While Pacific Island countries have, so far, been spared a catastrophic spread of COVID-19, their economies have been devastated by the effects of border closures, internal lockdowns and the demise of international tourism and trade. With the global pandemic far from over, Pacific Islanders are looking to their local and regional economies to drive resilience and recovery.
"Working in Science, like any other career, is fit for women too… Just go for it, nobody can stop you", Valérie Allain, Senior Fisheries Scientist at the Pacific Community (SPC).
In 2019, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 4 challenges all nations to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by the year 2030. As we think about this in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the emerging post-COVID-19 environment, what does inclusive and equitable education look like and how do we ensure that lifelong learning opportunities are benefitted by all?
On Friday, 15 January, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, was elected the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council for 2021. As the first Pacific islander to hold this position, the President has a unique opportunity to enhance the protection and promotion of human rights in Fiji and the Pacific, and to amplify Pacific voices on human rights issues at the global level. The presidency reflects the Pacific’s growing presence on the international human rights stage and comes at a time of increasing marginalisation, social exclusion and poverty arising out of COVID-19; opening the door for the President (and Fiji) to promote a human rights-based and people-centred approach to ‘building back better’.
Climate change and human rights are two key issues in international development and their interaction is increasingly in need of focus at national, regional and international levels. In the Pacific, where the 22 Pacific Island countries and territories
are on the front line of both climate ambition and the ongoing effects of the climate crisis, climate change is recognised as the region’s single greatest threat
. Urgent climate action is consistently called upon to protect the interests of youth and the most vulnerable populations, together with preserving the ‘shared needs and interests, potential and survival of our Blue Pacific and this great Blue Planet
Rural communities on one of the nine islands that make up the Polynesian nation of Tuvalu are anticipating how life will change when they are connected to piped clean water for the first time.
Coastal fisheries in the Pacific Islands have become a food and livelihood lifeline to many people who have lost jobs, especially in urban centres and tourism, following COVID-19 lockdowns and border closures. Now governments and development organisations are trying to meet the crisis-driven survival needs of here and now, while also considering the long-term consequences on near shore marine resources and habitats.
As COVID-19 shapes and re-shapes the “new normal” in the Pacific, organic food and products will be a key to community adaptation and resiliency in the region’s economies and livelihoods, with the opportunity to advance a more inclusive gender and people centred approach.
As the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) reported earlier this year
, COVID-19 has caused massive disruptions to ocean observing systems around the globe, as research cruises, maintenance visits, and sensor deployments have been postponed or cancelled.
Come to the table, with a willingness to share and be vulnerable: This video is the second in a 3 part series hearing directly from Monitoring Evaluation and Learning practitioners within the Pacific region and their experience of using Pacific approaches in their work. In this video we hear from Associate Professor Cresantia Frances Koya – Vaka’uta who works with the University of the South Pacific, the regionally owned provider of tertiary education in the Pacific region and an international centre of excellence for teaching, research consulting and training on all aspects of Pacific culture, environment and human resource development needs.
It is important to understand the needs of the Vanua, the culture, tradition and its’ protocols: This video is the first in a 3 part series hearing directly from Monitoring Evaluation and Learning practitioners within the Pacific region and their experience of using Pacific approaches in their work. In this video we hear from Mr. Eroni Wavu, the MEL Officer with the Ministry of i-Taukei Affairs in Fiji who are responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring government programs focussed on the governance and wellbeing of the iTaukei people.
Throughout my career, I have always championed the value of open data, especially geospatial and earth observation data for the social, environmental and economic growth that it brings. Access to timely and accurate data is critical to maximizing the efficiency of development programmes and is a critical economic as well as scientific imperative for our region.
Despite the significant challenges presented by COVID-19, the Pacific Community (SPC) 7-week research expedition to monitor the health of world’s largest tuna fishery will depart from Honolulu on Saturday 15 August 2020.
School as we all know it hasn’t changed that much in over a century. However, in the face of new threats to health and wellbeing, the future of those familiar structures that bring teachers and students together is starting to be questioned.
COVID19 has brought the world to a halt. The devastating impact of the global pandemic on people’s lives and the world’s economy is a jarring and historic turning point for all of us but it is also an opportunity to re-think many of our practices.
By now, the impact of COVID19 on our daily lives has been well documented, especially in advanced economies. Anxiety about the future continues to grow everywhere. Much of the corporate news coverage we consume has focused on the toll this pandemic will take on mainland countries. Often neglected, however, is the unique position Pacific Island States find themselves in.
In the context of COVID-19 crisis, what are the risks for climate action?
Climate change still continues and climate impacts are still very visible in the Pacific. A few weeks ago, we had major forest fires in Australia and in other countries. Now we’re battling tropical cyclone Harold which is a result of climate change. This week a new study was released, pointing out that the great barrier reef in Australia suffered one of its most severe bleaching in 5 years. Climate change is still happening, so climate actions have to be pursued. People might have different priorities these days, with funding being reoriented to other activities, but the action definitely needs to be continued to strengthen the resilience of our systems to global changes.
A conversation with SPC's Director-General on how the Pacific Community (SPC)
helps Pacific countries respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
For 13-year-old Karen Semens, growing up on Pohnpei -- one of the four main island states in the Federated States of Micronesia, which comprises of more than 600 islands in the western Pacific Ocean -- the main challenge is being a girl.
“In our culture, girls don’t have the same rights and opportunities nor do they get credit and recognition for their achievements as boys do. This prevents us from speaking our minds. For example in family meetings, only men make the decisions. I would like all girls to be treated as equals and have a say in decision making,” the 8th grade pupil from the Ohmine Public Elementary school in Pohnpei, tells IPS.
The term “environmental refugee” has gained prominence in recent years as climate change and desertification have threatened the livelihoods of millions of people, causing many to re-locate.
When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) last month, he pointed out the dramatic impact of climate change triggering natural disasters around the world--- from glaciers that melt, ice caps that disappear and corals that bleach.