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Thu
02
Sep
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FIJI LANDOWNERS RELENT ON WATER BLOCKADE PLAN

By Avinesh Gopal

LABASA, Fiji Islands (September 1, 1999 – Fiji Times)---The water supply to Labasa was normal yesterday after landowners called off proposed blockades at the catchment site and the road leading to the Benau reservoir.

Police also boosted security in the area.

Landowners from Wasavulu had threatened to block the road leading to the reservoir and the new $3.5 million water treatment plant nearing completion.

The threats followed the Government's rejection of a demand by landowners to increase the premium for use of the treatment plant site to $150,000, a sum the landowners claim is just and fair.

They stopped construction on the treatment plant on July 17 but lifted the blockade after the NLTB (Native Land Trust Board) asked Government to review the premium.

The Government said landowners would face the full force of the law if they carried out their threat.

Police stepped up patrols at the sites yesterday, and...

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02
Sep
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TAIWAN BOAT, CAUGHT FISHING ILLEGALLY, RELEASED BY KIRIBATI

TARAWA, Kiribati (September 2, 1999 – Radio Australia)---A Taiwanese ship, which was caught fishing illegally in Kiribati waters last month, has been released from police custody.

The Fong Kuo No. 736 left Betio Port in Tarawa immediately after the High Court convicted the captain of illegal fishing and fined him US$ 126.

The captain pleaded guilty to two counts of not recording the vessel's activities in the ship's log, August 23-24.

The vessel was placed under custody on August 24 after it was found fishing within Kiribati’s Exclusive Economic Zone 77 kilometers (46.2 miles) southeast of the capital.

Police have confirmed that the Fong Kuo #736 has a license to fish in Kiribati's EEZ, but not in the restricted area in which it was caught.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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02
Sep
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KAPUTIN GAUGES OK TEDI MINE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (August 31, 1999 – Post-Courier)---Mining Minister Sir John Kaputin has visited the Ok Tedi project site and areas affected by the mine’s tailings in preparation for a Government decision on the future of the multi-million kina project.

Sir John spent two days last week with the project’s management. He received briefings from various sections as well as personally visited the mine site and the Ok Tedi River and Fly River areas affected by the mine’s tailings.

He was given a presentation by management using overhead slides on how the Mount Fubilan ore area looked in 1987, four years after mining started, what it looks like now and what it will be like in ten years.

The minister and his team also were given information about various mine operations such as maintenance, training and production in general.

This was followed by briefings at the mill on environmental and community relations matters, including area agricultural...

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Thu
02
Sep
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NEW CALEDONIA NEWS

Wednesday, September 1, 1999

PINA Nius Online

FRENCH OVERSEAS MINISTER TO VISIT FRENCH POLYNESIA SEPTEMBER 17-21

PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (September 1, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---French Assistant Minister for Overseas Territories, Jean-Jack Queyranne, will officially visit French Polynesia September 17 to 21, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reports.

One of the main purposes of the ministerial visit is to further discuss the French territory's moves toward greater political autonomy.

Last June, the French National Assembly passed a constitutional amendment that changes French Polynesia’s status from an "overseas territory" to that of an "overseas country."

The amendment remains to be approved by the French Senate during its October session.

In addition to meetings in the French territorial capital of Papeete, where he will confer with such top officials as French Polynesia President Gaston Flosse and High Commissioner...

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Thu
02
Sep
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A BIG TASTE FOR THE TINY FRUIT BAT IN THE COOK ISLANDS

By Lisa Williams

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (August 25, 1999 – Cook Islands News)---The humble bat may have inspired millions of dollars in blood-curdling Dracula flicks, but here in the Cook Islands the mere mention of moakirikiri is enough to set your appetite afire. Freelance journalist Lisa Williams looked into the plight of the fruit bat and how the effect of the raui could stem its over-hunting.

Local connoisseurs of bat may not number in their thousands, but their passion for the pungent-smelling delicacy is I suspect as fierce as my own yearning for dark chocolate. I admit, you don't wait in inland valleys up into the wee hours of the morning for a box of Roses assorted best, and of course Ferrero Rocher doesn't have to be skinned and cooked before eating.

But there are those out there who say the taste of Almond Roca is as dust compared to the addictive taste of a well-prepared bat.

