Pacific Scoop

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#COP21: Drama over ‘most important global agreement in history’

The Paris Agreement on climate action ... what faces New Zealand's obligations to the Pacific? Image: COP21

The Paris Agreement on climate action … what faces New Zealand’s obligations to the Pacific? Image: COP21

Pacific Scoop:
Analysis – By Vernon Rive

For an hour and a half on Sunday evening – in the final excruciating stages of a marathon negotiating session involving through the night meetings on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – it looked as if a typo in the final draft text might derail proceedings on the Paris Agreement.

A ‘shall’ had been included in the final draft text of Article 4, a clause recording obligations of wealthy countries to set economy-wide targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions. It should have been ‘should’, the US team insisted.

The difference was no small one. A ‘shall’ would potentially have triggered the need for the Agreement to be presented to the US Senate for approval; a ‘should’, it seems, not. 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: Forum’s Meg Taylor makes Pacific video plea to world leaders

Pacific Ocean Commissioner Meg Taylor’s “our future” video message. Video: PIF

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By
Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari

Pacific Ocean Commissioner Dame Meg Taylor has called on world leaders meeting in Paris to protect the Pacific region and the ocean.

In a video, Taylor said world leaders needed to protect the region and the ocean it depended on.

A statement from the Pacific islands Forum Secretariat revealed the video was watched more than 17,000 times in less than 24 hours, illustrating the power of social media to amplify Pacific voices during the Paris-based climate change negotiations. Read more »

COP21: Paris climate talks – COP21, or ‘cop out’?

A lack of deep and widespread public concern is why the Paris talks will end up being more talk than significant progress. Image: Think Big

A lack of deep and widespread public concern is why the Paris talks will end up being more talk than significant progress. Image: Think Big

Pacific Scoop:
Analysis – By David Ropeik in Paris

If you worry about climate change, really worry, you are aware of the United Nations-convened COP21 (Council of Parties) negotiations going on for the next week and a half in Paris.

But if you’re like most people, you don’t worry about climate change, not deeply, not enough to be paying attention to the meeting of roughly 200 nations discussing how to reduce the immense threat to life on earth as we know it from what humans are doing to the climate and the entire biosphere.

That lack of deep and widespread public concern is why the Paris talks will end up being more talk than significant progress. Read more »

PARIS ATROCITIES: And so the US hate speech begins in the aftermath

Vigil for Paris in Auckland's Aotea Square. Image: David Robie 14 Nov 2015

An Auckland vigil for the casualties of the Paris atrocities by extremists. Image: David Robie/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Comment – By Chauncey DeVega

In a still developing situation, the city of Paris, France, has been under attack by terrorists armed with guns and explosives. At least 129 people have been killed. Three hundred and fifty two people have been wounded.

The terrorists took dozens of hostages in a concert hall. French police and military forces have been deployed. There is mayhem and blood in the streets of Paris.

President Obama has correctly described this day’s horrific events as “an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share.” Read more »

Pat on back for Pacific public health successes, but also criticism

Participants of a walk against Diabetes and for general fitness around Nauru airport.  Photo by Lorrie Graham.  Contact to request a high resolution original.

A walk against diabetes and for health around Nauru airport. Image: Lorrie Graham/PhotoLibrary

Significant achievements in Pacific public health, reports Asia-Pacific Journalism. But there is a serious downside too.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Chelsea Armitage

Progress is being made in Pacific health in New Zealand in some areas, but falling short in others, says a recent public audit report.

The first six-monthly update on ‘Ala Mo’ui: Pathways to Pacific Health and Wellbeing 2014-2018 was released this month, collating quantitative data on Pacific health.

Pacific Islanders in New Zealand trumped the general Kiwi population in a number of factors, the report says. Read more »

‘Disappearing nation’ Kiribati refugee ordered home: Sad case of Ioane Teitiota

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Ioane Teitiota’s wife Erika and their youngest child at the petition meeting on Monday. Photo: Ida Brock/TWN

“I have often said that this is the moral challenge because it calls on answers which are unprecedented – never written and never heard of, so this calls for outside-the-box solutions.”

– President Anote Tong, 2014

Pacific Scoop:
Special climate change analysis – By Taberannang Korauaba

The deportation of Ioane Teitiota by the John Key government signals a strong message to the low-lying islands in the Pacific that they are not disappearing because their people are still “alive”.

The New Zealand government’s response isn’t surprising given its admission a few weeks before the general election it won last year, it would not accept climate change refugees from the Pacific.

Prime Minister Key has missed a very important opportunity as the eyes of the world have been on New Zealand since 2013 when the courts rejected the climate change refugee case. Read more »

Fiji Report: A day on the job at the Wansolwara newspaper

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Wansolwara editor Sonal Singh (centre) with two editorial colleagues and the front page report on University of the South Pacific student union finances earlier this year. Image: Wansolwara/USP

Pacific Scoop:
Comment – By Kai Ping Lew

Started work yesterday at Wansolwara, the award-winning University of the South Pacific student newspaper, and met with the team of co-ordinators of the regional journalism programme in Fiji.

Tried to get our wi-fi sorted out, but no luck. I found the journalism students really helpful in getting me settled in, and really friendly.

Some of them were really passionate about the ideals of journalism, doing it as a public service, and the need to do it well. I could relate to that. Read more »

Fiji Report: Pacific Scoop student journalist team tackle day one in Suva

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Repúblika Magazine editor Ricardo Morris in Suva … challenging times. Image: Niklas Pedersen/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Comment – By Niklas Pedersen in Suva

Today, I arrived at the humble headquarters of Repúblika Magazine in an office complex just a couple of minutes in the bus from our home base at the University of the South Pacific.

Already here on the first day of my weeklong internship at Repúblika, editor Ricardo Morris showed me some examples of the challenges he and his magazine face in the Fiji mediascape.

Yesterday both the Sunday editions of The Fiji Times and Fiji Sun carried a warning from the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, on their front page. Read more »

Tuna fisheries: Ready to hear the truth about South Pacific albacore?

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Fishermen on board the tuna longliner Ping Tai Rong 55 in the South Pacific haul in and process an albacore tuna. Image: Mark Smith/Greenpeace

Pacific Scoop:
Commentary – By Lagi Toribau of Greenpeace Pacific

These are worrying times for our local Pacific tuna industry. In Fiji boats are being tied up, and staff are being laid off in Samoa, Tonga and in American Samoa where entire fleets are up for sale.

Now there is talk of Starkist’s American Samoa cannery potentially losing 2000 jobs due to limited tuna supplies.

What this tells me is that the current business model and dependency on foreign fishing access and modern technology with destructive fishing techniques is not working for Pacific islanders. Read more »

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