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 »

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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 »


Its Pacific cyclone season – please sign this petition and help save lifesaving shortwave radio to our islands

Animated satellite images taken from March 13 2015. Photo: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The ABC’s shortwave radio broadcasts helped many in Vanuatu during Cyclone Pam in 2015.

As you read this, a cyclone is forming east of Vanuatu. As people in Vanuatu are well aware, up-to-date information is critical when preparing for a natural disaster.

Unfortunately, in the middle of the Pacific cyclone season, Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC, says it will end shortwave radio broadcasts to the Pacific Islands by 31st January.

This decision puts lives at risk in Vanuatu and the rest of the Pacific. The ABC’s shortwave service provide lifesaving information during cyclones and other disasters as well as playing an important role in ensuring media freedom. Here in Vanuatu, during Cyclone Pam in 2015, ABC shortwave broadcasts helped people outside of the range of FM radio and cellular phone towers keep up to date with cyclone warnings. The service undoubtedly helped ni-Vanuatu people prepare and may have even saved lives.

The Pacific Freedom Forum has organised a petition to let decision-makers in Australia know how vital the ABC’s shortwave radio services are for us in the Pacific. Will you please help?

Please click this link to sign the petition.

Thank you.


President Lonsdale calls for more responsibility, less selfishness from political leaders

President Baldwin Lonsdale.

“The security, rights and needs of people must predominate in leaders’ thinking”, says President Baldwin Lonsdale.

The Head of State made Vanuatu’s security the cornerstone of his address in opening the second ordinary sitting of Parliament yesterday. “Leaders must understand that they must take action to avoid violence and corruption proliferating and become aware that people are fearing for their lives”, said President Lonsdale. “The security, rights and needs of people must predominate in leaders’ thinking, and people want to express themselves on these issues, and be heard.” President Baldwin Lonsdale inspected a guard of honour before officially opening the second ordinary sitting. (Radio Vanuatu)

The Speaker of Parliament Esmon Saimon withdrew two Private Members’ Bills from the agenda of the current Parliament sitting yesterday. He stated that they had not Read the rest of this entry »


Cyclone season begins: 2–3 cyclones expected in Vanuatu this season, warns Meteo Dept

Cyclone Pam wind chart

File graphic of 2015’s Cyclone Pam. With 2-3 cyclones predicted for Vanuatu this season, the Vanuatu Meteorological and Geohazards Dept is urging everyone to start their cyclone preparations NOW.

Vanuatu can expect 2 to 3 tropical cyclones in the 2016/2017 cyclone season, according to Vanuatu’s Meteorology and Geohazard Department (VMGD), which is predicting a normal to elevated risk of cyclones passing through the Vanuatu archipelago between now and April 2017.

Under the present weak La Niña conditions, Vanuatu is more likely to experience a Category 3 cyclone, and less likely to experience a Category 4 or 5 cyclone, says VMGD.

However, they emphasise that all communities should stay alert and be well prepared for the possibility of a severe tropical cyclone, and now is the right time to begin preparations.

The current La Niña event is elevating sea surface temperatures in the western Pacific, and this is likely to be Read the rest of this entry »


Improved cyclone tracking map issued ahead of next cyclone season

Vanuatu Meteorological Services's new cyclone tracking map, June 2016. Click on the image to load a larger version.

Vanuatu Meteorological Services’s new cyclone tracking map, June 2016. Click on the image to load a larger version.

A new and improved tropical cyclone tracking map has been issued by Vanuatu Meteorological Services. It shows the updated frequencies and times of broadcast of cyclone warnings. And there are sketches of the likely effects caused over land by the different categories of cyclones. Click on the image  Read the rest of this entry »


Lessons learned from Cyclone Pam; Lambubu School on Malekula gets satellite internet

Image taken from cover of Lesson Learned report

Image taken from cover of Lesson Learned report

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