Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Pacific Links: Sharks, trouble in West Papua, free trade and more

Latest news from Melanesia including trouble in West Papua, sharks, ants, climate change and Samoa's police commissioner charged with criminal offences.

Pacific Links: Sharks, trouble in West Papua, free trade and more
Published 23 Nov 2016 

By Harriet Smith, an intern with the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program

  • Kiribati has set up a shark sanctuary roughly the size of India to help protect shark species from exploitation and overfishing.
  • Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has signed the Melanesian Free Trade Agreement, making his country the first Melanesian Spearhead Group member to do so.
  • More than 100 indigenous activists in West Papua have been arrested by Indonesian Police in the city of Sorong for their involvement with the inauguration of the governing body of the West Papua National Committee.
  • Samoa’s police commissioner, arrested last week, has been suspended and faces 259 criminal charges.
  • In a video from the United Nations climate change conference, Fiji’s Prime Minister invited US President elect Donald Trump to meet the victims of Cyclone Winston in the hope Trump would change his stance on climate change. Trump's interview this week with the New York Times suggested his views had moderated somewhat
  • Four people have been killed and another four are missing in landslides in New Caledonia following heavy rain.
  • The role of Papua New Guinean women in leadership has been explored by Professor Betty Lovai from UPNG.
  • Eight Papua New Guinean cricket players will spend the next few months in Canberra with Cricket ACT to develop the future of the Barramundis.
  • Now we know ants in Fiji act as miniature ‘farmers’, sowing and fertilising seeds, thanks to a study that shows the insects cultivating plants.
  • In other ant related news, two new species of ant found in Fiji and Papua New Guinea have been named after the dragons from 'Game of Thrones' due to their spiky appearance.

Photo by Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images

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