Thursday, March 31, 2011

[pima.nius] Pacific leads way in progress towards death penalty-free world, says Amnesty

1:21 PM |

Pacific leads way in progress towards death penalty-free world, says Amnesty

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By the Pacific Media Centre news desk

The Pacific is the only region with a clean slate and no executions or death sentences over the past decade, says Amnesty International in a new report today about the global state of death penalties.

Only two Pacific nations or territories have been singled out for mention in the report – Fiji where 2000 attempted coup leader George Speight was sentenced to death for treason and then his punishment was commuted to life imprisonment within hours.

Fiji still has the death penalty on its lawbooks for treason and mutiny in the military code although it has been abolished for other crimes.

George Speight

Fiji 2000 coup leader George Speight ... sentenced to death for treason, but sentence then commuted. Photo: Joe Yaya/USP

The other territory cited was American Samoa where prosecutors were reported to have unsuccessfully sought the death penalty last August against a man charged with the murder of a police officer. The last execution in the territory was carried out in 1939.

Amnesty International says the Pacific is also well on its way to becoming the first region to be free of the death penalty, it revealed in the 52-page report Death Sentences and Executions in 2010.

Only four Pacific nations still have the death penalty in their laws: Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Tonga besides Fiji.

The deputy director of Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, Rebecca Emery, says it will now be working hard to ensure these countries remove the death penalty from their laws.

Law books campaign
"While you have a sentence like that on your law books, it's capable of being enacted. So that would be our concern," she told Radio New Zealand International.

"Even though from the region, I mean there's been no threat of that – it is there. And to completely remove this threat you do have to change laws."

The total number of executions officially recorded by Amnesty International in 2010 dropped from at least 714 people in 2009 to at least 527 in 2010.

China is believed to have executed thousands in 2010 but continues to maintain its secrecy over use of the death penalty.

"When Amnesty was founded in 1961, only nine countries had abolished the death penalty for all crimes, and capital punishment was hardly considered a human rights issue. Fifty years on, the trend towards worldwide abolition is unmistakeable, with only a handful of countries carrying out the majority of executions," said Emery.

Death Penalty report

The new Amnesty International death penalty report.

"The last decade was one which saw real progress towards the global abolition of the death penalty, and we commend our Pacific neighbours – generally considered small players in the international community – for being world leaders in this area," adds Emery.

"An important step forward was made in February when Fiji, responding to the UN Human Rights Council, committed to abolishing the death penalty for crimes under military law."

Encouraging moves
The year 2010 also saw encouraging moves by both the Solomon Islands and Kiribati which both changed their votes positively in the UN General Assembly's global moratorium on the death penalty in December – which was supported by more UN member states than ever before.

"Drawing upon our country's strong anti-death penalty stance, we will now be working hard to ensure that Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Tonga and Fiji completely remove the death penalty from their books, sending a signal to the rest of the world that an end to the death penalty is not only possible, it is inevitable," said Emery.

An Asia-Pacific summary:
• In 2010 Amnesty International was not able to confirm comprehensive figures on the use of the death penalty for China, Malaysia, North Korea, Singapore and Vietnam although executions were known to have been carried out in all these countries. Available information from five other countries in the region confirmed at least 82 executions were carried out in Asia.

• Eleven countries imposed death sentences but continued not to carry out executions in 2010: Afghanistan, Brunei Darussalam, India, Indonesia, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

• The Pacific Islands remained free from death sentences and executions.

• In January 2010 the President of Mongolia announced a moratorium on executions with a view to abolition of the death penalty.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to kill the prisoner.

The organisation believes the death penalty violates the right to life and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and has been campaigning for the global abolition of the death penalty since 1977.

