Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Pacific links: polio in PNG, farm visa delay, more

How logging puts women at risk in Solomon Islands, ADB outreach, Nauru’s future, and other links from the region.

Fishing in Tarawa, Kiribati (Photo: Asian Development Bank/Flickr)
Fishing in Tarawa, Kiribati (Photo: Asian Development Bank/Flickr)

  • Unfortunately for Papua New Guinea, new cases of polio have been detected since July. Jamie Tahana traces the origins of the pandemic in PNG, and explains how the disease could have been avoided.
  • In Australia, the National party has been pushing for a new agricultural visa, potentially allowing farmers to sponsor labourers from Asia or elsewhere to work in Australia. Stephen Howes argued a new visa will be counterproductive to Australia’s effort to engage with the Pacific through existing labour schemes, and at the weekend, the government decided to put the launch of this new visa on hold.
  • Stephen Dziedzic, Michael Walsh and Jack Kilbride comment on the Pacific Islands Forum this month, notably on Australia signing the declaration on Pacific climate threat.
  • Similarly, Matthew Dornan and Tess Newton Cain summarise the Forum meeting, not only focusing on the Boe Declaration, but also on the geo-strategic competition between Taiwan and China, the new funding arrangements for the PIF, development of a new Framework for Pacific Regionalism, and more.
  • Gabrielle Lipton writes about the gendered effects of corporate logging in Solomon Islands, underlining how the industry, mostly foreign, puts women at risk in this part of the world.
  • The Asian Development Bank expands its Pacific presence with the establishment of seven new country offices in the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and Tuvalu, and four extended missions in Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
  • Ben Doherty reports on repeated suicide attempts by a 12-year-old refugee on Nauru, amid previous allegations of poor conditions and widespread distress among those still on the island.
  • ABC correspondent Lauren Beldi looks at Nauru’s likely economic future after asylum seekers depart for the United States.
  • And finally, an old podcast by Jack Hitt from This American Life, to understand the rise and fall of Nauru.


Pacific Research Program

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