- Annual General Meeting of The Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies (AAAPS), 10 May 2013
- Dr. Hsiao-chun Hung returns to the Mariana Islands
- Vote buying prevalent in Indonesia and the Pacific
- The end of the Pacific? Sea-level change and Pacific Island livelihoods
- Politics, development and security in Oceania
- Kago, Kastom and Kalja: The Study of Indigenous Movements in Melanesia Today (Cahiers du Credo) (Volume 2)
- In conversation with Sir Mekere Morauta
- Engendering objects: Dynamics of Barkcloth and Gender among the Maisin of Papua New Guinea by
- Another Port Moresby community bulldozed
- Reflections on the PNG Budget Forum: Can devolved funding be effectively utilised
- European Investment Bank backs remote aviation investment in the South Pacific
- Lifting skills in the Pacific: using infrastructure procurement for skills transfer
- Fiji constitutional referendum? Unlikely
- CDI Policy Paper: Comparing Across Regions: Parties and Political Systems in Indonesia and the Pacific Islands
- SSGM’s ‘State of the Pacific’ Conference (25-26 June 2013)
TagsACP Asia-Pacific Australia Bougainville China Cook Islands East Timor European Union Federated States of Micronesia Fiji France French Polynesia FSM Guam Hawai'i Indonesia Japan Kiribati Malaysia Marshall Islands Melanesia Micronesia MSG Nauru New Caledonia New Zealand Niue Nouvelle Calédonie Pacific Pacific Islands Pacific Islands Forum Palau Papua New Guinea Philippines PIF PNG Polynesia Samoa Solomon Islands Timor-Leste Tonga Tuvalu US Vanuatu West Papua
Tag Archives: Cook Islands
"The European Investment Bank has agreed to help examine safety improvements, upgrading of terminal facilities and more efficient power use at airports in the Cook Islands and Samoa. The USD 1.1m technical assistance programme (EUR 850,000) will be used to improve preparation of key investment expected to improve tourism, regional integration and economic development..." [read more].
Applications are now open for the 2014 round of Australia Awards Scholarships. Information for applicants, (including details of who to contact with scholarship inquiries and cut-off-dates for applications) are available on AusAID’s website. You may also view eligibility and other criteria related to the Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships (AAPS) program on the AusAID site.
“The December 2012 edition of the Pacific Economic Monitor examines the fiscal position of ADB’s Pacific developing member countries and their budget plans for 2013. Special articles included in this issue focus on economic management and growth prospects in smaller Pacific island economies” [read the report].
EuropeAid has issued a call for proposals for ‘Supporting culture as a vector of democracy and economic growth’ under the EU thematic programme Investing in People. Deadline for submission of concept notes is 18 December 2012. The call includes two lots with the following specific objectives:
- Lot 1: Encourage cultural expressions which promote diversity, intercultural dialogue and human and cultural rights, in the context of reconciliation, conflict resolution and democratisation
- Lot 2: Strengthen capacities of cultural actors for the development of a dynamic cultural sector contributing to economic growth and sustainable development
Full documentation is available on the EuropeAid website call ref. 133529. Most individuals and non-government organisations in Pacific islands nations and territories are eligible to apply (consult the list of beneficiary countries or territories).
“Weaving waves writings: memories, stories and spiritual resonance in Oceania”
27-28 November, Taipei, Taiwan.
This conference aims to explore the spiritual and historical resources of Oceania and of Austronesian peoples as well as the creative ways through which they are expressed. For more information, visit the conference website.
This report investigates urbanization trends across the 14 Pacific developing member countries of the Asian Development Bank. It examines the history of Pacific urbanization, current state of infrastructure and service provision within urban areas, and systems of urban governance.
27-28 October 2012, Coombs Extension Building Room 1.04, ANU.
Hosted by Linguistics, School of Culture, History and Language, ANU
[Program and abstracts for workshop].
An understanding of grammatical change in language provides a window to understanding broader issues relating to language and society, including the linguistic outcomes of social and cultural interaction, the areal distribution of linguistic structures and the social and cognitive motivations of linguistic change. Much of the previous research on grammatical change in the Pacific tends to focus on specific changes within particular regions and/or language groups. This has resulted in careful analyses of grammatical change that have greatly expanded our understanding of the history of Pacific languages.
This workshop is a unique opportunity to focus on this research from a new perspective: to begin to compare findings from individual studies and discover what these Pacific case studies contribute to general theories of grammatical change. That is, are there common trends or striking patterns of divergence in grammatical change across the Pacific that warrant explanation? And how does broadening the empirical basis of our understanding of grammatical change to incorporate Pacific case studies alter our general view of it?
