Samoa recycle company to assist Tokelau with waste management

Waste management in Tokelau has been identified as an urgent priority with increasing amounts of rubbish being disposed on the atolls.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed this month between Tokelau’s Economic Development, Natural Resources and Environment and the Pacific Recycle company in Apia, Samoa.

The dumping of waste on land or at sea is an ongoing issue on Tokelau due to the shortage of land area for a rubbish dump.

A study in 2003 discovered a decline in particular fish species due to waste contamination damaging the health of coral ecosystems.

Tokelau’s Department of Economic Development, Natural Resources and Environment consulted with communities who expressed their main concern was the management of waste.

The MOU aims to improve overall waste management in all three atolls.

Tokelau Photo: Supplied

Appeals for Vanuatu to seek dialogue with Poland on kava ban

Vanuatu’s former Ambassador to the European Union is appealing to the government to seek dialogue with the Polish Ambassador in Canberra to discuss the kava ban in Poland.

Roy Micky Joy says the government should send a diplomatic note through the Vanuatu High Commission in Canberra to make this happen.

Poland is warning travellers not to bring the mild sedative into the country as kava is classified alongside hard drugs like cocaine.

This is despite Poland being part of the European Union which has recently resumed importing kava.

Mr Joy said he questioned why 26 members of the European Parliament stay silent on the issue of kava while one member, Poland, bans the drink from its shores.

He said Poland’s kava ban goes back to 2005, and that may allow Vanuatu and Poland to engage in political dialogue towards finding an amicable solution to the kava ban.

Call for dialogue over kava ban

Former Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy championed market access for kava in EU, By Len Garae
Former Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy championed market access for kava in EU, By Len Garae

The issue of kava in the 27-member European Parliament has been agreed to as a “bilateral issue” and according to Vanuatu’s former Dean of Ambassadors to the EU, Roy Mickey Joy, this is understood.

Regarding Poland’s position on kava, the former senior diplomat says, “My advice is for the Vanuatu Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to request through a diplomatic note through the Vanuatu High Commission in Canberra to the Polish Embassy in Canberra, to kick-start the process of dialogue. That is the first part.

“The second part, I think the work done by the ACP and EU through the consultants who were engaged for many years on kava (before, during and after the ban) and the great work that’s been done through the Ministry of Agriculture and the FAO in Rome, is an adequate representation of the technical scientific work that’s been completed on kava and there should be no issue on this.

“We respect the sovereignty of a sovereign states like Poland therefore it is to the interest of Vanuatu that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs establish dialogue with the Polish Embassy in Canberra, with a view to concluding the issue as soon as possible.”

He says the European Parliament will soon debate the issue of kava entering all EU member states including Poland.

While that may proceed soon, he advises, “I think it is of great interest that the Government of Vanuatu ought to intervene through a diplomatic note through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as soon as possible, with a view to open up dialogue leading to the Polish Government taking a positive position on the issue of kava”.

He describes the situation on kava in Poland as “paradoxical” for 26 member states to keep silent on the issue and allow Poland to “raise its own flag on kava”.

“I do not know how many ni-Vanuatu live in Poland but I know for a fact that there are Polish kava consumers in Poland and that is something I realized when I was still in Brussels,” he says.

He is confident the issue regarding kava in Poland is an ideal opportunity for political engagement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Polish Embassy in Canberra to find a long lasting solution to facilitating market access of kava to Poland.

During the EU/ACP Joint Council of Ministers Meeting in Port Vila in 2012, then Deputy Prime Minister Ham Lini Vanuaroroa, capitalized on the delegates present to invite approximately 80 of them to drink kava for the first time at his nakamal at Teouma.

 “As Vanuatu’s Ambassador to the EU, I was also present and our diplomatic guests were treated to one of the best kava in the world, prepared and served in Pentecost traditional way through ‘bwasisi’ and nobody died, and some of them went back to Brussels with kava powder, while others came to the Vanuatu Embassy and asked for kava and I told them, ‘Sorry we don’t sell kava in the Embassy’.

“That kava session at Teouma was a major public relations breakthrough that the Deputy Prime Minister Ham Lini Vanuaroroa did,” he explains.

The kava ceremony also broke the ice to prove to the EU/ACP delegates that kava was not harmful to the drinker.

It was later used as evidence in the German court to throw the DfArM allegation out the window that kava made the drinker sick.

