Tag Archives: Environment

Pacific Tuna Forum – O’Neill speech

 

At the 6th Pacific Tuna Forum

 

Under the theme:

“Fostering Greater Social, Economic and Financial Benefits – Through Sustainable Management and Development of Tuna Resources”

 

13 September 2017

 

Good Morning,

 

It is a pleasure for Papua New Guinea to host this very prestigious 6th Pacific Tuna Forum.

 

Tuna is indeed the natural resource that binds the peoples and Governments of the Pacific Islands together.

 

Tuna is also the major revenue earner for many of our Governments in the Pacific, and for some, it is their single source of revenue.

 

The importance placed on this resource cannot be overstated.

 

Even back in the 1970s, one of the main policy agendas of many Governments was co-operation together to manage their tuna resources.

 

This bi-annual Pacific Tuna Forum is an initiative of the Papua New Guinea Government, through the National Fisheries Authority, when it was first held here in 2007.

 

Today, it is held in Partnership with INFO-FISH, and our Regional Fisheries Management Organizations.

 

This 3rd forum to be hosted in Papua New Guinea, and also includes the inaugural fishery technology expo that was held yesterday.

 

This forum is a premier tuna industry meeting in the Pacific region.

 

I welcome all policy makers, fishery managers, NGOs and industry leaders from around the world, who are with us here today.

 

The theme of this Forum, focusing on “Greater Social, Economic and Financial Benefits Through Sustainable Management” is very timely.

 

This theme also resonates quote well with the theme of the 48th Pacific Islands Forum in Apia last week, that very much focused on sustainable development, management and conservation of the Blue Pacific.

 

At the Leaders’ meetings in Apia, we urged the establishment and mainstreaming of regional Minimum Terms and Conditions in all areas of investment and development.

 

This includes a focus on the environment, and compliance across all marine sectors, particularly fisheries.

 

We are placing our support behind a number of initiatives and export standards.

 

This includes Competent Authorities and Catch Documentation Schemes in our region’s small Island economies.

 

As a region we have access to over 50 percent of world tuna supplies.

 

However, the major markets for tuna are not within our region.

 

Papua New Guinea, through the National Fisheries Authority, recognised the importance of expanding our markets.

 

We have established a Trade Lobby Committee which is comprised of both Government and industry representatives.

 

The aim of this committee is to explore and develop new markets.

 

We must be proactive, and go out and look for markets for our fisheries products if we are to have a viable industry into the future.

 

But Pacific Island Nations need to maintain focus on what we must do to ensure we have a viable fisheries sector for our children and their futures.

 

We are building upon the 2016 Forum Communique calling for all high seas bunkering of purse seiners – to be forced into our zones and under license.

 

As part of this, we must broaden this to include long line transhipping and bunkering operations.

 

We have to work together to further prevent illegal activities.

 

Building upon the success of PNA nations in managing the purse seine fishery, we further urge Small Island Nations to use their strength in number, for greater leverage on their interests and to safeguard the interests of our countries.

 

As Pacific Island States we need to steer our destiny in zone and in self-determination, and ensure benefits go to the people and economies.

 

We must do this rather than struggle with external dictates by those believing they have paternalistic rights to our fish and our waters.

 

Overall we need to strengthen Pacific solidarity in ensuring collective efforts for joint initiatives for improved ownership, participation and returns from the Blue Pacific.

 

This needs to be through specific initiatives in the sectors such as fishing, processing, transport, trade, and food security.

 

We can build upon the successes of our regional brand for niche products, and ensure that we have the right standards.

 

I urge that we ensure that our operators are provided with more opportunities and supported by the government in the sector.

 

This can be support through the development of partner funded initiatives, so we are not just seeing 100% foreign ventures promoted in these sectors throughout the region.

 

We need genuine joint ventures.

 

We also encourage PPP initiatives, especially in port services, processing and cold store infrastructure development.

 

In my view there is has great potential for our economies, particularly in port waste management for the sector, and this has the added benefit of helping to preserve the natural environment.

 

We need to develop more downstream processing and provide more spin-off business opportunities for our people.

 

All too often we see the tuna sector that is alienating itself from pour people, and particularly our SMEs.

