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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 »

Indonesian ministry denies Papua ban on foreign journalists

France 24's Cyril Payen ... barred by Indonesia after controversial documentary. Image: France 24

France 24’s Cyril Payen … barred by Indonesia after controversial documentary. Image: France 24

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By 
Tika Primandari in Jakarta

Deputy Foreign Minister Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir has denied that the Foreign Ministry has imposed a ban against foreign journalists from entering Papua to cover human rights cases.

According to Fachir, journalists can enter Papua regardless of reporting material.

“There is no ban,” he said. Read more »

Distrust hinders hopes for West Papua peace, activist says

Latifah Anum Siregar ... Indonesian government focuses on corporate development, rather than people. Image: WANMEC

Latifah Anum Siregar … Indonesian government focuses on corporate development, rather than people. Image: WANMEC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By
Ryan Dagur in Jakarta

A lack of trust between the Indonesian government and the people of Papua has jeopardised hopes for a lasting peace in the restive province, according to a prominent human rights activist.

Persistent human rights abuses, a crackdown by the government on civil liberties and a focus on corporate development, rather than on the people, has left citizens feeling disenfranchised and distrustful, Latifah Anum Siregar said.

“We ask for open space for democracy, freedom of expression, and dialogue as promised by President Joko Widodo several times,” Siregar told ucanews.com during a two-day “Torture and Violence in Asia” workshop held in Jakarta. 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 »

COP21: Fingers point as threat from Papuan forest fires increases

October fires hit traditional indigenous lands in Merauke district in Papua province. Image: Pusaka

October fires hit traditional indigenous lands in Merauke district in Melanesian province of Papua in Indonesia. Image: Pusaka

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By
Ryan Dagur in Jakarta

While countries consider their climate change options for the future at COP21 in Paris, forest fires and the ensuing pollution have been growing problems in Indonesia.

For the most part, the scorched forest issue was isolated to the western Indonesian islands of Kalimantan and Sumatra. However, this year, the issue has plagued both Papua and West Papua, which raises concern among activists about the future of forests in these easternmost provinces.

“If it is not seen as a serious threat. It is a scourge for the future,” said Franciscan seminarian Yulianus Freddy Pawika of the Francisan commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation in Papua. Read more »

AUT students, staff stage West Papua human rights flag-raising ceremony

camille and west papua 425wide

Asia-Pacific Human Rights Coalition organiser Del Abcede, PMC Advisory Board member Associate Professor Camille Nakhid and PMC director Professor David Robie with West Papua’s Morning Star flag today. Image: Alistar Kata/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

A group of postgraduate students and staff today raised the West Papuan flag on campus at Auckland University of Technology in solidarity for Papuan self-determination.

The Morning Star flag-raising at the Pacific Media Centre was held to mark the day the banner was first flown 54 years ago – 1 December 1961.

Del Abcede of the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Coalition (APHRC) spoke of the risks and 15-year penalty for raising the banned flag in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua. Read more »

Melanesian Dreams doco exposes secrets in portrayal of Papua struggle


The Melanesian Dreams trailer.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

Dutch film maker Rohan Radheya has released a new independent documentary film on human rights and life in West Papua.

A trailer for Melanesian Dreams has been posted on YouTube and this is what he says about the 59 minute film made under cover: Read more »

Native Affairs in NZ media breakthrough on West Papua a ‘sign of change’


Alistar Kata interviews the Native Affairs crew. Video: PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Alistar Kata of Pacific Media Watch

Māori Television’s Native Affairs story on West Papua goes to air tonight. This is the report by the first New Zealand television crew allowed into the Indonesian-ruled Melanesian region in 50 years.

Given Indonesia’s strict policy on allowing access to foreign journalists, reporter Adrian Stevanon said their trip was a sign of change.

“I think the achievement is that we are able to build some sort of awareness here in New Zealand, that’s the real achievement,” he said. Read more »

Native Affairs trumps mainstream media in exclusive West Papua TV report

west papua 425wide

Preview of producer Adrian Stevanon’s groundbreaking report on West Papua. Image: MTS Native Affairs

“We were among the first media people allowed in in decades. The challenge now is to see if other media outlets in New Zealand will take the opportunity to try and apply.” Asia-Pacific Journalism reports on the West Papua mission by Adrian Stevanon.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Latifa Daud

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo lifting the foreign media ban in West Papua is a promising step, says Māori Television Native Affairs producer Adrian Stevanon.

Stevanon has recently returned from West Papua, saying the experience was “interesting” and his programme is being broadcast tonight.

“Going in you’re not so sure how things are going to play out on the ground. I felt pretty safe the whole time,” he says. Read more »

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