Conference Report: Innovation, Development, Creativity and Access to Knowledge in Pacific Island Countries
A Conference on Innovation, Development, Creativity and Access to Knowledge in Pacific Islands Countries was held at the ANU in Canberra on 22-23 September 2012. The conference brought together leading intellectual property law, international, environmental and property law academics with a wide range of Pacific Islander lawyers, policy makers, academics, legislative drafters, information technology specialists and educators.
The conference took a very multi-disciplinary approach and covered a range of topics all connected to the overarching question of how to create an intellectual property framework that will really align with and support sustainable development in Pacific island countries.
A number of overarching themes emerged from the discussions.
Centrality of traditional knowledge to intellectual property policy in the region
Traditional knowledge and manifestations of that TK were highlighted as being a critical asset for the region for a range of reasons – the foundation for cultural industries, a means of adapting to climate change and ensuring food security – as well as bringing a host of other benefits. While there is a desire for legal frameworks to assist in protecting TK against fears of misappropriation and to assist in its commercialization, there are also concerns about the dangers of commodification of TK through such legislation. A number of speakers pointed out that experiences of land privatization and resource development in the region demonstrate that boundary drawing exercises often lead to community conflict, and often any financial benefits are not equitably shared and lead to no lasting benefits. Strong advice was given to pay attention to the organizational form chosen to exploit the commercialisation of TK, and to learn from problems associated with various existing forms, if any sustainable developmental outcome is to proceed from such commercialization. A number of speakers referred to the potential of adopting a network or partnership approach as a structure to manage TK, as a possible means of mediating between the national and local demands.
The weakness of the state and the large role that customary institutions have played in regulating traditional knowledge were both constant themes. It was often noted that there is a problem in that international and national strategies about property rights including IP are made by the state, but the reality of resource management occurs at a local level. It was pointed out that strong leadership and awareness of the issues surrounding IP at grass root level are two pre-conditions for the set-up of effective IP regimes in PICs.
Potential of IP laws to further development
There was a high level of interest in the developmental potential of culture and cultural or innovation-based industries for the region. This would build upon the cultural richness and diversity in the region and would be a new sector with no obvious limits in contrast to the limits of industries based on extracting natural resources. However, government or donor support is required to get such a new sector off the ground, particularly in relation to assistance with marketing (national and international), product development and entrepreneurship, development of quality control mechanisms, the development of certification marks, and support and training in disciplines related to culture so that TK is not lost to subsequent generations. This requires PICs to develop strategies to link cultural policies in with trade and development agendas of individual countries.
In terms of organizational structures for new initiatives, participants suggested that networks, particularly existing ones, and public/private partnerships offer the most potential in the context of the region.
Close linkages between intellectual property developments and trade
Many speakers identified the fact that intellectual property reforms and developments are largely being driven by Free Trade Agreements. Further, the intellectual property terms of these agreements are often not development friendly, and may have negative consequences in terms of access to educational materials, food security, access to medicines and restricted policy space. Participants noted that it was important that FTAs therefore also include meaningful assistance for countries to be able to benefit from their IP undertakings such as through technical capacity building, development of certification marks and so on. There was agreement that such issues, including some form of special and differential treatment, should be negotiated as part of the trade package deals between the region and its developed partners. It was also evident that comparative research might offer alternative models to those advocated by current FTAs.
Tensions raised by intellectual property issues
There were a number of important tensions in the development of IP policy that emerged through the discussions:
- Role of secrecy – secrecy was seen to have the advantages of protecting TK and IP from misappropriation, but it also has disadvantages in that it may aid in the disappearance of the TK as it may not be passed down
- The benefits of sharing knowledge about TK to deal with climate change, food security, and stimulate further innovation were highlighted, but it was also observed that sharing may lead to concerns about misappropriation and missing out on entitlements particularly once financial reward entered the equation
- While bringing TK into the public domain may support the process of establishment of TK-based industries, the missing cultural context of entrepreneurial undertakings may also undermine the meaning of TK for Pacific peoples themselves (the Dream Catcher syndrome)
- Benefits of sharing TK may translate into financial gain for those sharing. However, in situations where possession of TK is associated with a particular status in society the open sharing of TK may result in negative societal impacts for communities
Although many speakers advocated the introduction of new TK and IP legislation, the limited capacity of the state was a constant theme throughout the workshop. This limited capacity suggests that the state alone should not be relied upon to drive any benefits from this area, but rather civil society and customary institutions also have an important role to play. The example was given of the formation of craftsman’s groups in Samoa who are seeing to improve standards in specific sectors, associations encouraging the sharing of plant material, village initiatives to access micro-finance for marketing cultural artefacts and so on.