 

We must create more opportunities so that is industry can continue to provide, more support for labour mobility, and making sure that there are more income-earning opportunities for our coastal communities throughout the Pacific Island Nations.

 

These untapped resources, and the opportunities that are available, must be accessed at sea and onshore.

 

Our Government today, is taking a stand against those non-preforming ventures.

 

We are now going to review over the next three months.

 

We are going to review many of these ventures, and the agreements that we have, because as I said at the Pacific Islands’ Forum last week.

 

For far too long in our region, we see ventures that continue to never make profits, Maurice Brown-John said in Apia last week, they never want to leave either.

 

That is why, enough-is-enough.

 

It is time to stop playing these kind of games.

 

It is important that benefits are shared equally, and fairly, so that our people benefit from the resources that they truly own.

 

Our Government is continuing to undertake the responsibility to continue to build good public infrastructure, and provide more training, and tax incentives that will continue to strengthen the industry as we have done in the past.

 

Papua New Guinea has subsidised this industry over the past decade, almost to the tune of almost 1 billion US Dollars.

 

This is by way of concessional fishing rights, in addition to many other generous concessions to the fishing industry.

 

But the reality this hardly adds to the production output that we have sought to achieve.

 

So we can ask where are the results from the investment that the country has been making?

 

We only see market share eroding, for example countries are having access to the markets that are usually reserved for countries like Papua New Guinea, where the tuna originates.

 

So in countries like Germany, they are achieving market share of close to 40 per cent, from exports that come from Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region.

 

This is unacceptable to countries like ours, because it erodes the market share for our people and our country.

 

That is why it is important that we go back and review some of the agreements, where we are not seeing processing plants that are not even running up to 75 per cent capacity that is required to hold a license in the industry.

 

We have a scenario where only 1 in 5 fish, that our Government has subsidised, is actually processed in Papua New Guinea.

 

Only 1 in 3, or even 1 in 4 jobs to process the catch are in Papua New Guinea.

 

In reality it means that almost 80% of the benefits from Papua New Guinea, are actually enjoyed by other countries.

 

That is why PNG flagged vessels, that fish our waters today, who enjoy the discounts, and yet have not landed a single fish to our processors in 2 years will be held to account.

 

This is simply not acceptable.

 

Our Government will implement changes.

 

They will make the review, and by 2018 I expect that this scenario will change.

 

We will increase rewards and support to direct to those who are genuine in the industry, who are genuine in wanting to process the fish in Papua New Guinea.

 

Let me state again, we welcome genuine investors, but those who are only here for cheap fishing are welcome to leave.

 

Our Government is committed to building the necessary support infrastructure.

 

We will create facilities so that fishing men and women, and processors are able to bring fish into ports in a timely manner, can process them at a reasonable cost.

 

We are exploring funding options for the Wagang Port, a dedicated fisheries port in Lae.

 

We want this critical infrastructure to commence construction soon.

 

As many of you will know the Government of Papua New Guinea proposed the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone in Madang as a regional tuna processing hub.

 

We will continue to pursue this project.

 

There is no easy way and there are no shortcuts in building a truly robust and competitive fisheries industry together.

 

We need to build competitiveness by increasing productivity and reducing costs of production.

 

During this term of Government, the policies and the achievements of the PNG fisheries sector will be measured against the regional benchmark.

 

This will be as outlined in the regional roadmap for sustainable fisheries.

 

We will continue to pursue onshore investment so that we can support these policies, and work with processors towards meeting their processing capacities.

 

Our Government is committed to making this happen, and will work with all stakeholders, especially our locally based fishing and processing industries.

 

We have the greatest potential in our tuna industry.

 

And together we will build a fairer, sustainable and more profitable tuna sector.

 

I wish you all a successful, informative and productive forum and an enjoyable stay in Papua New Guinea.

 

I now declare open – the 06th Pacific Tuna Forum 2017.

 

Thank you.

Prime Minister – Peter O’Neill

Opening Address to Parliament – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill

Address to Parliament by

Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP

Prime Minister 


22 August 2017

Mr. Speaker,
I thank His Excellency, the Governor-General of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae, for his opening address to this Honourable House this morning.

