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Thursday 24 Aug 2017 | 02:13 | SYDNEY
Thursday 24 Aug 2017 | 02:13 | SYDNEY

Pacific Island links: leaders in Paris, REDD+, budget woes, asbestos, ending AIDS and more

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2 December 2015 14:06

  • Pacific Island leaders are in Paris in force for the COP 21 United Nations conference on climate change. Leaders from Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Fiji, Nauru, Palau, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea and Samoa all addressed the conference in the opening days.
  • The Pacific has made global headlines for being most at risk of disappearing due to rising sea levels brought by climate change.
  • The Guardian has an excellent long-form read on the bold ambitions of REDD- as a mechanism for climate change mitigation, and its humble roots in Papua New Guinea. The New Yorker has another on the intersection of Climate Change, El Niño and PNG.
  • Paul Flanagan has produced a two part series providing some forensic level analysis of the 2016 PNG budget.
  • The ADB has released its latest Pacific Economic Monitor, highlighting budgets around the region and the significant challenges governments face in addressing falling commodity prices and El Niño. Unsurprisingly, PNG has been the hardest hit. Also, take a look at the chapter on the (minimal) economic value to hosting major Pacific events.
  • Meanwhile, PNG’s Freedom Rating has taking a slight tumble, with Freedom House authors attributing it to 'Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s increasingly autocratic leadership style, including his disbanding of an anticorruption task force after he became subject of a corruption investigation'. Rule of law is also an issue, as PNG police continue to make headlines for the wrong reasons.
  • An asbestos removal program has kicked off in Nauru, yet local workers and refugees hired to remove the hazardous material from 41% of Nauru housing reportedly working without proper protection, while the materials themselves end up in an exposed local tip.
  • Tuesday was West Papua Flag Day, where local activists of West Papuan self-determination rights hold ceremonies to raise the Morning Star both in and outside of Papua. There have been reports of a military clamp down.
  • Tuesday was also World AIDS Day. HIV/AIDS affects Pacific Island countries to varying extremes, but Fiji is being heralded for its progress on a path to end the public health threat posed by AIDS by 2030.

 

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