New Zealand removed the death penalty for all offences from its statute in December 1989. New Zealand also played a leading role in a global initiative to end the death penalty in 2007 when the government co-authored a United Nations resolution calling for a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

Death Sentences and Executions in 2010 report

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[pima.nius] NZ: Big news - PMC's revamped Facebook page goes live

12:12 PM |


Title – 7370 NZ: Big news - PMC's revamped Facebook page goes live
Date – 30 March 2011
Byline – Yvonne Brill
Origin – Pacific Media Watch
Source – Pacific Media Watch, 28/3/11
Copyright – PMW
Status – Unabridged
----------------------------
* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links:
www.pacmediawatch.aut.ac.nz

* Post a comment on this story at PMW Right of Reply:
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* Pacific Media Centre on Twitter - http://twitter.com/pacmedcentre

BIG NEWS - PMC'S REVAMPED FACEBOOK PAGE GOES LIVE
http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/2011-03-30/nz-big-news-pmcs-revamped-facebook-page-goes-live

By Yvonne Brill

AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch): Pacific Media Centre has a new Facebook page.

Facebook is slowly phasing out old groups, like PMC's three-year-old one. And to take advantage of all the new applications now offered with pages, PMC has decided to take the big leap.

Search for our new page under Pacific Media Centre >> Media/News/Publishing, or follow the link below to our new page and "Like'"us!

You can also keep track of our events on this page.

Yvonne Brill is Niusblog editor and social media editor of the Pacific Media Centre.

www.facebook.com/PacificMediaCentre

* Comment on this item pmediawa@aut.ac.nz

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PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE
www.pacmediawatch.aut.ac.nz

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is a media and educational resource compiled by the AUT Pacific Media Centre for the Pacific region.

(c)1996-2010 Creative Commons
http://creativecommons.org

Items are provided solely for review purposes as a non-profit educational service. Copyright remains the property of the original  producers as indicated in the header. Recipients should seek permission
from the copyright owner for any publishing. Copyright owners not  wishing their materials to be posted by PMW please contact us. The views expressed in material listed by PMW are not necessarily the views
of PMW or the Pacific Media Centre.

For further information or joining the Pacific Media Watch listserve, visit:
http://mailman.aut.ac.nz/mailman/listinfo/pacific_media_watch_list

Email:
pmc@aut.ac.nz
Fax: (+649) 921 9987
SnailMail: Pacific Media Centre, School of Communication Studies, AUT
University, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Website: www.pacmediawatch.aut.ac.nz
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

[pima.nius] PR: My Lost Kainga Movie Premiere

2:10 PM |

11:14 March 30, 2011Pacific Press Releases 0 comments

Press Release – Tongan Film Premiere

The premiere of the new independent Tongan film, My Lost Kainga, will be at the Dream Centre, 3 Lakewood Court in Manukau City on April 8th 2011, at 7pm – doors open at 6pm.My Lost Kainga Movie Premiere

The premiere of the new independent Tongan film, My Lost Kainga, will be at the Dream Centre, 3 Lakewood Court in Manukau City on April 8th 2011, at 7pm – doors open at 6pm.

My Lost Kainga, the first film by Tony Fuemana (Urban Pacifika Records) stars Tongan born actor, Carolanne Makakaufaki. My Lost Kainga is the first major movie that was filmed in Tonga and in the Tongan language, with English sub-titles.

The story is about Mia, a young Tongan woman who was born in Tonga, raised in Australia and loses her culture, identity and language because she becomes lost in her western identity. The movie takes you on a serious but humorous journey of Mia finding the one thing that has been missing most from her life and that is her culture. This movie will not only appeal to the large Auckland Tongan community but to every other Pacific nation and cultures that have forgotten where they have come from.

Tickets are $20 and a special collection will go to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.

ENDS

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Monday, March 28, 2011

[pima.nius] NZ committed to finding 'constructive solutions' to Fiji issue

5:27 PM |

NZ committed to finding 'constructive solutions' to Fiji issue

Updated March 29, 2011 10:04:06

New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, says military dictatorships cannot be sanctioned in the region.

But he remains optimistic progress will eventually be made in returning Fiji to democracy.