Mr. Speaker,
Please allow me to express the Government’s appreciation on this occasion, and at the same time Mr. Speaker, to take this opportunity to welcome all Members of Parliament on both sides of the House. 
Our people have placed their trust in all of us to represent them in this House so we can continue to stand-up for the interests of our great Nation.
Now is the time to be united behind this common trust that our people have place in us.
Now is a time to put aside personality politics.
It is a time to debate policy and ideas that will advance the interests of all Papua New Guineans.
As a Government, we will continue to build on the foundations that we laid over the past five years.
We went to elections with a core set of policies, and the voters embraced these policies.
Working with our coalition partners in Alotau, we have further strengthened these policies, and this going to be is the agenda that we bring to this Parliament.
We have the mandate of the people, and we will honour this mandate given to us through our words and through our actions.

ECONOMIC FOUNDATIONS
As a Government we must maintain focus on strengthening our economic foundations of our Nation.
We will review the revenue that our Government currently generates.
Through this process we will identify areas where we are not reaching our true potential, and to increase these revenue streams.
This will involve the development of a comprehensive Medium-Term Revenue Strategy to stimulate revenue-led growth for our economy.

REVENUE AND DEBT REVIEW
Alongside this assessment of revenue, we will undertake a very comprehensive review of expenditure and our debt management strategy.
We acknowledge that debt is an essential part of life for Government and business alike. 
We must continue to think long-term and continue to apply sensible debt management.
Our economy is in a strong position compared to similar economies around the world, and we will continue to review this position and make positive change.

EXPANDING ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION
An important element in facilitating true economic growth is sharing the gains so that all people benefit.
Our Government, working with our agencies of Government and international partners, will expand the delivery of economic inclusion programs.
We will continue to increase financial literacy and access to credit in the formal economy.

SME DEVELOPMENT
Over the last 40 years, one key business short-falls has been our country’s ability to grow the SME Sector.
While we are open to inviting more foreign direct investment, we need there to be a more level playing field especially in the SME sector.
We are delivering a comprehensive strategy that will grow this sector into the future.

RESOURCES PROJECTS
When it comes to large-scale projects, global companies continue to maintain the highest level of confidence in our oil, gas and mineral sectors.
We are working with TOTAL from France, ExxonMobil from the United States, Oil Search and other companies so that we can develop the next level of LNG production in our country.
At the same time, we know that our value-add strategy coming from this is one that we must advance so that our people and our country continue to benefit more.
We will advance plans to establish a petrochemicals industry in our country over the coming years.

LAND OWNERSHIP
We also need to work harder so that we can continue to support land ownership and equitable benefit sharing that our people are demanding.
We want to ensure that traditional owners can truly benefit from the resources that they and their communities have possessed for thousands of years.
To this end, we are committed to a review on ownership rights of resources in our country.

FORESTRY
Our forestry sector is another resource where we can value-add.
For far too long, Governments have had a less than transparent visibility of this industry where a blind-eye has been turned to issues blatantly before Government.
In this term of Government we will legislate for sustainable forestry development, and we will continue to increase landowner participation in this industry.

TOURISM
A further area of great potential for our people is tourism in this country.
There is so much that we have to offer the world tourism market, and to offer to our own domestic tourist market.
We must strengthen tourism infrastructure, this includes not only building hotels, but other infrastructure like sea ports and air ports.
As agreed in the Second Alotau Accord, we will promote and establish associated infrastructure for the tourism Hubs in our country.

INFRASTRUCTURE
The economy of our nation can only move forward if we have the right infrastructure in place.
Over recent decades, infrastructure has been left to ruin, and has not kept pace with a growing population.
Through the Second Alotau Accord, we have committed to opening up missing links, especially road and bridge links between many of the isolated communities right throughout the country.
We are determined to bring other infrastructure such as power and telecommunications, and make them cheaper.

LAW AND ORDER
Over recent decades, Papua New Guinea has suffered from a negative reputation because of Law and Order issues.
Through the policy initiatives of the Second Alotau Accord, we will create safer and more secure communities.
Our Government is committed to continuing the recruitment of well-disciplined police men and woman, and also other disciplined forces, and equipping them properly so that the can do a fair job.
We will also review legislation that governs all of our disciplined services, to ensure far better accountability so that there is far better command and control structures in place.
Today, in many parts of the country the judiciary and legal system are also gaining access to better infrastructure.
At the same time, our judiciary and legal infrastructure will continued to be enhanced and updated.

