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Friday, 09 November

13:47

In West Papuas Arfak Mountains, local leaders plot ecotourism boom "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

MANOKWARI, Indonesia High in the northwestern mountains of Indonesias West Papua province, the newly established Pegunungan Arfak district has a bold idea: Its leaders hope to achieve economic prosperity through conservation and ecotourism rather than selling off their land to mining and plantation companies. With peaks reaching 2,955 meters (9,695 feet), Pegunungan Arfak is the highest district in West Papua. And while a pair of lakes make for a compelling tourist destination, local officials believe the biodiversity and unique culture of the area can bring visitors in droves. Other regions in Indonesia have pinned their hopes on ecotourism as a driver of economic growth, but Pegunungan Arfak has a secret weapon: a mandate from provincial leaders to prioritize sustainability and conservation in economic development. Last month, the provinces of West Papua and Papua, which together compose Indonesias half of the island of New Guinea, reaffirmed their unified goal to essentially become the next Costa Rica an ecotourism success story that generates almost $3 billion in annual revenue for that country. In 2015, West Papua declared itself the worlds first conservation province, with a mandate to prioritize conservation in all decisions of economic development. The move came on the heels of a 2014 national law that reversed some aspects of decentralization by partly transferring governance of Indonesias natural resources from the local level back up to provincial level. While some saw this as a huge step forward allowing for more consistent and enforceable laws others worried that

00:12

Govt Concerned Over Delay On Review Of Mine Laws "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

The  Deputy PM needs to get his story straight. Last month he warned against rushing new mining projects saying We want economic integration, but not economic exploitation. Papua New Guinea must make sure that integration takes place at a pace that allows local institutions, industry and local businesses to develop. If not, Abel said, sophisticated financial and political capital will systematically dispossess the countrys natural resources and put them into the hands of foreigners.

Now its seems he is happy to rush ahead with new mines regardless of the consequences for PNG and local communities

Matthew Vari | Post Courier | November 8, 2018

Deputy Prime Minister Charles has expressed his concern over the prolonged review process of the proposed Mining Act amendments into the industry, citing a critical juncture in existing and new investment decisions in the sector.

He said while it is the prerogative of government to review laws, in this case 26 years since the 1992 Act was changed, he said government is aware of concerns from the mining industry which it shared as it...

Thursday, 08 November

23:28

Saonu Raises Concerns On Wafi-Golpu Mining Lease "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Post Courier | November 9, 2018

Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu has raised concerns on the pending signing of a special mining lease between the developer of the Wafi-Golpu mine in Morobe Province and the government during the APEC summit next week.

He cited sources from social media who had released a report saying there was already a memorandum of agreement in place, established by the Mining Act.

The issue was interrupted by a court case and the signing of the special mining lease is expected to take place in 2019.

Mr Saonu directed his concerns to the Prime Minister Peter ONeill during question time in Parliament.

Would you please confirm or deny, whether the government has agreed to sign a heads of agreement at the APEC Summit? Why was the Morobe provincial government and stakeholders not consulted? Mr Saonu asked.

If the proposed signing of the heads of agreement is true, will you inform all the stakeholders landowners, state entities and the people of Morobe on what the agreement is all about?

...

21:22

First $25,221 Distributed To 100 Landowners As Fair Share Of Mineral Royalties In Vatukoula "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Faiyaz Koya (middle) handed out cheques to 100 Nasomo landowners under the right of landowners to a fair share of mineral royalties. It came at Vatukoula on November 6, 2018. Photo: Charles Chambers

US$300 each a fair share really? 

Fiji Sun | 7 November 2018

Tis the season to be jolly.

Yesterday marked the day that the right of landowners to a fair share of mineral royalties for the extraction of minerals under their land comes to fruition.

Thanks to the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his FijiFirst Government

It marks a milestone event not only for the landowners but also for the mining sector and also the Government of Fiji.

The Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Res...

