Tonga gets $US10 million grant for fisheries management
Quoting Radio New Zealand – 19 April 2019
“Tonga's government says dozens of coastal communities will benefit from a new $US10 million grant towards fisheries management.
“The World Bank on Thursday approved the funds, which are part of a sustainability project improving compliance and governance of commercial fishing.
“Tonga's fisheries minister, Semisi Fakahau, said improving the sustainability of the country's fish stocks is vital to its economic prosperity.
“The World Bank project will also improve fisheries monitoring and outcomes for women working in the pearl industry, he said.
“Tonga is heavily dependent on its fisheries, with around 82 percent of Tongan families involved in reef fishing, according to government figures.”
Copyright @ 2019, Radio New Zealand
Tonga police make major drug bust
Quoting Radio New Zealand – 19 April 2019
“Tonga police seized about $US1.2 million worth of methamphetamine during a drug operation this week.
“A 28 year-old-man was arrested with the drugs at his residence in Fahefa.
“The police commissioner, Stephen Caldwell, thanked the public for its support.
“Two other men were also arrested for possession of cannabis, drug paraphernalia and live ammunition.”
Copyright @ 2019, Radio New Zealand
Mouth cancer epidemic hits US-affiliated islands
Quoting Radio New Zealand – 18 April 2019
“An epidemic of mouth cancer is hitting United States-affiliated islands as use of betel nut combined with tobacco ravages people's health.
“A cancer presentation at a regional health conference in Palau last month was titled: "Oral cancer in the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands: A rising epidemic."
“Three years ago, mouth cancer was listed as number 13 in cancer prevalence throughout US-affiliated islands. Now it has moved up to the eighth most prevalent cancer.
“The report using Palau and Northern Marianas cancer data says this form of cancer has tripled in the under-40 age group and is a "major cause of morbidity (death) which is due to late identification and spread of cancer".
“Chewing betel nut with additives such as lime and tobacco increases the rate of oral cancer.
“The report makes plain that it is not talking about some future "risk" of cancer, but a large increase in the number of people being seen now by health authorities with mouth and throat cancers.
“The rise in oral cancer is "due to betel nut chewing primarily associated with tobacco additives", the report said, adding that the islands are seeing "a rise in children as young as 6-8 years old chewing betel nut with tobacco, which increases the risks".
Copyright @ Radio New Zealand, 2019
18 April 2019
Solomon Islands the tourism paradise for diving, snorkeling and exotic fishing adventures amidst tropical waters
It took a while for the Solomon Islands be fully realized has having some of the best dive sites in the world and unique for its glorious tropical azure waters teeming with a huge variety of marine life.
All that was in the past and today the Solomon Islands is well on the way to seeing its glorious tourism potential fully recognized as being one, if not the only, holiday destination with easy reach and supported by the Solomon Islands Government, regional government partners and the ever-so- encouraging Tourism Solomons.
To attest to the increasing interest and growth in the Solomon Islands tourism sector it was announced today that the Solomon Islands Dive Association is to establish a formal Association.
Permit me to quote from the official press release.
“Thursday, 18 April 2019 08:54 AM
“In a major step forward for the future promotion and development of the Solomon Islands dive tourism sector, the destination’s main dive operators have agreed to combine resources to create a formal representative body - Dive Operators Solomon Islands (DOSI).
“The move follows a recent forum in Honiara facilitated by Strongim Bisnis, an Australian government initiative working in partnership with local companies and operators to promote business growth.
“All participants unanimously agreed on the need for a formal association to champion issues affecting the local dive industry in relation to the overall growth of the tourism industry.
“Forum attendees included Tulagi Dive, Raiders Hotel & Dive, Driftwood Solomon Islands, Biliki Cruises, Dive Munda/Solomon Islands Dive Expeditions, Yawana Dive, Dive Gizo and Uepi Island Resort
“Gizo-based Sanbis Resort and Solomon Dive Adventures are also expected to become DOSI members.
Other stakeholders taking part included the Ministry of Culture & Tourism, Tourism Solomons, Solomon Airlines, and the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
“Representatives from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and NZAid also attended.
“Welcoming the development, Tourism CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto underlined the important role a strong, united dive operators’ association can play in helping to shape the country’s tourism future.
“This has certainly been the case in several of our neighbouring destinations where dive operators have combined resources to form industry bodies and in the process taken action in helping to propel increased international visitation numbers,” Mr Tuamoto said.
“From our perspective, tourism is ever growing in importance as a key economical driver for the Solomon Islands and with international divers making up a large percentage of the 28,000 international visitors we host every year, we need to do all possible to ensure we maximise the opportunity.”
“Having a strong, uniform voice with the ability to help raise and tackle pertinent issues affecting this key sector is timely.”
“This voice in synch with stakeholders will enable us jointly to drive what has the potential to act as a very powerful industry lobby.”
“The Solomon Islands is renowned as one of the world’s foremost dive locations.
“Just last December the Solomons Islands was named one of the world’s top 10 dive destination’s in the prestigious annual ‘Dive Travel Awards’ conducted by the world’s largest dive publication, British-based Dive Magazine UK.
“In 2017 CNN Travel ranked the Solomon Islands as one of its 10 best snorkelling locations.
“The destination’s 992 islands and unspoilt coral reefs literally teem with huge numbers and unique varieties of marine life.
“Add to this the dozens of WWII shipwrecks and downed aircraft that litter the seabed.”
Do come and see for yourself the beautiful sites that await you.
A bill to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption in Papua New Guinea will be tabled in Parliament next month, the Justice Minister says.
“Quoting Radio New Zealand – 18 April 2019
“Davis Steven told the newspaper the National that Prime Minister Peter O'Neill wanted the bill introduced in the House in next month's sitting.
“Mr Steven said the prime minister prioritised the bill after the 2012 election but officials lost track of it.
“After losing its way within the bureaucracy, the bill is now being prepared by the officials to be tabled in May, he said.
“In 2014, parliament amended the constitution to enable the ICAC to be established.
“The following year, the government introduced the ICAC Organic Law Bill which was referred to the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Laws but never progressed.
“At the time, the NGO Act Now criticised the bill which it said would create a commission that was toothless and open to political interference.
“Act Now said the bill removed powers of arrest and prosecution proposed in earlier versions, and put the prime minister in charge of appointing the commissioners.”
Copyright @2019, Radio New Zealand.