Source: DailyPost Vanuatu

Vendors happy with kava sale

Serafina Silaitoga,

Grog vendors in Labasa have seen growth in their business with good yaqona prices. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA
Grog vendors in Labasa have seen growth in their business with good yaqona prices. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

THIS year posed a promising period for yaqona vendors in the Labasa Market.

Since Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston in February 2016, vendors in the Labasa Market have seen their revenue increase every week.

And for this festive season, some vendors have collected as much as $6000 in a day.

Vendor Marica Tuwaisele said her grog business had grown.

“The demand is higher even though the price has remained the same since Winston last year,” she said.

“This year we didn’t experience any shortfalls in which our income will be affected as the supply was constant and demand was high. Towards the end of this year, we noticed the demand was higher than what we experienced earlier in the year.”

After Severe TC Winston last year, a severe shortage of yaqona in many parts of Fiji led to skyrocketing prices.

This also contributed significantly to inflation with several other tropical depressions and flooding affecting supply.

While kava prices remain generally about $90 to $120 per kg mark, Mrs Tuwaisele said the high income helped them prepare their children for school.

“It’s a big help for families who depend on grog for income and have no other source of income,” she said.

Saimone Sarosaro, another vendor described Severe TC Winston as blessing for struggling farmers and vendors.

“Before the cyclone hit Fiji, the price of yaqona was between $30 and $45 a kilogram of lewena, but after the cyclone it increased to $90 a kg,” he said.

“It’s good business and we have benefitted a lot and it has helped improved our living standard. I am a grog farmer too so I don’t buy grog as I supply my own and make good money.”

Momis announces moratorium on Panguna mining and exploration

By Aloysius Laukai in Buka

The President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Chief Dr John Momis, has announced an indefinite moratorium on exploration and mining in Panguna.

He said the Bougainville Executive Council had its meeting on Wednesday made a “thoughtful and considered” decision to impose an indefinite reservation moratorium from any exploration or mining over Panguna in the best interest of the landowners and the people of Bougainville.

The council debating the issue following advice from the Bougainville Mining Advisory Council.

“It is with much regret that the basic requirement for obtaining the landowners consent under the Bougainville Mining Act 2015 could not be met,” Momis said.

The voice of the Panguna landowners was clearly heard during the mining warden hearing that decided in a narrow split between those supporting the mine reopening by Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) and the opponents.

Dr Momis also said that to develop the mine by any other developer would be “untenable” under current circumstances.

“We will not allow this project once again to reignite the wounds of the Bougainville crisis and distract our focus for restoring peace and our preparation for our referendum in 2019,” he said.

Continued consultations
While imposing this Panguna moratorium, Dr Momis said his government would continue to consult with Panguna landowners and the people of Bougainville over an “appropriate arrangement” or best alternative models of development of the mine if the people still had an appetite to develop the mine in the future.

The Bougainville Civil War was fought in 1988-1998 between Papua New Guinean military forces and secessionist guerrillas of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA).

The conflict led to an estimated 15,000-20,000 deaths on Bougainville before a peace agreement was brokered by New Zealand in 1998. This led to the establishment of the Bougainville Autonomous Region Government.

Bougainvilleans are due to vote in a referendum on possible independence in June 2019.

By PMC Editor

Badan Forum Pasifik katakan Australia berkomitmen dukung ekonomi Pasifik

Perdana Menteri Malcolm Turnbull dan Menteri Luar Negeri Julie Bishop meluncurkan Kebijakan luar Negeri Australia bulan November lalu. - ABC/AAP/ Lukas Coch
Perdana Menteri Malcolm Turnbull dan Menteri Luar Negeri Julie Bishop meluncurkan Kebijakan luar Negeri Australia bulan November lalu. – ABC/AAP/ Lukas Coch

Jayapura, Jubi Kebijakan Luar Negeri Australia menunjukkan ekonomi terbesar di Pasifik Selatan itu, berkomitmen membantu negara-negara kepulauan kecil seperti Tonga, menurut Pacific Trade Invest (PTI). PTI adalah salah satu badan di bawah Sekretariat Forum Kepulauan Pasifik.

PTI mengatakan bahwa perjanjian PACER Plus, yang ditandatangani di Tonga awal tahun ini, akan menjadi ikatan resmi yang dapat  mempromosikan perdagangan dan investasi yang lebih kuat di wilayah ini.