17:43

Evicted for a showpiece project, this PNG community fights for justice "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

I lost everything, says Joe Moses, recalling the day homes in his community of Paga Hill were demolished. Moses is one of thousands of Papua New Guineans who have lost their homes to make way for new developments as the country prepares to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, which begins Nov. 17. Plans for the gathering in the capital, Port Moresby, were underway as early as 2011, when the summit was held in Honolulu, Hawaii. The government has since embarked on a building spree to accommodate the world leaders and business executives expected to attend. Throughout Port Moresby, roads have been resurfaced, cathedral-like conference centers have gone up, and endless billboards and flags proclaim the start of the summit. Ordinary citizens, meanwhile, complain about the poor state everywhere else of infrastructure and basic services, including roads, hospitals and schools. The events climax, the APEC Leaders Summit, will take place in a glass conference hall built on reclaimed land right next to Paga Hill. The APEC Haus, photographed in June 2018, which will host world leaders during the APEC summit in November. Construction is said to have cost 120 million kina, around $37 million. Image by Lucy Woods for Mongabay. Given Paga Hills central, seaside and APEC-integral location, development plans for the area, which had previously been proposed and dismissed, accelerated into one of the nations biggest development projects. Moses had just graduated from studying sociology and anthropology at the University of Papua New Guinea at the time, and

11:27

Congo Basin rainforest may be gone by 2100, study finds "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Africas Congo Basin is home to the second-largest rainforest on the planet. But according to a new study, this may soon not be the case. It finds that at current rates of deforestation, all primary forest will be gone by the end of the century. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) in the U.S. who analyzed satellite data collected between 2000 and 2014. Their results were published today in Science Advances. It reveals that the Congo Basin lost around 165,000 square kilometers of forest during their study period. In other words, one of the worlds largest rainforests lost an area of forest bigger than Bangladesh in the span of 15 years. The Congo Basin rainforest is home to many species, such as this okapi (Okapia johnstoni), which is listed as Endangered by the IUCN and is found only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But why? Is it due to industrial pressure like in South America and Southeast Asia where the majority of deforestation has been done for soy, palm oil, and other commodity crops? Or commercial logging, which is razing forests on the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea? Not so much, according to this newest study. It reveals that the dominant force behind rising Congo deforestation, driving more than 80 percent of the regions total forest loss, is actually small-scale clearing for subsistence agriculture. The researchers write that most of it is done by hand with simple axes. According to the

09:07

Fukushima Frozen Wall Proves Partially Effective "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

TEPCO has reported on the frozen wall nine months after Japans nuclear regulator expressed skepticism about the walls effectiveness. Japans

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06:21

Heartbroken Cat Rediscovers A Scent He Thought He'd Never Smell Again "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

It's now been months since Zeus the cat said a final farewell to his friend, a dog named Sam who passed away. But the saddened cat's love for his old canine companion still burns strong in his heart.

And recently, that couldn't have been made more clear.

Credit: Emma Catanzarite

On the surface, Zeus and Sam's relationship may not have seemed too atypical for a cat and dog living under the same roof.

But despite the contrasts in their species and temperaments, a bond formed between them though they did express it in different ways.

Credit: Emma Catanzarite

"Zeus always tried to cuddle with Sam and play with him, but Sam was always uninterested," Emma Catanzarite, the pair's owner, told The Dodo. "Zeus loved to tease him all the time."

Mostly, though, he just wanted to be close.

Credit: Emma Catanzarite

But while cats are usually the ones who have a funny way of showing affection, in this case it was Sam the dog who expressed his love through tolerance.

Credit: Emma Catanzarite

Sadly, though, their time together couldn't last forever; two months ago, Sam died and it cast a long shadow on the cat's heart.

"Zeus seemed really lonely after Sam passed away," Catanzarite said. "He followed my mom around a lot more during the day and he meowed a lot after...

00:32

Foreign miners guilty of double standards "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

International Mining Companies have Colonial and Racist Double Standards

Source: Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

A case study comparing the performance of Canadian mining companies in their home country to their performance overseas has found dramatic double standards.

The the study has been published by the prestigious Peter Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia.

The report finds Canadian mining companies have been involved in major human rights violations in developing nations including slavery and forced labour, violence against unarmed protestors, sexual violence against women and gang rapes.

Despite the international condemnation of these actions, Canada has failed regulate the behaviour of its companies in their overseas operations.

The study provides a comparison of the regulatory regime for extractive companies operating in Canada versus that in Papua New Guinea.

The study shows how Canadian companies operating in Papua New Guinea, Nautilus Minerals and Barrick Gold, fail to maintain the same standards that apply in their home country.

The double standards apply across the whole spectrum of their operations including environmental assessment and consultation, forced evictions and other human rights abuses, violence and access to the courts, access to information and respect for free prior informed consent.

The report calls for mining companies to apply the same practices and standards across all countries where they operate and for accountability to be enforceable in their home nations.

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