EDUCATION
Free education for our children has certainly changed the Nation and launched a new path for many Papua New Guineans.
Over the past five years we have placed more than one million additional children in school.
The first five years of free education has come with a lot of challenges, we are the first to admit this.
Our clear focus now is on improving the quality of education for all of our children.
We also need to keep increasing the number of Papua New Guineans who are getting trade qualifications, as well as expanding their academic qualifications through universities.
We are committed to establishing of an Education Endowment Fund that will further enhance quality education being delivered throughout our country.

HEALTHCARE
Providing healthcare to remote and rural areas remains a core Government policy.
Access to hospital care should not be restricted to urban areas only, and in this term of Government, we will continue to build and rehabilitate district and provincial hospitals.
We will continue to work with churches, NGOS and partner Governments, to strengthen our healthcare services.
We will subsidise specialised healthcare, and we will improve the collation and use of health data and wellbeing indicators. 

POPULATION
We really do not know how many people live in our country.
We have estimates, but these are not accurate enough.
We need to re-establish a National Data Collection Centre so that we can plan better and we can develop policies that better reflect the population distribution in our country.
Accurate population data is key for proper Public Policy planning and monitoring. 
We must aim to keep our economic growth above our population growth, and we can only do this by having access to reliable data so that we can monitor these very indicators as we move forward.

FOREIGN POLICY
We live in an ever-changing and globalising world, it is essential that we position ourselves to be a functional and respected global citizen.
We will continue to grow our trading opportunities and partnerships with many other countries within the region.
We will continue to build our multi-national relations that we already have.
Papua New Guinea is now the incoming host of APEC.
In November next year, the twenty Presidents and Prime Ministers of APEC’s other Member Economies will visit our country.
This is an opportunity to showcase our country to the world.
It is an opportunity to change the way the world views our country.
Papua New Guinea’s APEC will have very Pacific-style Hospitality along with world-class security arrangements.

CONCLUSION – POSITIVE FUTURE
We will continue to be a Government that Governs for all Papua New Guineans.
We must unite all of our people for the betterment of their lives and our country.
We will execute the mandate that has been entrusted to us with diligence and compassion.
We will work day-and-night to deliver the infrastructure and the services that will continue to strengthen our economy and our communities.
This is our pledge that our Government makes to our people.
We thank our Nation and this Honourable House for the mandate that has been bestowed upon us.
We will certainly not let you down, and we will deliver to your expectations.
God Bless Papua New Guinea.

7TH Kutubu Kundu & Digaso Festival Given K66,000

16th August
Source: 7th Kutubu Kundu & Digaso Festival FB Page

ExxonMobil PNG have announced its support of PGK66,000 towards this year’s 7th Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival – a community driven initiative that promotes collaboration and learning amongst 40 local communities from the region.

ExxonMobil PNG Managing Director Andrew Barry who made the presentation on August 10, said the Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival is a great opportunity to not only promote the unique culture and traditions of the Kutubu area but the pristine environment as well.

“We recognise that PNG is home to so many unique and endangered species of flora and fauna and has very distinctive cultures and as such, we strive to ensure that the environment and cultural heritage of the communities in which we operate are protected and preserved,” said Mr Barry.

Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival Deputy Chairman, Mr Andrew Igimabo in thanking ExxonMobil PNG said this support will go a long way and it is encouraging to see ExxonMobil PNG’s support to the festival for the past six years since 2011.

This support goes beyond just funding but also involves active engagement by ExxonMobil PNG staff, to showcase their ongoing work and initiatives to protect the environment.

“This important forum which allows indigenous cultures to further develop an already deep people-to-people connection that they share with their land and culture with our neighbours in PNG and abroad,” said Mr Igimabo.
Since 2014, ExxonMobil PNG on behalf of PNG LNG, has provided PGK165,000 towards the Festival, bringing together people from more than 40 local communities from Bosavi, Kutubu, Kikori, Hela and Nipa, the country and abroad to share their cultures and establish deeper understanding and friendship.

This has been made possible through the continued and generous support through private public partnership with important stakeholders that work in the region including ExxonMobil PNG.

“My Song, My Dance, My Story, saving my home for tomorrow” is the theme for this year’s event to be held from 22 -23 September 2017 in Kutubu.

