Drones planned to deliver vital medical supplies to remote islands

A new project will enable remote areas to receive urgently needed medical supplies by drone, the remote controlled pilotless aircraft. UNICEF is working with Government to make the project a reality for the small island developing countries. A previous trial in Malawi in Africa has already proven successful and the approach is now being trialled in Vanuatu.

President Lonsdale has spoken out on the international stage for much stronger action against climate change. Pres. Lonsdale, speaking as the leader of a small island developing state (SIDS), says “climate change is real and devastating my nation. As a long-time leader at the national level, I can confirm that Read the rest of this entry »

Two years on from Cyclone Pam, local band DropVkal Family sends musical message – climate change is ‘Dangerous’

Vanuatu band DropVkal Family is known for its incisive social messages as much as it is for its hard-edged roots-rock-reggae fusion sound – and their latest track, ‘Dangerous’, released to mark the second anniversary of Cyclone Pam, is no exception.

The band’s musical vision is to promote vernacular languages and give an alternative to the mainstream reggae sound popular in Vanuatu. They perform regularly at bars and restaurants around Port Vila, playing Saturday nights at the Saloon Bar, and Sunday afternoons at the Beach Bar at Mele. They are also available to play special events.

“We’re a group of friends from different islands of Vanuatu that have come together because of our love of music, and our interest in contributing to the development of Vanuatu and its special local culture”, says Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu’s women – bold for change on International Women’s Day

Bold for change – Vanuatu's women can do anything! Photo: Vanuatu Surfing Association/Facebook

Bold for change: Vanuatu’s women can do anything! Photo: Vanuatu Surfing Association/Facebook

Happy International Women’s Day! The work and achievements of women around the country are being celebrated, Doresday Kenneth Watson, head of Women’s Affairs, explained today. A peaceful demonstration took place organised by Pro-Active Mamas (PAM) between Anchor Inn and Saralana. “Be Bold for Change” is this year’s message. The Silae Market Vendors Association has been prominent in International Women’s Day events and are anxious to point out how women globally dominate the informal economic sector, where Read the rest of this entry »

Parliament closes with goodwill messages as ten bills are withdrawn from debate

Vanuatu Parliament House, Port Vila. Photo: PhillipC/Flickr

The censure motion withdrawn yesterday, the leader of Government business today withdrew a further ten bills and the parliamentary sitting closed with messages of goodwill and cheer. The implications of the failure to debate the remaining bills will become clear in due course.

The big news of today is the Vt 2.5 billion (US$23 million) grant for Climate Information Services for Vanuatu provided by the UN’s Green Climate Fund. It is one of Read the rest of this entry »

Extraordinary session of Parliament adjourns to give MPs sufficient time to study bills for debate

Vanuatu Parliament House, Port Vila. Photo: PhillipC/Flickr

Parliament was adjourned 24 hours yesterday to give enough time to all MPs to study the Bills for debate as it was argued there had been insufficient time for this. It seems the extra time was insufficient for Opposition MPs – none turned up for the sitting this morning. No other explanation reached the House as 24 Government MPs waited for the 2nd extraordinary sitting to begin. Nor was any further explanation given in VBTC lunchtime news. Without a quorum, Parliament was obliged to further postpone the sitting, until 2 o’clock tomorrow afternoon. (Radio Vanuatu)

The new MP for Malo/Aore, Uri Warawara of the Graon mo Jastis Party, was sworn in yesterday.

Government believes the  Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu offers seasonal workers to help fill agricultural labour gap in Tasmania

A Ni-Vanuatu seasonal worker at work packing apples in Australia's southern island state, Tasmania. Photo: DFAT

A Ni-Vanuatu seasonal worker at work packing apples in Australia’s southern island state, Tasmania. Photo: DFAT

Tasmania is interested in seasonal workers from Vanuatu and the southern Australian island state seems poised to take advantage of this. A delegation has called on Vanuatu’s High Commissioner in Australia, Kalfao Kaloris, to try to make this happen. However, the issue of a proposed lower ‘backpacker tax’ rate designed to encourage seasonal workers to come to Australia is yet to be resolved in Australia’s Parliament. (VBTC)

The former GM of the VNPF has had a claim for Vt 36 million refused by the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court after already receiving a payment of Vt 6 million on termination. She claimed her termination payment breached the terms of her contract. The Chief Justice did not agree and so her claim was Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu advocates for traditional climate knowledge at COP22 UN climate change meeting in Morocco

Logo of COP UN climate change meeting Marrakech, Morocco

Vanuatu has raised the issue of traditional knowledge, and has advocated greater access to funding for it, at the COP22 UN Climate Change meeting in Marrakech, Morocco. The Vanuatu Government’s Sam Mike Waiwai made a presentation on the topic at a two-day conference which focused on indigenous knowledge and climate change. UNESCO and the French National Centre for Scientific Research and other international bodies ran the event. The Minister for Climate Change Ham Lini joined the conference yesterday and will present a statement in a week’s time. As a story published here on Vanuatu Daily Digest last week noted, Vanuatu has made a significant contribution to global governance of climate change, introducing the concept of ‘loss and damage’ which is now central to global efforts to combat climate change.

Ni-Vanuatu workers at Cable Beach Club Resort in Australia have received Read the rest of this entry »