- Capacity building on the basis of smart trade negotiations with developed partners
- Development of knowledge networks which integrate existing community leaders
- Building the IP knowledge base through a) greater awareness of existing national and regional TK and b) greater non-politicised awareness of the structure, consequences and costs of proposed IP regimes.
- Awareness campaigns based on open access to local and regional initiatives, relevant databases, reports, discussion forums
- Assistance for policy makers in the mainstreaming of culture in related policies covering areas like trade, investment, development, education, health, agriculture.
[You may view powerpoint presentations for this conference at the IPPI website].
The Department of Family and Community Services (NZ) has just released A Cultural Framework for addressing violence in Fijian families in New Zealand. This is the latest document in the Pacific Conceptual Framework series which aims to explain meanings of family and violence – as well as set out key concepts and principles that promote family wellbeing – for seven Pacific immigrant communities in New Zealand (peoples from Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu). This is part of the Pasefika Proud initiative of the NZ Ministry of Social Development.
World Heritage Papers 34 has just been released. It is a compilation of documents and papers relating to UNESCO’s Pacific 2009 Programme (2000-2009) and includes reports of regional consultations, expert papers, progress and monitoring reports.
“Despite its extraordinary cultural and biological diversity, the Pacific is the most under-represented sub-region on the World Heritage List. To redress this imbalance, the Pacific 2009 Programme (2000-2009) was elaborated through several regional consultations and launched in 2003. The objectives of the programme were to ensure full membership of the World Heritage Convention in the Pacific to strengthen a collaborative sub-regional approach to its implementation, raise awareness about the World Heritage Convention and the potential benefits in the Pacific, build capacity for the Tentative Lists and nominations of properties for inclusion in the World Heritage List, promote trans-boundary and/or serial nominations, and build partnership among stakeholders involved. The Pacific 2009 Programme has contributed to the increased number of state parties (12 out of 14 Pacific SIDS) as well as World Heritage sites (10 in total in Pacific islands and territories) in the Pacific region as of September 2011.
As part of the World Heritage Papers Series, this document explores three key components of World Heritage: ‘Diverse Values and Interconnected Histories’; ‘Being Community in the Paciﬁc’ and ‘Building Capacity’. Also highlighted are case studies in Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Palau and the Marshall Islands.” [the publication includes various articles by ANU researchers and Alumni. See also the July 2012 post to Outrigger, Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (Palau): a new World Heritage site for the Pacific].
For three intensive days from July 11-13, a congregation of fifty-three scholars, activists, policy-makers, and practitioners met at ANU to exchange perspectives and engage in discussion on Sexualities, Sexual Rights and HIV in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific. This workshop symposium was conjointly convened by Professor Gilbert Herdt and Dr Katherine Lepani as part of the ARC Laureate Project led by Professor Margaret Jolly, Engendering Persons, Transforming Things. The event received support from the ANU Research School of Asia and the Pacific (RSAP), the AusAID International Seminar Support Scheme (ISSS), and the United Nations Development Programme Pacific Centre in Suva, Fiji. Professor Herdt’s intellectual leadership for the workshop symposium ermerged as a key activity during his two-month visit at ANU, under the RSAP Distinguished Visitor Program.
Participants at the workshop symposium came from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomons, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, France, Canada and Australia. Governments, NGOs, advocacy groups, and churches were represented including the PNG National Aids Council Secretariat, Solomon Islands National AIDS Council, New Zealand AIDS Foundation, PNG Institute of Medical Research, UNAIDS PNG, UNDP Pacific Centre, Secretariat of the Pacific Community Regional Rights Resource Team, Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation, Igat Hope PNG, Fiji Network for People Living with HIV, Pacific Sexual Diversity Network, Wan Smol Bag Theatre, Pacific Counselling and Social Services, Caritas Australia, ChildFund Australia, Pacific Friends of the Global Fund, the National Catholic AIDS Office in PNG, and the Seventh Day Adventist and Anglican churches.