Presenter:Richard Ewart
Speaker: Murray McCully, New Zealand's Foreign Minister

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[pima.nius] NZ: MP welcomes court action over loss of Pacific language books

5:27 PM |




Title – 7364 NZ: MP welcomes court action over loss of Pacific language books
Date – 28 March 2011
Byline – None
Origin – Pacific Media Watch
Source – Radio NZ International, 27/3/11
Copyright – RNZI
Status – Unabridged
----------------------------
* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links:
www.pacmediawatch.aut.ac.nz

* Post a comment on this story at PMW Right of Reply:
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* Pacific Media Centre on Twitter - http://twitter.com/pacmedcentre

NZ MP WELCOMES COURT ACTION OVER LOSS OF LANGUAGE BOOKS
http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=59607

AUCKLAND (Radio NZ International/Pacific Media Watch): An opposition MP in New Zealand says he supports a coalition taking court action over the Ministry of Education's move to suspend the producing of Pacific language books for schools.

The Coalition of Pacific languages group represents more than 40 Pacific organisations and thousands of parents and individuals, who say the government's move is a breach of human rights.

They are opposed to the production of the popular Tupu and Folaunga series of language books being stopped indefinitely.

Mangere Labour MP, Su'a William Sio, says the community's effort to fight it, is understandable.

>>> There's an obligation on any government to ensure that those languages are protected. If we as a people lose the language we lose more than just the ability to communicate in our first languages, we lose our history and our culture.

* Comment on this item pmediawa@aut.ac.nz

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PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE
www.pacmediawatch.aut.ac.nz

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is a media and educational resource compiled by the AUT Pacific Media Centre for the Pacific region.

(c)1996-2010 Creative Commons
http://creativecommons.org

Items are provided solely for review purposes as a non-profit educational service. Copyright remains the property of the original  producers as indicated in the header. Recipients should seek permission
from the copyright owner for any publishing. Copyright owners not  wishing their materials to be posted by PMW please contact us. The views expressed in material listed by PMW are not necessarily the views
of PMW or the Pacific Media Centre.

For further information or joining the Pacific Media Watch listserve, visit:
http://mailman.aut.ac.nz/mailman/listinfo/pacific_media_watch_list

Email:
pmc@aut.ac.nz
Fax: (+649) 921 9987
SnailMail: Pacific Media Centre, School of Communication Studies, AUT
University, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Website: www.pacmediawatch.aut.ac.nz
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

[pima.nius] NZ: Earthquakes and radio - 22 sponsors needed

12:48 PM |

Title – 7351 NZ: Earthquakes and radio - 22 sponsors needed
Date – 23 March 2011
Byline – None
Origin – Pacific Media Watch
Source – Radio Heritage Foundation, 23/3/11
Copyright – RHF
Status – Unabridged
----------------------------
* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links:
www.pacmediawatch.aut.ac.nz

* Post a comment on this story at PMW Right of Reply:
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* Pacific Media Centre on Twitter - http://twitter.com/pacmedcentre

EARTHQUAKES AND RADIO
www.radioheritage.net

WELLINGTON (Radio Heritage Foundation/Pacific Media Watch):
During the past month cities in both New Zealand and Japan in the Asia-Pacific
region have been shattered by terrible earthquakes..and people have been
reminded again how vital radio is to help survivors at these times.

Here at the Radio Heritage Foundation, a decision was made to put
normal operations on hold and closely monitor radio services in
Christchurch, New Zealand, after their killer quake on February 22.

Within a short time, it was concluded that existing services could not
provide local news and welfare programs because they could not get to
their studios [and still cannot a month later] or they had been
destroyed.

Radio Heritage Foundation's response was to organise the only available mobile radio studio
in the South Island to relocate to New Brighton in the hardest hit eastern
suburbs, and within 10 days of the idea, Radio New Brighton 102.1 FM
was broadcasting live and local 24/7 to some shattered communities.

"I'm delighted our board members from Australia, USA and the
Netherlands responded so fast to support this decision," said
foundation chairman David Ricquish.

"I've just returned from a hectic 9 days there with Chris Diack from
Classic Gold who shared our vision to bring a local radio station to
these people and has pulled together a team of volunteers with Aaron
Gardiner to bring hope back to people living in a city with a clouded
future after some 20 percent of the population self-evacuated.

"It's a long way from researching, writing and publishing stories
about other radio stations and people, the daily activities we do to
preserve our heritage for future generations. But this time we've
become part of the story ourselves, and we've been honored to do so.

