1,184 Vanuatu farmers achieve accreditation as organic producers

Farmers and officials launch the Organic certification logo for Vanuatu registered farmers on Tanna. Photo: Donald Wouleseje

Farmers and officials launch the Organic certification logo for Vanuatu registered farmers on Tanna. Photo: Donald Wouleseje

Vanuatu has 1,184 organic farmers accredited by the Vanuatu Organic Farmers’ Committee—on Tanna, Santo and Efate. Chairman of the committee, Benuel Tarilongi, said they are working with the Syndicat Agricole to manage the organic certifications according to the requirements of the European Union/Pacific Community (SPC) Organic Pasifika certification. Tarilongi made the announcement of the first certification ceremony at Lenakel, Tanna. The Pacific Ethical Trade Committee was represented at the meeting. Tarilongi explained that farmers must not have used pesticides or fertilizers during the preceding three-year period. Vanuatu farmers do not generally use chemicals in their gardens. Read the rest of this entry »

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Defection of Government MPs to Opposition prompted by MP salary increase proposal

Vanuatu Parliament chamber

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US Navy deploys in Vanuatu waters as part of regional maritime law enforcement push

Commanding officer of USS Rushmore Cmdr. John Ryan speaks to guests during a ship tour, while anchored in Port Vila harbour. The vessel is deployed in support of the Oceana Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI), a US program supporting maritime law enforcement operations in Oceania. Photo: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kryzentia Weiermann

Commanding officer of USS Rushmore Cmdr. John Ryan speaks to guests during a ship tour, while anchored in Port Vila harbour this week. The vessel is deployed as part of the Oceana Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI), a US program supporting maritime law enforcement operations in Oceania. Photo: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kryzentia Weiermann

The USS Rushmore, a United States amphibious dock landing ship, disembarked maritime law enforcement personnel last week and provided tours of the ship for invited Port Vila guests. The commanding officer said personnel are assisting regional maritime security enhancement “and keeping the sea lanes open for the benefit of all.”

The annual conference of Melanesian Indigenous Land Defence Alliance (MILDA) has rejected any Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu and France to hold border talks

Bathymetric map showing the boundary of the New Hebrides tectonic plate and the Australian plate. Matthew and Hunter sit on the New Hebrides plate, while New Caledonia sits on the Australian plate.

Bathymetric map showing the boundary of the New Hebrides tectonic plate and the Australian plate. Matthew and Hunter sit on the New Hebrides plate, while New Caledonia sits on the Australian plate.

Hunter Island

Hunter Island

The big outstanding issue with France — Matthew and Hunter Islands — is soon to be the subject of discussion in border talks which will take place at the Forum Fisheries Agency in Honiara. PM Charlot Salwai revealed this after the PM had held discussions with the French Minister of Overseas Territories, Annick Girardin, in Apia at the Pacific Islands Forum Leader’s meeting earlier this month. The border talks will be held in October. Vanuatu requires that the Ocean Policy covering climate and other issues be consulted as regional issues. Despite this, France and Fiji have already signed a border treaty without Vanuatu. Such a treaty will also be necessary between Fiji and Vanuatu.

Matthew Island

Matthew Island

PM Salwai pointed out that France was aware of Vanuatu’s Independence from 1980, and he said that Vanuatu should have been consulted when Fiji and France signed their border agreement. “This is why Vanuatu continues to dispute France’s claims and the treaty with Fiji. There are geographical reasons, cultural and traditional reasons it has in line with Melanesian spirit, Melanesian culture. We have the word of the Kanaks and senators of New Caledonia who expressed support for our positions last year”, said the Prime Minister. He mentioned two times this year when his government had taken up the issue with Paris — in January — and at MSG meetings. PM Salwai hoped the issue could be broached in this year’s United Nations General Assembly beginning in a few days.

The Supreme Court has dismissed a claim by Read the rest of this entry »


Bumper harvest on Tanna signals the revival of Vanuatu-grown potato crop

This year's bumper potato harvest on Tanna is on its way to market in Port Vila. Photo: Hon Matai Seremiah/Facebook

This year’s bumper potato harvest on Tanna is on its way to market in Port Vila. Photo: Hon Matai Seremiah/Facebook

In a commercial move which echoes a practice of 3 decades ago, some 20 tons of Tanna potatoes are being shipped to Read the rest of this entry »


Creativity in colour and in black and white on display at new art exhibition

'Vache de mer' by Maria Pietri. Photo: Fondation Suzanne Bastien

‘Vache de mer’ by Maria Pietri. Photo: Fondation Suzanne Bastien

'Erakor Lagoon' Indian ink painting by Gotz. Photo: Fondation Suzanne Bastien

‘Erakor Lagoon’ Indian ink painting by Gotz. Photo: Fondation Suzanne Bastien

An exhibition featuring the works by Maria Pietri and the creative outcomes of a current workshop with Gotz will be opening on Friday 15th of September, 5pm at Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu to host first-ever Pacific Week of Agriculture next month

The Pacific Week of Agriculture will take place between 16–20 October and is expected to bring 200 delegates to Port Vila. Ministers and senior officials from agriculture departments around the region will attend Read the rest of this entry »