Pacific island links: deep-sea mines and searching for life on Mars

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13 December 2017 14:21

13 December 2017

14:21 AEDT

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By Euan Moyle, an intern with the Lowy Institute's Pacific Islands Program.

  • The Lowy Institute’s series of papers on Papua New Guinea, Seven Snapshots of a Nation, looked at the challenges of PNG’s recent elections and the effectiveness of its government. ABC’s Pacific Beat discussed how PNG’s government development goals can be met in 2018 and beyond.
     
  • Pacific leaders are among 50 other heads of state who are in Paris for the One Planet Summit, a summit calling for increased action on climate change and rising sea levels two years on from the signing of the Paris Agreement.
     
  • In the Devpol blog, Rochelle-Lee Bailey and Sharon Wells look at how Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program has helped to increase labour mobility in Vanuatu and allowed ni-Vanuatu to better contribute to their communities.
     
  • And on Vanuatu, the Pacific Mini Games finishing in the country this week and the Pacific Games Council has voted to suspend Tahiti from the organisation due to ‘political interference’ from the French Polynesian government.
     
  • Here in The Interpreter, Kwei-Bo Huang investigates Taiwan’s relationship with South Pacific nations in light of President Tsai Ing-Wen’s recent trip to the region, and how domestic pressure and Beijing’s growing influence is shaping Taiwan’s approach to the region.
     
  • A controversial deep-sea gold and copper mine in PNG is being challenged by local community and environmental groups in the country’s National Court, citing a lack of consultation, concerns over financial viability and environmental impact.
     
  • A volcanic island off the shores of Tonga that emerged in 2014 is providing scientists with data on volcanic features and microbial communities that could be present on Mars.
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