10 Jul 2013

Vanuatu research moratorium raises concerns

6:28 pm on 10 July 2013

A New Zealand researcher says Vanuatu's attempt to take control of international research in the country is the right thing to do despite having concerns about a moratorium.

A moratorium on international researchers has been imposed by the Vanuatu Cultural Council so it can perform a stock-take of all research and re-think its National Research Policy.

But a senior lecturer in linguistics at Victoria University, Dr Elizabeth Pearce, who has worked to create resources to preserve native languages on Malekula, says she has some concerns about the moratorium.

She says that while research already underway is allowed to continue, it won't be possible for new researchers to start work until next year.

"At the moment the embargo is for a 12 month period and this is the time that they're going to be working on their plans and so on. One would hope that, at least, they would be finished in that time so that we don't come to the end of the 12 months and find that, well they're not quite ready to start it up again. That's something I wonder about."

Victoria University's Dr Elizabeth Pearce.