"How long the station can continue we don't know. But with local
community and business support, the city may have a new local voice
as rebuilding lives, families and businesses slowly moves forward.

"In the meantime, our overheads have continued to grow, and we are now
about 45 days behind in meeting these expenses. If you're able to
help us get back on track before March 31, will you do so today?

"We need 22 people able to donate US$100 to bring us right up to date,
or US$50 will cover one of those 45 days we're behind.

"Please use the donation button today at www.radioheritage.net and
help secure our continued daily operations.

"There's a great connection between radio heritage and Radio New
Brighton...in 1937, the original 3ZB was set up in the area and
broadcast reassurance and welfare messages during the dark days of
WWII...and in 2011, Radio New Brighton continues this tradition
during these dark days post the killer earthquake of February 22.

"Radio has always served and will continue to do so, and your donation
of US$100 or US$50 today will help us record these moments for future
generations to understand.

"New Zealand residents who make a donation before March 31 are
eligible for one-third tax refunds on donations - NZ$150 will be
refunded NZ$50 for example."

www.radioheritage.net

* Radio Heritage has 3 copies left of Keith Richardson's sold out book Never
A Dull Moment including a fabulous CD of music, jingles and
interviews from the early 1960s and the first 3 donations of US$150
or more will get the book and CD shipped worldwide for free as a
thank you. Keith passed away a month ago and these are the final 3
copies of his book anywhere.

* Comment on this item pmediawa@aut.ac.nz

+++niuswire

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE
www.pacmediawatch.aut.ac.nz

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is a media and educational resource compiled by the AUT Pacific Media Centre for the Pacific region.

(c)1996-2010 Creative Commons
http://creativecommons.org

Items are provided solely for review purposes as a non-profit educational service. Copyright remains the property of the original  producers as indicated in the header. Recipients should seek permission
from the copyright owner for any publishing. Copyright owners not  wishing their materials to be posted by PMW please contact us. The views expressed in material listed by PMW are not necessarily the views
of PMW or the Pacific Media Centre.

For further information or joining the Pacific Media Watch listserve, visit:
http://lists.apc.org.au/listinfo.cgi/pacific_media_watch?apc.org.au

Email:
pmc@aut.ac.nz
Fax: (+649) 921 9987
SnailMail: Pacific Media Centre, School of Communication Studies, AUT
University, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Website: www.pacmediawatch.aut.ac.nz
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[pima.nius] NZ universities must make room for ‘Pasifika models’, says Tagaloatele

12:44 PM |

NZ universities must make room for 'Pasifika models', says Tagaloatele


Pacific Media Centre, Yvonne Brill

21 March, 2011

Universities have been challenged to "change their ways" if Pasifika and other minority cultures are going to achieve their potential, says New Zealand's first professor of Pacific studies.

Tagaloatele Professor Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop said Pacific sense of identity - of "place" - was critically related to Pasifika educational outcomes.

Speaking at her inaugural public lecture as foundation professor of Pacific studies at AUT University's Manukau campus tonight, she acknowledged that Pasifika students  -  although staying in school for longer - were still below average in terms of academic achievement.

"Access, without support, is not opportunity", said Tagaloatele.

"Rather than focusing on trying to integrate Pacific or minority students into the culture of a university, is it time now to look more at changing the ways educational institutions are organised?"

'Bleeding potential'
Tagaloatele said Pacific people were "bleeding potential", and that developing Pacific models of research and learning had value, not only for Pacific communities, but for all university scholarship, research, and teaching.

"Making our place is a challenge for any minority group in any country where majority norms prevail in every institution and practice. This is a process of constantly adjusting, manoeuvring, and negotiating mainstream ways of doing things," she said.

After her address, Tagaloatele was given a standing ovation and honoured through song and dance by the Pasifika community.

A male dancer honours Tagaloatele at the professorial address. Photo: Yvonne Brill/PMC
A male dancer honours Tagaloatele at the professorial address. Photo: Yvonne Brill/PMC
AUT staff, students and members of the Pasifika community, including Labour MP for Mangere Su'a William Sio and opera singer Ben Makisi, gathered at the campus to hear Tagaloatele's lecture.

