Abbott, it’s time to put the welfare and survival of your Pacific Island neighbours before the expansion of your existing coal industry,” Bainimarama said, according to PIDF’s website. 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 »

NZ’s silence in Pacific climate change talk disappoints local lobby groups

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A church damaged by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu. Image: Helen Manson/Tearfund

New Zealand recently set a new climate change target to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 – less than what was promised five years ago at Copenhagen. Critics say “that’s shameful”, reports Asia-Pacific Journalism.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Georgina Harris

New Zealand’s lack of Pacific climate change talk in a United Nations Security Council debate in New York last month has disappointed local non-government organisations.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully gave a statement at the New Zealand-sponsored open debate on July 31 that discussed peace and security challenges facing small island developing states (SIDS).

The debate, opened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, was New Zealand’s final intitiative of its month-long presidency of the Security Council. Read more »

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