Pacific

ADB offers support for Pacific renewable power projects

The support includes loans, guarantees, and letters of credit aimed to overcome constraints to private sector investment in the renewables sector.

The ADB says the Pacific Renewable Energy Programme will support an estimated 5 separate renewable energy projects in its Pacific developing member countries over a 5 year period.

"The program will help to build urgently needed capacity for energy sector expansion and private sector interest in clean energy projects in the region," said the Director General of the ADB's Pacific Department Carmela Locsin

European FAO candidate promising Pacific focus

Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle is up against five other candidates to head the office.

Ms Geslain-Lanéelle said the Pacific had little representation within the organisation, which needs to change as the challenges the region faces are immense.

"And this region is very much affected by climate change. We still have countries where have hunger, we have malnutrition and where we have food waste and loss. So this is important to address all of these challenges."

Concerns over increasing slave trade in Pacific

The immigration watchdog says island countries are now both a source and destination for human trafficking and people smuggling.

The watchdog's head Ioane Alama said people smuggling occurs when migrants cross borders illegally but human trafficking is more sinister.

"There is always an essence of exploitation. The person being trafficked, there is a form of exploitation, either be labour, forced labour, in some cases servitude, we've heard of sexual exploitation, in terms of prostitution.

Clean water and sanitation a huge Pacific challenge - UNICEF

That's according to the UN agency for children or UNICEF which works with almost a million children across the region.

Pacific representative Sheldon Yett said there are many factors hampering progress on the issue including geography, natural disasters and the negative impacts of climate change.

"We are working actually to make sure that they can make the most out of the water that they have. To make sure that kids have access to good hygiene. To make sure that kids are teaching their parents and other community members what to do.

China lobbying Pacific nations over Taiwan issue

The Pacific is Taiwan's last bastion of diplomatic support, with six nations in the region - Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Tuvalu and Palau - recognizing Taipei rather than Beijing.

Taiwan donates large amounts of aid to these countries, and works hard to cultivate relationships with their political leaders.

But China is intent on prising off Taiwan's remaining allies around the globe.

The ABC reports Pacific officials lobbied by China asked not to be identified because they did not want to damage diplomatic ties with Beijing.

Pacific tuna fishery on track to return US$1 billion

The community's director general, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, said the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, or PNA, and the Forum Fisheries Agency are increasing returns to their member states.

The PNA controls the world's largest, sustainable tuna purse seine fishery which is valued at US$6 billion annually.

Dr Tukuitonga says it returned $US60 million to the region in 2010 which increased to US$500 million in 2017.

NRL teams to play trial matches in Pacific nations

The announcement, made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Suva on Friday morning, will see at least two NRL Telstra Premiership teams play an official trial fixture within the region in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Players and coaches will be in-country for a number of days prior to each of the fixtures to prepare and train, as well as participate in NRL and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) programs targeted towards promoting social inclusion, participation, equality and health and wellbeing.

NZ ups its diplomatic presence in Pacific

The reset aims for a heightened focus on the Pacific and today's announcement will see 14 new diplomatic and development positions created offshore.

Mr Peters said the new posts would be in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, and Honolulu.

In addition four new diplomats will be placed in Tokyo, Beijing, Brussels, and New York, "to co-ordinate development policy and partnerships for the Pacific region".

Threat to Pacific from climate change more severe - US report

The 4th US National Climate Assessment, released at the weekend, is the federally sanctioned work of about 300 academics and experts on the threat posed by climate change.

The assessment devotes a chapter to the US Pacific.

Zena Grecni, is the Project Specialist for the Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment based at Honolulu's East-West Center.

She said in the four years since the last report, threats from climate change had increased substantially.

Australia to increase military and police cooperation in Pacific

On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled a new foreign policy strategy for the Pacific region, including increased military cooperation.

But Defence Minister Christopher Pyne told Fairfax Media this strategy also includes a new vessel to operate semi-permanently in the south west Pacific.

He said the ship could assist with preparation for and response to natural disasters and other resilience support.

Australia will also strengthen its links with police forces in the Pacific.