Her address, part of the AUT Public Lecture Series, was entitled "Pacific: Making our place in education".

The series, featuring professorial addresses, serves as a public platform for introducing new professors to university colleagues and to the wider community interested in their field.

Pacific contribution
Tagaloatele was thanked by AUT Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack for her contribution to research at the university and by her family.

Labour MP Su'a William Sio thanked her for her contribution to Pacific development over the course of her career.

Tagaloatele, flanked by her daughters, joins in the traditional Samoan siva dance. Photo: Yvonne Brill/PMC
Tagaloatele, flanked by her daughters, joins in the traditional Samoan siva dance. Photo: Yvonne Brill/PMC
At the end of her address, members of the audience spontaneously burst into song, as is common at Pasifika celebrations.

Tagaloatele was also honoured with a siva, a traditional Samoan dance, supported by her family and others from the Pasifika community.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

[pima.nius] NZ: Pacific parents take ministry to court over suspension of language books

10:58 AM |

Title – 7345 NZ: Pacific parents take ministry to court over suspension of language books
Date – 22 March 2011
Byline – None
Origin – Pacific Media Watch
Source – Television New Zealand One News, 20/3/11
Copyright – TVNZ
Status – Unabridged
----------------------------
* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links:
www.pacmediawatch.aut.ac.nz

* Post a comment on this story at PMW Right of Reply:
www.pacificmediacentre.blogspot.com
pmediawa@aut.ac.nz

* Pacific Media Centre on Twitter - http://twitter.com/pacmedcentre

ANGER OVER PACIFIC LANGUAGE BOOKS
http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/anger-over-pacific-language-books-4073276

AUCKLAND (TVNZ One News/Pacific Media Watch): A group of Pacific Islands parents are taking New Zealand's Ministry of Education to court over its decision to indefinitely suspend producing Pacific language books.

A coalition including schools, churches and community groups is behind court action that the coalition says is a breach of their children's human rights.

Parent Joanne Okesene said suspending production of the Tupu and Folaunga series is race-based discrimination.

"Discontinuing the books basically affects my children's rights to their cultural identity and their access to education," she said.

The Ministry of Education said it had paused production while it researched the best way to meet Pacific students' needs.

But documents obtained under the Official Information Act show key personnel within the Education Ministry arguing that the books and even learning a Pacific language as a first language is now "unnecessary".

Judy Taligalu McFall-McCaffery said the move proved the Ministry of Education was not in tune with what Pacific people wanted and needed.

"It's not a priority, it's not an interest at all for the ministry. To me it just signals we are going to make you English-speaking," she said.

Finlayson Park Primary principal Shirley Maihi said there was no reasoning behind the ministry's decision.

"My whole community, my board members, we are incensed...for a government to say 'that's it', just doesnt bear any sense of reasoning really," she said.

* Comment on this item pmediawa@aut.ac.nz

+++niuswire

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE
www.pacmediawatch.aut.ac.nz

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is a media and educational resource compiled by the AUT Pacific Media Centre for the Pacific region.

(c)1996-2010 Creative Commons
http://creativecommons.org

Items are provided solely for review purposes as a non-profit educational service. Copyright remains the property of the original  producers as indicated in the header. Recipients should seek permission
from the copyright owner for any publishing. Copyright owners not  wishing their materials to be posted by PMW please contact us. The views expressed in material listed by PMW are not necessarily the views
of PMW or the Pacific Media Centre.

For further information or joining the Pacific Media Watch listserve, visit:
http://lists.apc.org.au/listinfo.cgi/pacific_media_watch?apc.org.au

Email:
pmc@aut.ac.nz
Fax: (+649) 921 9987
SnailMail: Pacific Media Centre, School of Communication Studies, AUT
University, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Website: www.pacmediawatch.aut.ac.nz
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

[pima.nius] AUT’s ‘digital fale’ showcases Māori, Pasifika student work

11:38 AM |

AUT's 'digital fale' showcases Māori, Pasifika student work


Pacific Media Centre, Yvonne Brill

13 March, 2011

A celebration of Pacific culture was fused with technology as AUT University's "digital fale" showcased the work of Māori and Pasifika media and arts students at the 2011 Pasifika Festival Day this weekend.

