1 Oct 2022

Pacific news in brief for October 1

11:26 am on 1 October 2022

USA counting on Pacific to fight climate change says Fritch

French Polynesia's President Edouard Fritch says the USA is counting on the Pacific to fight climate change.

French Polynesia President Edouard Fritch

French Polynesia's President Edouard Fritch Photo: supplied

Fritch and other leaders of the Pacific attended the US Summit to talk about climate change and Geopolitics in the region.

US President Joe Biden hosts the US-Pacific Island Country Summit with Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) at the State Department in Washington, DC, on September 29, 2022. (Photo by Oliver Contreras / AFP)

US President Joe Biden hosts the US-Pacific Island Country Summit with Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) at the State Department in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP/Oliver Contreras

He told TNTV that the US zero emission scheme will be extremely challenging to reach.

"He is counting on the countries of the Pacific to lead to war and convince today's polluting countries to respect the engagements of the Cop27, or even do better. With a goal to have zero emissions by 2050, which will be extremely difficult."

He also said the US plans to send funds to help countries through an energy transition and the road to zero by 2050.

Samoa's economy records a historically high recession

Samoa's economy recorded a historically high recession in the 2021 financial year.

A World Bank report on the economy of Samoa, completed in April but released last month, said the government needs to continue supporting the vulnerable and embark on structural reforms to support recovery.

The border closure for Samoa led to a sharp contraction of tourism and related industries and hindered construction activity.

The report said inflation had tanked to a historical low of minus-3 percent, amid an economic slowdown, but had been soaring from December 2021 to February 2022.

The Samoa economy is set to contract by another five percent in this financial year, driven by the border closure and the domestic Covid outbreak in March 2022.

Limited job opportunities obstacle for PNG's younger generation

PNG's National Research Institute says for sustainable development, the country must be more inclusive, more integrated, and more innovative to assist young people to earn an income by providing more job opportunities.

Limited employment opportunities in PNG are believed to be a major reason behind some citizens remaining in poverty.

Research intern Julian Melpa said the youth have the capability and potential to contribute effectively to move PNG towards achieving its desired future.

But he said inadequate job opportunities are an obstacle for the younger generation to build the nation.

Melpa reported creating employment opportunities for the youth in the country means building more factories, supporting the youth to be more involved in agriculture, engaging unemployed youth in community services, and providing opportunities for youth to access loans for doing business.

FEMA sends team to American Samoa

The U.S Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has dispatched three different teams to American Samoa.

This follows a Presidential declaration after the high surf, high winds, and flooding in the territory in July.

The agency's Region 9 Recovery Division director, Robert Pesapane,

the small disaster recovery team will continue working on Public Assistance disaster funding for the severe storms and high tides which hit in July.

He said the agency wants to reimburse American Samoa agencies and other eligible applicants quickly for the emergency work completed and the permanent work that needs to take place.

With increased seismic activity on the island of Ta'u in the Manu'a island group and concerns about a volcanic eruption, Pesapane said the agency dispatched nine-person planning, logistics and communication team.

The team is to work with American Samoa authorities on monitoring and evacuation plans, in case the volcano grows more active.

Samoa to export turmeric to US

The U.S Department of Agriculture has authorized importing fresh turmeric from Samoa.

Turmeric is best known for its use in Indian curry dishes and has become a trendy superfood for its ability to reduce inflammation.

The department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said imported turmeric rhizomes - or horizontal stems - are subject to phytosanitary measures, which prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests or pathogens.

Each consignment needs to be inspected by the Samoan National Plant Protection Organization, which must issue a Phytosanitary Certificate, and it will then be re-checked at the US border.