I spoke to one such person.

"It keeps the smell if you...

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02
Sep
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NO EVIDENCE OF ALLEGED METAL POLLUTION IN TONGA LAGOON: SCIENTIST

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (September 2, 1999 – Radio Australia)---A study conducted by an Australian Professor at Fanga‘uta Lagoon on the main Tongan island of Tongatapu has confirmed that there is no evidence of metal pollution in the lagoon.

Dr. John Morrison, Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Woolongong, said although there is no metallic pollution as has been alleged, the lagoon is still relatively fragile.

Great care should be taken by people living near Fanga‘uta as well as Fangakakau lagoon to preserve the water quality, he said.

He urged people living in the surrounding areas to treat the lagoons wisely and avoid dumping garbage and toxic materials into the sea.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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02
Sep
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JUSTIFY CALL FOR LOG EXPORT LEVY, PNG NATIONAL FORESTRY SERVICE TOLD

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 1, 1999 – The National)---The National Forest Service (NFS) has been called upon to justify its recent call for a levy of K 2 (US$ .35) per cubic meter of logs exported.

The Forest Industries Authority (FIA) made the call in a paper presented to the National Development Forum at Parliament House here yesterday.

FIA executive officer Bob Tate said the recent call for the imposition of a log export monitoring levy had been created by the NFS without establishing the need.

"In 1994, a private company, SGS, commenced log export monitoring under a contract with the State and the contract required SGS to 'build, operate, train and transfer' an export monitoring unit to the NFS," Mr. Tate told the forum.

"The original contract was for 18 months at a cost of approximately K 1.5 million (US$ 520,000). The contract has now been extended twice and costs have increased to over K 3 million (US$ 1.04 million) per year," Mr....

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02
Sep
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NEW PEOPLE’S LAWYER IN TUVALU

FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (July 1999 - Tuvalu Echoes)---James Richard Duckworth from North England is now the new People’s Lawyer in the country.

Mr. Duckworth, who graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1989 with a Bachelor of Law and a Solicitors Final from the College of Law, arrived in the country April 22 to take the post of People’s Lawyer, which became vacant when the former People’s Lawyer, Naomi Mehta, finished her contract with the Government of Tuvalu.

In an interview with Tuvalu Echoes, Mr. Duckworth said that before he was given this opportunity to work as the People’s Lawyer in Tuvalu, he was working as a Solicitor in a Private Practice specializing in compensating people for accidents at work and on the roads back in England. He said that this is his first time in the Pacific and he found Tuvalu very different from England.

"Tuvalu is very hot, much much smaller and has very friendly and welcoming people that make me feel at home."

Mr....

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Wed
01
Sep
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AusAID Pacific Media Initiative 1999-2001

NOTICE

Background

The Pacific Media Initiative Project (PMI) aims to improve the standard of media and communication delivery -- print, radio and television -- in the countries of the Pacific.

Underpinning the need to strengthen the effectiveness of the media are the major economic and legislative reform programs currently taking place in many countries in the Pacific. At annual South Pacific Forums since the mid-1990s, Pacific Island governments have committed themselves to more effective economic and political governance. Governments in the region are developing an increasingly specific shared 'agenda' for policy development and change in areas including economic reform, public accountability and trade and investment policy.

The media has a key role to play in informing the community of these wide-ranging reforms. The PMI provides customized media training for media practitioners to strengthen their ability to articulate and debate key public policy...

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Wed
01
Sep
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EXPLOSIVES USED IN SUVA BLASTS CAME FROM GOLD MINE

SUVA, Fiji Islands (August 31, 1999 – Fiji Village News)---The Emperor Gold Mining Company has confirmed that the explosives used in three recent explosions in the Suva area were stolen from the mines.

Emperor General Manager Martin Jacobson told Fiji Village News that the police and the company are jointly conducting an investigation into the disappearance of the explosives from the mines.

Jacobson said he met with Isikia Savua over the weekend and they discussed possible staff members who may have stolen the explosives, which was used in three separate incidents in and around Suva two weeks ago.

Jacobson has also reiterated that explosives at the mine are guarded 24 hours and body searches are conducted daily on miners.

For additional reports from Fiji Village News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Fiji Village News).

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