Representatives from the Pacific Media Centre, new Graduate Diploma in Pacific Journalism and AUT's Pasifika Student Support team spent the day sharing campus life and achievements  with passersby.

With large TV plasma screens and Mac computers displaying visual art works, documentaries and digital media produced by AUT students, the fale was part of a larger celebration of Pacific culture with dance, food, music and crafts from nations around the Pacific on display.

According to estimates from Auckland City Council, 200,000 people were expected to have passed through Western Springs Park which was turned into a Pacific "island" for the day.

Ten "villages" representing individual islands were spread throughout the park, and offered visitors a diverse range of cultural experiences.

Tahitian dancers at the Pasifika Festival. Photo: Yvonne Brill/PMC
Tahitian dancers at the Pasifika Festival. Photo: Yvonne Brill/PMC

Visitors to AUT's "digital fale" at the Pasifika Festival. Photo: Yvonne Brill/PMC
Visitors to AUT's "digital fale" at the Pasifika Festival. Photo: Yvonne Brill/PMC

AUT's "digital fale" at the Pasifika Festival. Photo: Yvonne Brill/PMC
AUT's "digital fale" at the Pasifika Festival. Photo: Yvonne Brill/PM

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[pima.nius] New Pacific media assistance program proposal

11:31 AM |

via pacific journos



Hi everyone,

A new Pacific media training and assistance program is being hatched
"to assist the independent media to have a more effective voice"  ....

I am posting this on behalf of Assoc Professor Martin Hadlow, who some
of you would know from his recent past role with the School of
Journalism and Communication at the University of Queensland.

If you're curious and want to know more, read on....his message is
below:


Dear Friends,

For your information, a prospective donor agency has sought assistance
to prepare a new /updated training needs survey of the media in the
Pacific.

The training needs survey will involve an assessment and overview of
current media and journalism training efforts in the region  - and
more importantly, the identification of areas where future
interventions by donors would be useful and have a real, practical
impact.

This mapping exercise especially seeks to identify niche areas where
gaps may exist and specific needs could be addressed.

The key outcome of the entire initiative would be to develop a long-
term proposal to "assist the independent media to have a more
effective voice".

It is well understood that there's no "one size fits all" solution –
that media needs in the Pacific are many and varied, and that a number
of successful projects have been put in place in the past, or are
currently operational.

So I would be most grateful if you could take a few moments to let me
know your views on how current media support and training is working,
as well as future needs.

The field of training is diverse - it can be in-country or regional
workshops, mentoring, tertiary level studies in journalism, and so on.
Support for the development of media legislation and FOI documentation
can also be part of the agenda.

Please do send any information to me at your convenience. I appreciate
that media professionals in the Pacific are busy people, so even one
or two lines outlining your future needs and thoughts would be
welcome. If you have any ready-made planning proposals in the fields
of media development and training in the Pacific, these would also be
welcome.

With sincere thanks,

Martin Hadlow
Brisbane, Australia

Contact me at: m.hadlow@uq.edu.au

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

[pima.nius] ‘Green revolution’ vital key to Pacific climate change survival, says Talagi

1:11 PM |

'Green revolution' vital key to Pacific climate change survival, says Talagi

http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/2011/03/green-revolution-vital-key-to-pacific-climate-change-survival-says-talagi/

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By the Pacific Media Centre news desk

The global 'green revolution' and new sustainable development models have offered hope for the Pacific and coping with climate change will depend on their success, says Niue Premier Toke Talagi.

The emerging green revolution and new sustainable developments models and practices is an acknowledgement of this new phenomena and its success will determine our worldwide success in keeping our climate changes to sustainable levels in both the short and long term.

"The changes that have occurred to date have already made an impact and will continue to do so," he told the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable at the opening in Alofi this week.

