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COVID-19 made deep-sea mining more tempting for some Pacific islands – this could be a problem

by Sue Farran While most Pacific islands have escaped the worst of COVID-19, a cornerstone of their economies, tourism, has taken a big hit. By June 2020, visitor arrivals in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu had completely ceased, as borders were closed and even internal travel restricted. In Fiji, where tourism generated about 40% of GDP before the pandemic,...

IOTC adopts resolution to rebuild yellowfin tuna stock, but NGOs question its effectiveness

The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) agreed to reduce the total allowable catch for yellowfin tuna after months of pressure from non-governmental organisations and some commercial groups. But according to environmental organisations, the effort has fallen short of ending overfishing, as five members of the commission objected to the rebuilding plan. The Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) and the International Pole and...

Delta variant of Covid spreading rapidly and detected in 74 countries

The Delta variant of Covid-19, first identified in India, has been detected in 74 countries and continues to spread rapidly amid fears that it is poised to become the dominant strain worldwide. Outbreaks of the Delta variant have been confirmed in China, the U.S, Africa, Scandinavia and Pacific rim countries. Scientists report that it appears to be more transmissible, as...

Samoa swearing-in hearing next week

A hearing on an application brought by the Samoa Attorney General to stop the ad-hoc swearing-in of a new Government from taking legal effect will begin next Monday. The Fa’atuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party held an improvised swearing-in ceremony on the lawns of Parliament on 24 May after finding itself locked out of the premises. Leader Fiame Naomi...

Fiji records 89 new cases of COVID-19

Eighty-nine new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Fiji Monday. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong in his virtual press conference. 82 of the new cases are linked to the existing clusters: *IMT: 9 *Nasinu Police Barracks: 17 *Waila: 6 *Naitasiri: 1 *Lami: 1 *CWMH: 4 *Caubati: 5 *Nawajikuma, Nadi: 6 *Navy: 19 *Navosai: 2 *Grantham Road: 3 *Kinoya: 7 *Reservoir Road: 2 Cases...

Solomon Islands scholars fear as Fiji hit hard by dangerous covid-19 variant

Studies and living expenses are becoming tougher for Solomon Islands students as coronavirus cases continue to climb in Fiji. A student at the University of the South Pacific (USP), Laucala campus, told Island Sun the second wave of the virus affected them physically, mentally and worse, prices of food in supermarkets have skyrocketed. New cases are recorded every day in Fiji...

Dawn raids apology ‘very small start to the healing process’ – Polynesian Panthers

An official apology for dawn raids that racially targeted Pasifika families and have been described as "state-sanctioned terrorism" is being welcomed by those impacted as a “very small start to the healing process”. But advocates say to be truly meaningful the apology needs to be accompanied by a strong education campaign, compensation and pathway to residency for current overstayers. Prime Minister...

United Nations set to decide climate claims by Torres Strait Islanders against Australia

As world leaders met in south-west England to discuss future climate change commitments, priest Stanley Marama didn’t need any reminding about the reality of rising tides. Less than 100 metres from the Anglican church on Boigu Island in the Torres Strait sits a sacred place where the local population conducted ceremonies for thousands of years. But not any more -...

Younger brother of Fiji’s PM Meleti Bainimarama dies

Fiji's Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs, Meleti Bainimarama has passed away after a short illness. This was confirmed in a statement Monday by the Public Service Commission (PSC) expressing its deepest condolences to his family. Meleti Bainimarama is the younger brother of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. “He leaves behind a proud legacy of service to Fiji and his team at the Ministry...

Kaiviti Silktails and Wolves battle it out in hard fought 24- all draw

The Kaiviti Silktails and the Windsor Wolves could not be separated in a nail-biting 24-all draw at Mascot Oval that featured on NSWRL TV. The first half of football showcased a gusty and physical style of play as both teams initially chose to run their sets through their forward pack only to be met by multiple defenders in each tackle. The...

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The 2022 Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) was convened on 11-12 August 2022. The meeting was chaired by  Johnny Koanapo Rasou, Minister for Finance...

Relationship between Pacific countries and development partners must be watertight: Vanuatu Finance Minister

By Pita Ligaiula in Port Vila The geo-strategic competition intensifying in the Pacific region requires a reset in relationships that does not jeopardise diplomatic...

Vanuatu releases a world leading NDC to the Climate Change Paris Agreement

Vanuatu, one of the world’s most climate vulnerable countries, has today submitted one of the world’s most ambitious nationally determined contribution (NDC) commitments to...