Pacer Plus ditandatangani oleh Australia, Selandia Baru, Kepulauan Cook, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Kepulauan Solomon, Tonga, Tuvalu dan Vanuatu.

Dua ekonomi terbesar Kepulauan Pasifik, Papua Nugini dan Fiji, mengundurkan diri sebelum penandatanganan PACER Plus.

Australia juga akan berupaya untuk meningkatkan kesempatan kerja bagi penduduk pulau-pulau Pasifik untuk bekerja di seluruh wilayah ini.

Laporan PTI dalam menyikapi kebijakan Australia menyatakan bahwa Pemerintah Australia akan fokus pada pertumbuhan ekonomi, keamanan, perikanan dan membangun masyarakat yang lebih tangguh di negara-negara Pasifik.

Dikatakan bahwa kebijakan terbaru Australia di Pasifik memiliki tiga prioritas. Prioritas ini adalah meningkatkan integrasi dengan ekonomi Australia dan Selandia Baru, mengatasi tantangan keamanan dengan fokus pada masalah maritim, dan memperkuat hubungan pribadi, keterampilan dan kepemimpinan.

Australia telah menganggarkan AU$ 1097,8 juta (AS$ 845 Juta) untuk Pasifik, dimana AU$ 15,4 juta (AS$ 411,8 juta) telah dialokasikan untuk pengembangan infrastruktur dan perdagangan. (*)

Western Highlands loses man of peace and businessman
Western Highlands loses man of peace and businessman

WESTERN Highlands chief and Komkui business group chairman Andrew Dokta, who died this month, was laid to rest at his village of Tiling, in Mt Hagen, on Wednesday.

Dokta, the chief leader of the Moge tribe, died on Dec 8 after a short illness.

He comes from the Moge Komnuka clan in Mt Hagen.

Dokta was the front man in the construction of the Komkui six-storey building and the AGC Haus in

Mt Hagen through the company Komkui business group.

Through his hard work he formed the company with the help of educated elites like the late Barnabus Paraka and other leaders from the Komkui clans.

Apart from that, Dokta committed his life to supporting the work of the Catholic Church.
He also committed his life to maintain peace and order for the Moge tribe and the province as a whole.

During the funeral service at Tiling village, Western Highlands, peace and good order chairman Thomas Wama described Dokta as a man of wisdom and a peacemaker who acknowledged God in everything he did.

“Such people are real peace makers who have committed their lives for the good of the people and the province,” he said.
He said losing such a great leader was a big loss to the people and the province.


Kava Banned in Poland

Promoter of Vanuatu and Vanuatu kava in Poland, Dawid Chajman, is advising everyone entering his country to be “very, very careful” and not bring even one kilogram of kava saying, they stand the risk of being jailed because kava remains a highly dangerous drug.

Even though Poland is a full member of the European Union, kava has been banned in his country since 2005.

He says the situation in Poland is very different to the one in Germany.

Kava was banned back in 2005 when the Polish Government was trying to fight against the so called “legal highs” and “new drugs”.

Chajman explains, “It created a very long list of psychoactive substances and without giving any explanation, it was decided that kava would become listed in the same category as heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, LSD and so on.

“In other words, kava is officially classified as the most dangerous drug the consumption of which is not allowed under any circumstances.

“Technically speaking, there is no legal difference between transporting one kilogram of heroin and one kilogram of kava through Poland, so this is something that travelers from Vanuatu should be aware of.

“From what we know, Poland is the only country in Europe with such restrictive regulations concerning kava and the only country in the world where mere possession of kava can result in a prison sentence.

“Kava has never been particularly popular in Poland and very few people know what it is, which means that even many officials are unaware of the ban but it is still technically part of the legislation and the penalties are technically potentially so harsh that one should be really, really careful.”

A few years ago a group of friends of Vanuatu and friends of kava established ‘The Campaign to relegalize kava in Poland’ (Facebook page and tried to persuade the Government to change its stance, but so far their success has been limited.

“We have the backing of a couple of members of parliament and last year we managed to persuade the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate’s office to issue a declaration supporting relegalization we heed to actually persuade the Ministry of Health and the relevant parliamentary committee.

“That declaration was important because the Sanitary Inspectorate analyzed kava and found it to be safe and not posing any kind of significant threat to health or social order.

“But we do need more political support for any change to happen.

“Some of us have tried to get in touch with Ambassador Roy Micky Joy to support our struggle, but he has not replied to our correspondence.”

