By Euan Moyle, an intern with the Lowy Institute’s Pacific Islands Program.
- Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor is in Canberra to discuss Australia’s new Foreign Policy White Paper and Biketawa Plus, the expanded agreement on collective responses to regional crises.
- The University of the South Pacific is celebrating its 50th anniversary. (Happy birthday!) In an example of what Pacific regionalism can achieve, the university is co-owned by 12 Pacific Islands nations and spread across an area three times the size of Europe.
- An Australian journalist covering the measles and malnutrition outbreak in the Indonesian province of Papua that has killed 100 children has been expelled after posting tweets critical of the Indonesian Government’s response.
- Philip Matthews and Grant Walton write on the future of ambitious anti-corruption reforms in Solomon Islands. The plan has been precarious since the ousting of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in 2017.
- ABC’s Pacific Beat spoke with Jamie Tuuta of Te Tumu Paeroa about how the model of collective Maori land ownership in New Zealand could be used to unlock the economic potential of Papua New Guinean land while maintaining links with its traditional owners.
- PNG Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko has ordered a physical search of his department to find sixty Special Agricultural Business Lease (SABL) files that have disappeared mysteriously, as investigations into the controversial land leases continue.
- SABLs are contentious in PNG, and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has consistently promised a crackdown on foreign logging and agricultural companies abusing the leases. Landowner-turned-activist Paul Pavol took a stand against logging, and has faced legal action and physical violence as a result.