Toke Talagi

Niue Premier Toke Tulagi opens the Pacific Clmate Change Roundtable in Alofi. Photo: SPREP

"Countries like Kiribati, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea and all low-lying islands and areas susceptible to rising sea levels are already impacted by the changes to our climate."

He pointed to how the initial response of building sea walls in Kiribati had not been successful and many islands were no longer able to "maintain acceptable standards".

"New infrastructure needs to be built and the options are very expensive and will involve a mix of solutions appropriate to the particular situation," he said.

Niue had been actively responding to environmental organisations, institutions and donors as well as trying desperately to formulate a credible climate change policy framework and strategies to achieve these goals and objectives.

'Mobilising resources'
The climate change roundtable has the theme  "Mobilising climate change resources for the Pacific".

With the concern of Pacific countries being the most vulnerable on earth to the impacts of climate change, more than 100 global delegates have gathered for the four-day conference to address the urgent need to accelerate climate change funding.

At the opening ceremony, a minute of silence was held in respect and memory of those from Christchurch, New Zealand, and Japan who have perished and survived these huge tragedies.

"The tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, following so closely after the Christchurch earthquake remind us again of the power of nature and the vulnerability of Pacific nations to climate change and to natural disasters," said David Sheppard, director of the Apia-based Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

"The impacts of cyclone Heta in Niue in 2004 further underline this vulnerability,"

The issue of climate finance had been repeatedly emphasised by Pacific leaders, and this was reflected in the theme for the roundtable.

"We all recognise that there must be a quantum leap in funding for climate change in the countries of our region, in particular for focused adaptation and mitigation programmes," he said.

"We greatly appreciate commitments made under the Copenhagen Accord to provide US$100 billion a year by 2020 to support climate change efforts by developing countries."

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

[pima.nius] Environment News

12:52 PM |

Via Pacific Journos

Kia orana,

Day 2 at the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable in Alofi, Niue and we also have the launch of the Pacific Year of Dugong.  All news can be found below - unfortunately net difficulties still posing a problem but images are available at:
www.sprep.org<http://www.sprep.org> and http://bionesian.blogspot.com

I will try to attach and send with a later email, should internet services be up and running at that stage.

Thank you,
nan

________________



Tonga presents at Pacific Climate Change Roundtable


Tonga's achievements towards addressing climate change as a nation was showcased today during the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable in Alofi, Niue.



The Kindgom of Tonga is the first of the Pacific members of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to produce a joint national action plan for climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.



The action plan was approved by Cabinet in Tonga in July last year.



The plan has helped bring two separate bodies together that work on similar issues to work in a more unified manner under the one action plan that covers all sectors, instead of working independently and often duplicating efforts. It addresses issues in relation to climate change, sea level rise, extreme events and geological hazards.



"This plan started with political support in 2009,"said Lupe Matoto of the technical and sustainable development division in the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.



 "We also carried out a lot of consultation with stakeholders, nationally we haven't been so quiet, and we have achieved a lot in terms of collaboration with other stakeholders."



The Vision of the Joint National Action Plan (JNAP) on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management for Tonga is to 'promote and ensure safe, healthy, secure and resilient communities to climate change impacts and disaster risks'.



The plan has six goals in all covering good governance, enhanced technical knowledge and an increase in education and understanding of the JNAP, analysis and assessment of climate change impacts and disaster risk, enhanced community preparedness and resilience to all disasters, technically reliable, economically affordable and environmentally sound support to Tonga and strong partnerships between government agencies, NGO's and private sectors.



"In preparing this plan we learnt that you need really good teamwork for this to work well, teamwork and strong partnerships.  It is also best if there is direct involvement of the communities in project activities to ensure ownership and there is a real need for donor coordination to avoid duplication."



Other major achievements by the Kingdom of Tonga include the passing of two legislations, one being the Environment Management Act 2010 which has led to the establishment of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, the Renewable Energy Amendment Act 2010 and the Tonga Energy Roadmap 2010 – 2020 was formed which steps out the plan for Tonga to use more renewable energy.



Tonga has completed their second national communications, a report which is required under the United Nations Framework for the Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which will be submitted to cabinet for endorsement.



