Accurate and up-to-date data will support informed decisions by affected member countries and communities to prepare for and respond more effectively to a crisis or disaster.
After decades of taking its neighbours for granted, Australia is starting to wake up to China’s potential to dominate the Pacific region.
Ambassador Cheng Jingye indicated he was not aware of Bishop’s remarks but said the proposition China was creating so-called debt-traps for small nations was ‘ridiculous’.
Bishop said Australia was concerned about the economic viability of small Pacific nations and did not want unsustainable debt burdens imposed on them.
PNG is the latest frontier in Beijing’s bid for global influence that’s included building artificial reefs in the South China Sea and a military base in Africa.
Since Chinese President Xi Jinping took power in 2013, China has increased its dealings with Pacific island nations by including them in its ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.
The Solomon Islands is one of only 18 diplomatic allies of Taiwan, and a meeting by representatives from the Pacific country with China could be worrying.
Dengue outbreaks were reported from American Samoa, Fiji, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu in 2017.
The Pacific is highly dependent on coastal fisheries resources. In Fiji, more than half of its population depend on the ocean and fish for their livelihood.
The conference was told that the unique ways of the people of the Pacific need to be maintained and kept alive in our ways of worship.