Professor Emeritus Susan Kippax of UNSW and Professor Gary Dowsett of La Trobe, respectively, both eminent social scientists and experts on sexuality and HIV, were the invited discussants for the workshop symposium. Dame Carol Kidu, former member of the PNG Parliament and a tireless advocate for human rights and law reform in PNG and the Pacific, provided reflective comments on advocacy and law reform processes in a special session on the first day that focused on Homosexuality Laws and Law Reform in the Pacific. Stuart Watson, UNAIDS Coordinator for PNG, provided a remarkable commentary on emerging themes of the third day.
The workshop was a model of open exchange and dialogue between diverse people, places and perspectives, including controversial issues, such as the influence of religiosity on sexual expression in the Pacific Islands. The format involved twenty-eight short plenary presentations in nine thematic sessions, allowing ample time for discussion and debate. Innovative new insights were developed about:
- Patterns of stigma, discrimination and violence against women, sexual minorities and people living with HIV in the Pacific;
- The persistence of punitive laws, many dating from the colonial period criminalizing sodomy and sex work and the urgent need for law reform
- The prominent role of Christian churches in both the prevention and treatment of HIV and the increasing conjunction of biomedical and faith-based healing
- The crucial advocacy role of organizations representing women and sexual minorities and people living with HIV in defending human rights.
Evaluations of the workshop were overwhelmingly positive, with many participants suggesting it marked a watershed moment in mutual understandings. The projected outcomes include ongoing collaboration in research and practice, a series of scholarly articles, and planned publication of some of the insights gained from the symposium.
You may download the program and abstracts for the workshop symposium.
Integral to the program was a public lecture by distinguished anthropologist Professor Gilbert Herdt, From Ritual Sex to Sexual Individuality: Tradition and Modernity in Sambia Sexual Culture, which attracted a packed audience. The lecture explored the profound transformations in sexual culture and gender relations among people in the Eastern Highlands of PNG since his first fieldwork in the 1970s: the end of initiations which made boys into mature, heterosexual men and warriors through practices of insemination, the reduced separation of men and women and changing notions of female pollution and male domination. Pervasive conversion to Seventh Day Adventist Christianity has catalysed new forms of intimate cohabitation and desire in marriages with enhanced female autonomy and a parallel denial of homosexual practice as both un-Christian and foreign. This lecture will form part of his forthcoming book The Singers are Gone. The Public Lecture was co-sponsored by the ARC Laureate Project, the RSAP Distinguished Visitor Program, and the ANU Gender Institute.
Prior to Professor Herdt’s lecture, Dr Nicole George of the University of Queensland launched the new ANU E-Press book, Engendering Violence in Papua New Guinea edited by Margaret Jolly and Christine Stewart with Carolyn Brewer. Amongst the large crowd who celebrated was Dame Carol Kidu, to whom the book is dedicated. It is available as a free download at http://epress.anu.edu.au/titles/engendering-violence-in-papua-new-guinea or in hard copy from ANU E-Press.
This document provides an update of the existing 2012 portfolio of Pacific energy sector projects and a summary of requested assistance for 2013.
From 1-14 July 2012, thousands of artists and performers from the region will gather in Honiara for the Pacific’s largest, most colourful and exciting cultural event. The 11th Festival of Pacific Arts will feature traditional and contemporary visual and performing arts – music, dance, oratory and story telling, theatre and film, handicrafts, literature, tattooing, fire walking, culinary arts, navigation and canoeing, fashion, photography and healing.
The Asian Development Bank has just released new fact sheets for the following Pacific Island nations: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu (other ADB country fact sheets).
Applications open: Australian Development and Australian Leadership Awards Scholarships (close 30 April 2012)
Applications are now open for Australian Development Scholarships and Australian Leadership Award Scholarships (facilitated through AusAID). Information about specific eligibility criteria are available for the following Pacific Island states:
Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Pacific Collectivities (New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and Wallis and Futuna), Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue and Tokelau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, timor-leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.
More information about opening and closing dates for AusAID’s ADS and ALAS Scholarships is available here. Other information critical to these scholarships is available on the AusAID Scholarships website at www.ausaid.gov.au/scholar/publications.cfm.
In Celebration of International Mother Language Day (22 February) this year, Hon. Teariki Heather, the Cook Islands Minister of Culture announced the revival of “Te Kopapa Reo” or Te Reo Maori Commission (Maori Language Commission). Read more…
These publications are now available at:
Climate Change in the Pacific is a rigorously researched, peer-reviewed scientific assessment of the climate of the western Pacific region. Building on the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change… [read more...]
This advice has been reviewed and reissued. The overall level of the advice has not changed.