"We've taken the first step, now we need to follow through and carry out this work.  We're hopeful that partners will take our JNAP and other related action plans on board to see how we can all work on this together."



The Kindgom of Tonga has also established a Parliament Standing Committee for Environment and Climate Change which will discuss any issues on a cabinet level to fast track any outstanding issues on climate change.  Every quarter the Ministry on Environment and Climate Change will host a national climate change roundtable with resident donors and all relevant stakeholders, the first one was held last year with the next climate change roundtable to be held next month.





Pacific Islanders celebrate 2011 Pacific Year of the Dugong
14 March 2011, Palau - Dugong protection in the Pacific Islands region will be highlighted this year as part of the Pacific Year of the Dugong. It is a boost to the conservation of the species and its seagrass habitats.

The regional campaign was launched in Korror, Palau this week by President Johnson Toribiong and Minister of Natural Resources, Environment & Tourism Harry Fritz.

Palau hosts the smallest, most remote and critically endangered dugong population in the region.

In launching the regional campaign Palau also commenced their national campaign with the reminder by President Toribiong that we are stewards of the environment and have a moral obligation to protect dugongs in the spirit of "I'll save you so some day you'll save me".

He requested support from other nations to join Palau to preserve, protect and cherish this important, unique dugong population.

Minister Fritz urged Palauans to take the task of education to protect, respect and love dugongs and their habitats.

It was also acknowledged at the launch of the Pacific Year of the Dugong 2011 that there is a need to address poaching which is the biggest threat to the fragile population in Palau. Authorities were urged to work together to enforce legislation to prevent this and it was highlighted that publicising arrests and convictions for poaching of dugongs would be an effective deterrent within the general community.

Raising the awareness on the status of dugongs and related aspects as well as the existing legislation was also raised as an important area for immediate attention.

Minister Yano closed the launch by confirming Palau's Government full commitment to support the Pacific Year of the Dugong campaign and shared a personal experience when a local woman released a dugong that was tied up signifying that a single act can make an important change.

Notes: At the launch, about 60 invited guests, representing Government Ministries, NGOs, communities, students and industry groups were present. Opening remarks were given by the Honourable Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism. Guest speakers included SPREP and UNEP/CMS representatives. Presentations were given by the Koror State Rangers, Division of Fish and Wildlife of the Ministry of Justice and the Bureau of Marine Resources. The participants were entertained over lunch with the Palau Dugong song composed by Mr Edward Anastacio. The Minister of State, Mr Victor Yano gave closing remarks.





The Pacific Year of the Dugong; Respect and Protect
14 March, 2011, Palau - The campaign to progress the protection of the dugong, led by the Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and its partner the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS), will target local coastal and fishing communities and water craft users in the Pacific region.

Awareness and outreach activities highlighting the need for protection of dugongs in the Pacific Islands region will be the focus of the campaign being initiated through national launches in New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

A number of initiatives to build local capacity to deliver positive conservation outcomes for dugongs in the Pacific Island region will also be promoted throughout the Pacific Year of the Dugong.

A new pilot project using financial incentives to address direct hunting and the incidental capture of dugongs by changing people's practices and improving the livelihoods of local communities in Daru Papua New Guinea are among the initiatives to be promoted under the Pacific Year of the Dugong 2011.

Dugongs, which play a significant ecological role in the functioning of coastal habitats, live in warm coastal and islands waters from East Africa to Vanuatu in the Pacific.

The conservation and plan developed under the United Nations Environment Programme/CMS Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats throughout their Range (Dugong MoU) provides the framework for the regional cooperation for the long-term protection of dugongs in the Indian Ocean, South East Asia, South Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands. Specific to the Pacific Islands region, SPREP has a regional Dugong Action Plan 2008-2012.

All range states in the Pacific Island region (Australia, Papua New Guinea, Palau, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu) have committed to the Dugong MoU as signatories. In 2010 Palau declared a marine mammal sanctuary, which includes dugongs, within its Economic Exclusive Zone.

For more information on the Pacific Year of the Dugong 2011, please visit: http://www.sprep.org/biodiversity/PYOD/index.html

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