Vanuatu daily news digest | 26 September 2014

The government is ready to meet the manager and representatives of the MKM Company involved with nickel smelting in New Caledonia when they arrive in Port Vila later today. Lands Minister Regenvanu made it clear that the team was arriving at a time when a number of ministers are absent from the capital. The government will inform the group of the need for stringent precautions in bringing nickel into the country, the Radio Vanuatu report added. The NKM Company still insists is has the approval of government to open the project and says it has all the legal documents needed from when it came to Vanuatu last month and signed for the project with Acting PM Ham Lini at that time. The manager also says a successful meeting was held yesterday in Santo with the President of Sanma Province, land owners and chiefs, and he said they agree that the project should proceed. Ignoring the foregoing, there could not yet have been an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for the area of great natural beauty where the smelting installation is intended to be located. Further, a Santo community leader has denied that there is the support for the project as implied in Radio Vanuatu News this morning. Whatever ministerial approvals are in hand, the EIA is the one which matters.

Radio Vanuatu also reported Vanuatu looking to enter the age of renewable energy rather than depending on fossil fuels. Minister of Energy James Bule says the government has taken all possible steps and should be starting with North Efate Geothermal and Maewo hydro-electricity.

All media today cover Onesua beating Malapoa in the schools debating competition organized by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy (PiPP).

And Daily Post features a great cover photo of tourism industry personnel holding single-letter placards in front of the colourful new Handicraft Centre on the Wharf Road. Dressed in equally technicolour outfits, the 70-odd ni-Vanuatu tourism models spell out HAPPY WORLD TOURISM DAY 2014 FROM VANUATU’s ISLANDS. The world theme this year focuses on tourism’s ability to empower people and provide them with skills to achieve change in their local communities. So happy world tourism day everyone, tomorrow, Saturday 27 September.


One Comment on “Vanuatu daily news digest | 26 September 2014”

  1. David browning says:

    This Santo nickel project smells. Not only has there been no public consultation but no EIA. Sea pollution, shipping pollution, land pollution plus air pollution from electricity generation,dust etc. and scenic pollution. If all these are covered in and EIA and the answer is favourable then ok but most important is to have proper consultation and keep people informed of the consequences. My view is to let New Caledonia keep it’s own pollution. It has the money to deal with all that. The project, if it goes ahead, should not cost the Vanuatu taxpayer or government a cent. There must also be a heck into the antecedents of those running the company. They could be a lot of crooks as we have seen before in other guises.