Australian amongst 3 missing at sea

 David Sigston, Australian Associated Press 
An Australian man is missing at sea along with two Fijian co-workers after a fishing boat with four people on board sank off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority says it’s helping PNG authorities with aerial searches off the coast of Port Moresby for the three men who have been missing since Saturday evening.
Fijian media have named two of the men as Praneel Nand and Kapil Chand.
It is understood four men were on a fishing trip when the boat capsized.
One man was rescued and hospitalised with hypothermia after a rescue helicopter spotted him.
The three missing men are all employees of accountancy firm KPMG and a spokesperson for the company says they remain hopeful the men will be found alive despite the treacherous conditions.
“We are in close contact with the families, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and authorities,” the spokesperson said.
The DFAT is providing consular assistance for the Australian man’s family.

Regional APEC Meetings to Deliver Real Benefits Around the Nation

By: Prime Minister’s Media – 1st June 2017

Tourism will generate thousands of jobs in the coming years, and the hosting of APEC events in growing tourism hubs will make an important contribution to this growing sector.

The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, was speaking with around two thousand PNC supporters in Kavieng when he assured them that their current local member’s threat to cancel the hosting of APEC next year is just hot air.

He said the election of Martin Aini as the PNC Candidate for Kavieng Open is the only way the district can advance with a dedicated elected leader who is committed to the interests of the district and the country.

“These claims by a single opposition member that he would cancel APEC cannot be taken seriously,” the Prime Minister said.

“I have already had to assure our APEC partner economies that he is just one opposition member from 111 in the Parliament, and has a record for making highly questionable statements just to get attention.

“If you ask almost any other member of the Parliament if they agree with Papua New Guinea hosting APEC in 2018, they would be supportive.

“The Kavieng Member’s threat to cancel APEC has also backfired because it would mean cancelling the APEC Tourism Minister’s meeting, part of which will take place in his district.

“The Member for Kavieng would take APEC away from his own electorate just political mischief.

“His four party members do not support him, and even the Opposition Leader is against such foolish tactics.

“Hosting an APEC meeting is a very effective way to promote tourism and culture in regional centres, as well as encourage skills transfer and local capacity development.”

The Prime Minister said people around the country are tired of candidates who are standing without any clear policies and who just want to run the country down.

“The only people who are knocking the economy are in the opposition.

“They have spent this whole campaign making false claims, talking the economy down, and never offering any real alternatives.

“The current Member for Kavieng has demonstrated that he is not in this election for his people, but for himself.

“That is another reason why the people of Kavieng need to elect an intelligent and balanced leader, and that is what you have in Martin Aini.

“Martin Aini is a leader who will work hard in his electorate and work in the interests of his people and the nation.”

The comments by the current Kavieng Member are at odds with his earlier statements where he embraced advancing national economic development through deepening engagements with APEC.

Australian Academics To Visit UNRE

May 25, 2017 – Post Courier
Three Australian academics will be at the University of Natural Resources and Environment campus this week under the kina-for-kina (K4K) program, an innovative and collaborative new program established by the governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia to improve quality in higher education in PNG.

Professor Paul Gadek, Dr Rob Brown and Emma Kill will carry out a teaching quality assurance systems audit.

The review is a follow on from the external academic audit conducted at UNRE in 2013 by a group of academics from Australia and PNG, who identified a number of important areas that the university needed to improve.

These included how the university tries to control the quality of its teaching, how it regulates the content of its courses and carries out teaching and assessment.

UNRE vice-chancellor Professor John Warren said in addressing the problems, the university’s administration systems were reviewed and refreshed and a number of new teaching administration systems were introduced.
“If we are to genuinely make progress and improve it is important that we know if these new systems are working,” Prof Warren said.

He said this would be the task of the visiting academics – to determine if the new teaching administrations system are understood and are being used effectively so that further improvements could be made to increase quality.

Divine Word University and the University of Technology will also receive grants under the K4K program. One will improve its business programs while the other is targeting training for the development of teaching and learning.

Prof Warren said he believes K4K will support more highly skilled graduates as well as lecturers.
“The government of Papua New Guinea truly appreciates the K4K initiative because it is aimed directly at assisting the areas of education that will lead to good outcomes for students,” he said.