Meanwhile, a report from the New York Times on December 21, 2017 reported that kava growth in terms of consumption has been rapid in New York in the United States of America.

The New York Times reported that New York didn’t have a kava bar until 2015. Since then, growth has been rapid.

“It’s blown up — just through word of mouth it really took off faster than we expected,” said Harding Stowe, a founder of Brooklyn Kava.

“I think people can really use it in New York, almost more than they need it over there.

”There are so many people here that are overworked and just stressed,” Stowe told the New York Times.

According to the New York Times, while United States regulators have issued health advisories related to its consumption in the past, kava has never been a controlled substance under the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Controlled Substances Act or New York State regulations.

Source: Vanuatu DailyPost

EU Kava Market On

Vanuatu Government OFficials dealing with Kava Processing
Vanuatu Government OFficials dealing with Kava Processing

Former Ambassador to the European Union Roy Micky Joy and German Scientist Dr. Mathias Schmidt who have fought tooth and nail to defend the Pacific kava market in the European Union since the kava ban came into effect in 2002, have confirmed the German Court has ruled beyond reasonable doubt and told BfArM they have nothing to argue.

What it means is that the door is once again open for kava exporters to export kava to the European market, ending 17 years of kava ban.

Dr. Schmidt who runs a private laboratory in Berlin says, “Today (yesterday) we mark major progress in our fight for the rehabilitation of kava in Europe.

“After the last meeting with the regulatory authority BfArM in court on October 23, the court had called for a lift of the ban visible in the official database of medicinal products in Germany.

“BfArM took its time but as of today (yesterday) the products are greenlighted!”

He explains, “What that means is that products marked as ‘marketable’ in the AMIS database automatically go into the ordering system of the German pharmacies.

“Until today a pharmacist making a query would have received the answer ‘not marketable’.

“Since today the pharmacy has the option to order from the companies or the wholesalers.

“Some of the marketing authorization holders have already manufactured a batch and are ready to deliver; it is now just a matter of time.”

With the latest confirmation, Dr. Schmidt says what the Pacific kava producing countries have dreaded for all this time may not be as bad after all.

However he warns, “BfArM is not out of tricks, and they are using them to find other excuses for their actions.

“Overall, however, the signal is loud and clear: Germany caused the whole drama by blindly rushing into a ban and now piece by piece they have to admit that they were wrong.

“This message should be of interest for the big markets as well, as it removes a taint on kava.”

In conclusion he warns kava growers, “Germany will be extremely aware of quality issues in the future, especially regarding two-day kava and/or peelings.

“We have implemented systems of quality control, and Germany will only accept noble kava.”

The former Ambassador to the EU praises the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity, Matai Seremaiah and Director of Biosecurity, Timothy Tumukon saying they are going a great job.

“We should go back to look at the (kava) industry in Vanuatu to make sure we do not allow visiting fly-in-by-night investors to get under-value of the market opening.

“Secondly we have to make sure there is proper coordination of logistics on the ground in terms of legislation, science, trade agreements and marketing to make sure we do not face the same challenges we faced in the initial period.”

Mining Protest in Lala, Temotu Provice, Solomon Islands

The mining officials were turned back upon their arrival in Lata last Sunday
The mining officials were turned back upon their arrival in Lata last Sunday

AN anti-mining group in Lata, Temotu province has protested against a mining talks in Lata, Temotu province over the weekend.

As a result three local mining officials were turned back at the Lata airport last Sunday.

The Pacific Bauxite Mining official arrived at Lata for mining talks with land owners and provincial leaders when they were turned back to board the same flight to Honiara.

Alistair Lemoba, one of the leaders of the anti-mining group said, that its about high time for the resource owners and people to raise up and stand for what is rightly theirs.

“We have all the rights to do this. Its our rights to protect our resources and environment.

“Its only a peaceful demonstration where our people express their disagreement on the proposed bauxite mining operation on Santa Cruz Island,” he explained.

He said that the message is clear enough; “We don’t need mining!”

Lata Police commander Frank Menesa confirmed the incident in which his officers stepped in and calm the situation down.

“People were unhappy about mining, so they turned back mining officials at the airport.

“We stepped in to calm down the situation.”

In June this year, there was a planned peaceful protest where Mr Menesa did not grant for security reasons.

Pacific Bauxite has proposed to carry out its mining operation in Santa Cruz Islands.