PNG elections

PORT MORESBY – About 1000 candidates have been nominated so far since the issue of writs for the Papua New Guinea Election last Thursday, among them Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato’s office gave an update on candidates who have been nominated.

Anzac Day

CANBERRA – Australian Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove would lead Anzac Day commemorations in Papua New Guinea to mark the 75th anniversaries of Kokoda and the Battle of Milne Bay. As the sun rises over the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea, the Anzac Day dawn light will fall on a sea of thousands of white tombstones, among them the grave of the governor general’s uncle.

Diving accident

PAPE’ETE – Three divers have died in French Polynesia in an underwater cave at about 60 metres’ depth. The accident happened on Ahe atoll in the Tuamotus, killing a highly experienced diving instructor Gilles Demee. He was accompanied by two Tahiti-based Russian academics, Alexey Zykin and Tatiana Makarova.

Ocean mapping

RARONTONGA – Over the next two months an American vessel would collect data and map the deep ocean to help the Cook Islands explore areas within the Marae Moana Marine Park. The Okeanos Explorer, a United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expedition ship, would be conducting research between American Samoa and the Cook Islands.

Energy meeting

NUKU’ALOFA – The Pacific Energy and Transport Officials meeting was opened yesterday in Nuku’alofa. The Pacific Community (SPC), in partnership with the Government of Tonga will host the two-day officials meeting, preceding the Ministerial meeting to open tomorrow. High on the agenda for discussion are global and regional frameworks that will support access to global financing for Pacific Island countries.

Aquatic security

NOUMEA – Nineteen quarantine, biosecurity and aquaculture officers from across the Pacific are in Noumea, New Caledonia this week in an effort to strengthen aquatic biosecurity in their respective Pacific Island countries and territories. Aquatic biosecurity is a system of standardised protocols and measures to deal with biological risks in aquatic environments, such as the risk of diseases and the risk of invasive species.

Pacific forum

While addressing barriers to inclusive progress has been a natural part of development efforts, Pacific Islands Forum Leaders and Ministers are also considering options for sustainable approaches to weaning themselves off external fund dependency, particularly in terms of disaster preparedness. The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Insurance Initiative (PCRAFI) will effectively ease the financial impacts of disasters including major cyclones, earthquakes and tsunamis.

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