PM cancels overseas meeting to meet with Ambae evacuees on three islands

PM Charlot Salwai in Santo to meet Ambae evacuees.

PM Charlot Salwai in Santo to meet Ambae evacuees this week.

PM Charlot Salwai decided to stay back from overseas commitments he planned to attend early this week to enable visits to the Ambae evacuees on Maewo, Santo and Pentecost. These visits were Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »


EU provides Vt 1.5 billion to aid fight against gender inequality and violence

The fight against gender inequality and violence in our region gets a Vt 1.5 billion boost. File photo: Creative Commons/DFAT

The fight against gender inequality and violence in our region gets a Vt 1.5 billion boost. File photo: Creative Commons/DFAT

The European Union and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat have signed a financial agreement to fight gender inequality and gender violence in the Pacific. Over US$15 million (Vt 1.5 billion) has been Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu’s share of airspace revenue increases — but Fiji still retains 93%

Pacific region Flight Information Regions (FIRs)

Pacific region Flight Information Regions (FIRs)

Vanuatu’s share of the upper airspace revenue has increased following the renegotiation of the Nadi Flight Information Region (FIR) revenue sharing agreement with Fiji. Joseph Niel, Director of the Civil Aviation Authority Vanuatu, paints the new agreement as a Vt50 million win for Vanuatu in Daily Post. The Nadi FIR includes the airspace of Vanuatu, part of Kiribati, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, but Fiji gets the lion’s share of revenue, up to 93% – while Vanuatu gets just 2.5%. Renegotiation of the agreement, long a thorn in the side of the Vanuatu Government, had been a priority. However, questions remain about why the revenue sharing calculation still gives Fiji such a large share when similar FIR revenue sharing agreements for nearby FIRs are seemingly far more equitable. For example, the Brisbane FIR, which covers the airspace of Solomon Islands and Nauru, gives 60% of revenue to the two island nations.

The name of the new High Commissioner to Vanuatu from New Zealand 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 »


New hydrographic maps produced of three Tanna harbours

File photo of Lenakel wharf, Tanna. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/PhillipC

File photo of Lenakel wharf, Tanna. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/PhillipC

New hydrographic survey maps of three harbours on Tanna have been completed. They have been done, Radio Vanuatu said, because of the tourist potential of the areas concerned. Lowanatom in the west and Waisisi and Sulphur Bay in the east are the ports. The British Government has funded the survey work, and British High Commissioner David Ward (based in Honiara) said safety in the sea, protection of the marine environment and national development will be enhanced through the availability of the survey. George Borugu, as acting director for tourism, spoke of the huge potential for cruise tourism to these Tannese ports. (VBTC)

The bodies of three ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers who died in a Read the rest of this entry »


Govt announces list of legislation to be debated at first 2017 sitting of Parliament

Vanuatu Parliament

Parliament meets in a fortnight, on Thursday 1 June. This will be the first ordinary sitting for 2017. Nine government Bills are will be debated, including Read the rest of this entry »