Vanuatu rolls out Right to Information legislation throughout Govt agencies

right to information vanuatu

The order enacting Vanuatu’s Right To Information legislation was signed yesterday morning by Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman. The signing names the first government agencies to be involved. Seven are going into the first implementation: Customs, Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock, Tourism and the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer. The Prime Minister has signed the appointment letters of the Steering Committee members. As well as Government representatives there are private sector members. The RTI Act was passed a year ago.

Police are holding a man who stabbed to death his partner on Read the rest of this entry »


Tax expert to Vanuatu Govt: don’t repeat the mistakes of the 1990s

tax Vanuatu

A story familiar to many here in Vanuatu and especially those concerned in Finance in government: Nik Soni, who worked with governments here that long ago, after a well developed advisory time in other developing countries, had much to say about Vanuatu’s yet-to-be-unveiled tax plan on Coffee & Controversy on Buzz 96 FM on Tuesday. Not repeating the mistakes of the 1990 is surely the clearest signal of where we are likely to go wrong. But before getting on to the worst early wrongdoings of the late 1990s, Soni was full of praise for the 2017 Government making so much more of public consultation. Too right.

The nitty-gritty of where Vanuatu started going wrong in the 1990s, according to Nik Soni is the balance between Read the rest of this entry »


Study aims to reveal sources of plastic waste on Efate’s coastline

USP students from Port Vila's Emalus campus conduct a transect of Eton Beach, Efate looking for plastic waste. Photo: SPREP

USP students from Port Vila’s Emalus campus conduct a transect of Eton Beach, Efate looking for plastic waste. Photo: SPREP

Following on from yesterday’s item that the Salwai Government is planning to ban the import of plastic bottles and bags, comes this welcome news: USP students from Port Vila’s Emalus campus are engaged in a study of the micro and macro plastic waste found on Efate’s Eton Beach. The UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) is leading the research in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and USP. USP’s Bachelor of Science students majoring in chemistry and biology are being trained at Eton Beach in the correct sampling and collecting methodology for studying marine plastic waste. The study aims to determine whether the waste is of local or foreign origin, and to study the ‘plastic life cycle’. International marine waste expert Dr Thomas Maes of CEFAS emphasises how fish consume plastic waste in the oceans, and that we need to make every effort to remove plastic waste from their diet, or it joins Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu mulls import ban on plastic bags and bottles

Vanuatu PM Salwai says Govt is looking at implementing a plastic ban – please show your support by signing this petition!

PM Salwai says Govt is looking at implementing a ban – please show your support by signing this petition!

Almost all of us, whether urban or rural, knows Port Vila to be considered a place of great beauty, praised by visitors from overseas and locals alike. And it is being made more and more attractive all the time with the Seafront development and Fatumaru Bay project, which will bring the tourists in. There is really good news ahead: the Prime Minister has committed Vanuatu to a ban on plastic bags and bottles. In his Independence Day speech, PM Salwai recognised the efforts of a number of concerned individuals who started the No Plastik Bag Plis campaign so very recently. A paper and online version of this petition for stronger regulation to minimise plastic pollution still needs signatures, and Vanuatu Digest encourages everyone to sign. Luganville is also intended as a municipal partner in this project. And it is hoped it can become a nationwide campaign. Vanuatu will likely become the first island country in the Pacific region to implement a policy like this. (Daily Post)

PM Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, also in his official Independence Day speech, once again repeated the mantra that Vanuatu could not really be free until every country seeking independence in the Pacific is truly Read the rest of this entry »


Security, peace and stability are are the foundation of the nation, says PM

A Vanuatu Mobile Force soldier raises the Vanuatu flag at yesterday's official celebration of 37 years of independence. Photo: Mia Rimon, Pacific Community

A Vanuatu Mobile Force soldier raises the Vanuatu flag at yesterday’s official celebration of 37 years of independence. Photo: Mia Rimon, Pacific Community

The President’s determination to achieve unity during his term of office, as he opened the Read the rest of this entry »


China opens new embassy in Port Vila to mark 35 years of diplomatic relations

China's new embassy in Pango, Port Vila. Photo: © vanuatudigest.com

China’s new embassy in Nambatri, Port Vila. Photo: © vanuatudigest.com

A new Chinese Embassy building has opened at Nambatri. Ambassador Liu Quan and Prime Minister Charlot Salwai unveiled a plaque at the vast premises on Tuesday marking the opening of the landmark building we all have been watching grow in Vila. It cements the 35th anniversary of Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu set to graduate from Least Developed Country status in 2020

Vanuatu Deputy PM Joe Natuman with WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo this week at the 2017 Aid for Trade Global Review in Geneva. Photo: WTO

Vanuatu Deputy PM Joe Natuman with WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo this week at the 2017 Aid for Trade Global Review in Geneva. Photo: WTO

Mark your diary: Vanuatu will cease to be a Least Developed Country (LDC) in 2020. DPM Joe Natuman is attending the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s 2017 Aid for Trade Biennial Review in Geneva, Switzerland. He has attended some 50 sessions while there. “Inclusiveness, and Connectivity for Sustainable Development” is the theme of the event. The Aid for Trade Initiative of the World Trade Organization was launched in 2005. LDC is a UN category that currently affords Vanuatu special treatment from certain trading partners in terms of preferential quotas, duty exemptions and prices, some of which will cease when Vanuatu graduates to the next category, Developing Country.

At 4pm sharp Thursday (26 July) the sirens attached to each of the tsunami warning towers in Port Vila will blast Read the rest of this entry »