CCECC says gravel is destined for African projects: Biosecurity Vanuatu wants it gone by weekend

aggregate Vanuatu

The China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) has responded to a story run in Daily Post this week concerning the possibility of foot-and-mouth disease being brought into the country on the aggregate material CCECC planned to use for the Bauerfield runway extensions. The company claims there are no sinister motives behind their decision to Read the rest of this entry »


New Bureau of Standards to assist with quality control of imports and exports

Vanuatu Deputy PM Joe Natuman and officials at the opening of the new Bureau of Standards, Wednesday 17 August 2017. Photo: Pacific Community

Vanuatu Deputy PM Joe Natuman and officials at the opening of the new Bureau of Standards, Wednesday 17 August 2017. Photo: Pacific Community

Trade Minister and Deputy PM Joe Natuman opened the Vanuatu Bureau of Standards yesterday. Minister Natuman explained to those at the opening that it is important that Vanuatu has quality standards for products it exports and imports. Vanuatu’s agricultural products especially must be subject to stringent quality standards. The Bureau of Standards office will enable quick answers to exporters and foreign importers as to requirements.

The Department of Cooperatives has a new Read the rest of this entry »


Ni-Vanuatu businesswomen: apply now to take part in Women Trading Globally awards

All ni-Vanuatu women business owners are invited to participate in a short course ‘Australia Awards: Women Trading Globally’.

The course is offered to Pacific women with their own business who have the potential to become ‘export ready’, and is offered by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in partnership with the Export Council of Australia.

This program will enable you to grow your business and expand internationally. During the course participants will:

  • learn about doing business in and with Australia
  • connect with other women entrepreneurs from across the Pacific and Australia
  • enable you to grow your business and expand internationally.

This two-week residential Australia Awards short course is funded by the Australian Government. The inaugural course is scheduled for 12‒24 November in Brisbane and Sydney. All costs (flights, accommodation, incidentals, study fees) are funded by the Australian Government.

For more information, program dates and eligibility requirements, please visit this website, and also download these two forms:

Please complete the attached application form and return it to  Read the rest of this entry »


Shipload of potentially contaminated Chinese gravel banned from entering Vanuatu

File image of asphalt being laid over aggregate. Photo: US Govt

File image of asphalt being laid over aggregate to build a runway. Photo: US Govt

A ship carrying aggregate gravel for the runway extensions at Bauerfield has been blocked from unloading because of the biologically unsafe status of gravel from its country of origin, China. The company responsible for the shipment, the giant China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), was advised of the countries from which such material could be easily obtained when their successful bid was announced—Fiji, New Caledonia, Australia and New Zealand. China is blacklisted for the supply of gravel because it has foot and mouth disease. If foot and mouth disease arrived here, it would quickly destroy Vanuatu’s valuable beef export industry. The pork industry would also be affected. The Director of Biosecurity, Timothy Tumukon, has advised the aggregate material cannot be unloaded here. The Council of Ministers agrees. The ship is moored in Mele Bay. It will unload equipment needed on the runway project starting Thursday. However, the aggregate must remain on board. (Daily Post)

Australia’s newly appointed Ambassador for the Environment, Patrick Suckling, is presently in Port Vila on a familiarisation visit. He is responsible for Australia’s diplomacy around Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu will not permit other nations to conduct extralegal police operations on its soil, says Govt

77 alleged members of a Chinese crime syndicate were rounded up by Chinese police and flown from Nadi to China last week. Photo: CCTV

77 alleged members of a Chinese crime syndicate were rounded up by Chinese police and flown from Fiji to China last week. Photo: CCTV

Some 77 alleged members of a Chinese online fraud syndicate were detained and flown out of Fiji this week on a plane full of Chinese police. Fiji has no extradition treaty with China, meaning Fiji allowed the police force of another nation to operate on its soil outside of the checks and balances provided for by Fijian law. This is of concern for Fiji’s neighbours, including Vanuatu, because it indicates that China is willing to bypass the sovereign legal systems of our nations and conduct security operations on our soil whenever it suits them.

The Acting DG of Foreign Affairs has told the media it could not happen Read the rest of this entry »


Tanna’s Yasur volcano yields valuable information about volcanic bombs

Researchers in front of a volcanic explosion at Yasur volcano in Vanuatu, which is ejecting volcanic ballistic projectiles and a small ash plume. Photo: AGU's Eos/Marco Albano

Researchers in front of a volcanic explosion at Yasur volcano in Vanuatu, which is ejecting volcanic ballistic projectiles and a small ash plume. Photo: AGU’s Eos/Marco Albano

A recent paper in Reviews of Geophysics revealed new insights into the flight patterns of solid and molten debris flung out of volcanos during explosive eruptions, writes Jacopo Taddeucci in Eos:

“When volcanos erupt they can spew out a range of substances from viscous lava and hot gas to ash clouds and rock fragments, each of which behave in different ways. A recent review article published in Reviews of Geophysics focused on the larger fragments of solid and molten material ejected from volcanos, and described an innovative new study of the flight paths of these projectiles.”

Read the full story at Eos >


ADB provides additional funds to repair roads affected by Cyclone Pam

Road damage on Efate following Cyclone Pam. Photo: ADB/file

The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors is providing Vt 840 million (US$8.2M) in total additional financing to continue the reconstruction, rehabilitation, and climate-proofing of roads affected by Cyclone Pam.

The additional funding consists of a Vt 420 million loan and a Vt 420M grant from ADB’s Ordinary Capital Resources and the Asian Development Fund, respectively. The Government of Vanuatu is also contributing Vt 124 million to the project.

“Climate change adaptation remains a main feature of ADB’s support in the Pacific region involving building strong and building back better,” said Emma Fan, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney. “The extra funding will help the government upgrade and strengthen the resilience of targeted infrastructure under the project.”

The additional financing will provide further support to Read the rest of this entry »