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Pacific Islands environmental advocates call on NZ to ‘do more’ on climate change


Video report by Niklas Pedersen of Asia-Pacific Journalism.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Niklas Pedersen

Leading climate voices from the Pacific Islands are trying to raise greater global warming awareness in New Zealand through a “Climate Tour” to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

The very existence of many of the island nations is threatened by the impact of climate change and they feel that their “big brother”, New Zealand, isn’t doing enough to help them.

Among the leaders speaking out, is the general secretary of the Christian Church of Tuvalu and founder of the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network, Rev Tafue Lusama. Read more »

Do more for the Pacific over ‘climate refugees’, pleads asylum case lawyer

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Vanuatu’s Cyclone Pam in March … increasingly intense weather patterns in the Pacific make it difficult for agriculturally reliant communities to support themselves. Image: Pacific Scoop archive

A lawyer who defended a Kiribati national seeking asylum in New Zealand based on climate change says more can be done for Pacific people whose islands are significantly threatened by rising sea levels, writes an Asia-Pacific Journalism reporter.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Latifa Daud

The lawyer who defended Ioana Teitiota, a Kiribati national seeking asylum in New Zealand because of climate change, says the Supreme Court decision could open doors for future climate change cases.

The two-year long campaign to allow Teitiota and his wife to stay in New Zealand as “climate change refugees” was denied by the Supreme Court in July 2015. The ruling was based on a claim that the Kiribati government is taking steps to ensure the safety of its citizens.

The 1951 Refugee Convention says that to claim refugee status, one must face persecution based on religion, ethnicity or being a member of the social group. Read more »

Raging Cyclone Pam bears down on Vanuatu – up to three other storms hit Pacific

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A flooded street in Port Vila today before Cyclone Pam had even hit Vanuatu. Image: UNICEF Pacific

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By the PMC news desk

As three tropical storms and cyclones raged across the Pacific today, aid agencies have been bracing for what could become an unprecedented relief response.

The centre of the cyclone’s circulation is expected to impact Port Vila. “[It’s] very bad news for Efate (population of 60,000) and the capital of Port Vila – they should at least get into the western eyewall,” said The Weather Channel meteorologist Matt Crowther.

Severe tropical cyclone Pam, tropical storm Bavi and cyclone Nathan were racing across the region with Pam expected to impact on Vanuatu. The Weather Channel reports a fourth storm in the Pacific. 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 »

Climate change ‘refugees’ won’t be allowed into NZ, says National

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Politicians front up for the sold-out Climate Voter elections debate in Auckland last night. Image: Generation Zero

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

New Zealand’s ruling party will not allow Pacific Islanders affected by climate change to seek refuge if it wins next month’s election.

Speaking at “The Great Climate Voter Debate” held in Auckland last night, New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser of the National Party, said the government had helped Pacific Island states with renewable energy and climate change adaptation projects.

“I am nowhere near convinced that we should start to divert what level of capacity we have to help refugees,” added Groser, who is also the Climate Change Minister. Read more »

Secret histories of the Pacific: Media coverage of the region

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Flashback to les évènements in New Caledonia in 1984 when Kanak militants staged an insurrection against French rule. Image: David Robie


Pacific Scoop:
Review – By Alison McCulloch

Well of course we’d rather read about the pregnancy of Monaco’s Princess Charlene than about media crackdowns in Timor-Leste or the run-up to Fiji’s first post-coup elections. What were you thinking?Journalists who cover the South Pacific are long used to being ignored in New Zealand’s mainstream news media. If our location was mapped according to the international focus of our Fourth Estate, New Zealand would probably lie somewhere in the Atlantic.

Coverage of Pacific nations by the New Zealand media tends to hover around 5 percent or less, depending on the research and the medium being looked at, with Radio New Zealand a notable exception. Read more »

USP appoints new journalism coordinator amid controversy

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Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Shireen Lata in Suva

A former broadcast journalism lecturer and media centre broadcaster of the University of the South Pacific, New Zealander Patrick Craddock, is returning to Suva to take up the journalism coordinator’s post.

Craddock replaces Australian Dr Ian Weber who resigned suddenly last week.

Craddock has worked for nearly 20 years in different countries in Africa and the Pacific teaching radio journalism, writing scripts and producing radio drama for adult education. Read more »

Ousted PM defends actions in Tuvalu political crisis, blames Governor-General

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Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Willy Telavi, is standing by his actions. Image: AFP

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

Former Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Willy Telavi, says he did  nothing wrong leading up to a vote of no confidence. Instead, Telavi has blamed the political turmoil on Governor-General Sir Iakoba Italeli.

Eight of the country’s 15 MPs voted for the motion, and Telavi was replaced by Enele Sopoaga as Prime Minister this week.

Prior to that, Telavi had been accused of delaying a vital by-election after the Minister of Finance died in December last year.

Read more »

Tuvalu PM may be ousted in upcoming no confidence vote

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Prime Minister Willy Telavi is still hopeful he will remain PM after the vote of no confidence later this month. Image: UN.org

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Daniel Drageset

Willy Telavi’s days as Prime Minister of Tuvalu may be numbered after the Governor-General of the Polynesian country called Parliament to sit at the end of this month.

A by-election in the Nukufetau constituency last Friday shifted the majority in the Tuvalu Parliament.

In the 15-member Parliament, eight of the current MPs are now part of the opposition, whereas seven are aligned with the Prime Minister.
Read more »

Media critics see new report as hopeful for ‘dysfunctional’ national bodies

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Communications Fiji’s news director Vijay Narayan speaking at the Media and Democracy symposium at the University of the South Pacific last year. Image: David Robie/PMC

National media associations in the Pacific have been reported as “dysfunctional and fractured” and are seen by some as irrelevant. However, a proposed new scheme may help provide a solution to some of these issues.

Pacific Scoop:
Asia-Pacific Journalism Report – By Holly Ryan

When asked to think about the Pacific, sandy beaches and remarkable underwater caves with a myriad of tropical fish are often the first thing to come to mind for New Zealand audiences

A history steeped in financial and political pressures, civil wars and fighting, however, is sometimes more accurate.

This “darker side” to the Pacific is often overlooked or only briefly brushed over in the news. So how can an area that has been so fraught be so largely overlooked in the media? According to a recent aid agency report, it comes down to a lack of media unity in the Pacific. Read more »

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