Transparency says Pacific corruption survey invaluable

The Pacific has been included in Transparency latest global corruption barometer with a survey of more than 6,000 people from more ten Pacific countries.

It revealed rampant corruption in a number of Pacific states, with the survey participants revealing cases of bribery, vote buying and sexual extortion are common experiences.

Regional advisor, Mariam Mathew, said more needs to be done but this first initial information is invaluable.

NZ Reserve Bank to improve money transfers to the Pacific

The central bank's latest Financial Stability Report indicates the changes will improve the region's financial stability and prosperity, and assist with its recovery and growth.

Difficult access to banking services is one of the reasons why there has been a rise in the use of cryptocurrencies across the Pacific, which are largely unregulated, with trading prohibited in some nations.

Cost is another factor, with a recent study indicating New Zealand's recognised seasonal employer workers paid about 400-dollars a season in remittance transaction fees.

World leaders told - "We are not drowning, we are fighting"

Sounding the warrior call of Pacific youth, she declared that, “We are not drowning, we are fighting.”

Speaking after the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Ms Fruean reminded world leaders that they all have the power at COP26, to be better – “remember that in your meeting rooms and drafting documents are more than just black and white objects’ to remember than in your words you wield the weapons that can save us or sell us out.”

Young Samoan climate warrior to present at COP26

“My name is Moemoana Schwenke. Moemoana means ‘calm ocean’. I am here, at COP26, for the Pacific Islands, and for Samoa. In these places, the land, the ocean and the people have a heartbeat. They are like my roots that firmly ground my identity.”

“Yet now, this calm ocean is angry. It is violent, washing over lands that carry culture, washing over my ancestors’ burial grounds with the chance and fear of my people becoming climate refugees.”

China to create fund to help Pacific Island countries defeat COVID-19

Wang made the remarks at the first China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Beijing via video link.

He said the bilateral relationship between China and the Pacific Island countries has shown a good development momentum, and the comprehensive strategic partnership has continued to deepen.

Relations between the two sides are based on mutual respect and equity, Wang said.

Double dip La Nina forecast for Pacific summer

La Niña is the phenomenon where the trade winds become stronger, warming waters in the Western Pacific and causing the sea surface temperatures in the Central and Eastern Pacific to cool.

These conditions can mean cooler and above normal rainfall in the west compared to the eastern Pacific.

Climate models and prediction tools used by Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological services (NMHSs) show this phenomenon is likely this summer.

Aust To Keep Making AstraZeneca Doses

Australian Health Minister, Greg Hunt on Thursday rejected reports CSL would stop producing the vaccine in Melbourne this year, as coronavirus cases reached a new national daily record.

“CSL and AstraZeneca are on track to complete the full 50 million-dose production run in Australia and the 3.8 million supply from overseas,” he told reporters.

“Our expectation and our plan is that that program will be completed in full. All of those extra doses are being supplied to the region.”

ADB to provide climate financing

Its President, Masatsugu Asakawa, said "the battle against climate change will be won or lost in Asia and the Pacific."

He said the crisis is worsening daily, so the bank is elevating its ambition to $US100 billion in cumulative climate finance from its own resources by 2030.

The expanded climate finance ambition will channel money towards five key areas:

First, new avenues for climate mitigation, including energy storage, energy efficiency, and low-carbon transport.

Cocaine, geography and COVID-19, drug trafficking in the Pacific

In July, an estimated 14kgs of cocaine washed up on beaches in Vava'u.

Tongan police seized the haul and an ongoing investigation has seen 21 people charged so far including three foreigners.

At the end of August, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Tonga Police Halatoa Taufa told Matangi Tonga the recent arrests included a 49-year-old man and his 23-year-old wife from Ta'anea, Vava'u on August 23.

The couple are in police custody charged with engaging with others in the supply of illicit drugs.

Pacific farmers look to control deadly coconut rhinoceros beetle infestations

The strain has spread to seven Pacific Island countries in just a decade leaving thousands of dead palms in its wake. The Guam strain, together with much more established biotype CRB-S has hampered the success of renovation programmes for mature tall palms as well as newly emergent, high-value coconut product industries (such as virgin oil and coconut water) that offer economic opportunities for communities in the region.