MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 4:30PM 21/08/13

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1.?JOB MARKET IMPROVES: RBF -?The number of jobs available to those in the labour market increased by 14 per cent in the first half of the year says Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor Barry Whiteside.

2.?BA AND PNG?S GULF PROVINCE FOSTER CLOSER TIES -?The province of Ba and Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea would be formally establishing their sister province relationship to further boost economic and social ties.

3.?CLIMATE CHANGE STUDIES IMPERATIVE -?Climate change is one of the greatest barriers to sustainable development for small island countries, says Ministry of Foreign Affairs director Political Treaties, Mr Esala Nayasi.

4.?NCDs CAUSE 82 PERCENT DEATHS IN FIJI?-?Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni has highlighted that the Vodafone Hibiscus festival is a good platform to raise awareness on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which are regarded as silent killers.

5.?FIJI READY TO HOST 2013 PPSEAWA INTERNATIONAL WOMEN?S CONFERENCE?-?Fiji, for the first time would be hosting women from South East Asia and Pacific countries to raise awareness and educate women on their roles in protecting the environment and conserving earth?s natural resources for future generations.

6.?YOUTHS TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE -?Youths from the Western Division today planted more than 300 mangroves in Lautoka in the fight against soil erosion and climate change as a result of rising sea levels.

7.?NAPUKA STUDENTS ENCOURAGED TO EMBRACE EDUCATION AND CULTURE -?Ministry of iTaukei Affairs permanent secretary, Mr Savenaca Kaunisela, advised students from a school in Savusavu on the importance of culture in defining identities.

1.?JOB MARKET IMPROVES: RBF

The number of jobs available to those in the labour market increased by 14 per cent in the first half of the year says Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor Barry Whiteside.

This is according to RBF?s latest Job Advertisement Survey, which Mr Whiteside said is an indication that the labour market has been improving in line with the improved investor confidence.

Speaking at the University of the South Pacific organised Economic Update 2013 in Suva, he said Fiji?s investment to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was at an all time high at the forecasted 28 per cent, which is higher the 2012 figure of 18 per cent and has surpassed Government?s projection of 25 per cent.

?Recently, significant new investments have been noted in the aviation, tourism, mining and financial services sectors while Government has embarked on massive public infrastructure projects in roads, ports and bridges,? Mr Whiteside said.

?Our garments and manufacturing sectors are also showing much greater confidence with higher investments this year and more envisaged.?

Ministry of Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics permanent secretary Pita Wise said the basic ingredient to investment is infrastructure development.

He said this needs to be in place and Government had made heavy investment in this area.

USP academic and economist, Dr Neelesh Gounder, said Fiji?s strategy of addressing poverty and unemployment through economic growth is well placed.

He said as businesses grow, more jobs would be created leading to greater employment and reduction in poverty.

Mr Whiteside, however, has called on Government to reduce the debt to GDP which at close to 50 per cent is quite high although only 15 per cent of that is through external borrowings.

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2.?BA AND PNG?S GULF PROVINCE FOSTER CLOSER TIES

The province of Ba and Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea would be formally establishing their sister province relationship to further boost economic and social ties.

The two provinces of the Melanesian region will be inking the establishment of its formal ties?on Friday?but a team from the Gulf province is already in the country to discuss ways of cooperation.

Divisional Commissioner Western, Joeli Cawaki said the team from the Gulf province has started talks with the?Vanuaof Ba?on ways the two could be of assistance to each other.

?This is another sign of solidarity between Melanesian countries, especially between Fiji and Papua New Guinea (PNG),? Mr Cawaki said.

Fiji and PNG are both members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, a regional bloc that has a trade agreement looking into various areas of cooperation, including labour mobility.

?This is not a small thing for us (Fiji) as this relationship will bring prosperity to the two provinces because there are opportunities for our people to work in PNG,? he added.

Mr Cawaki said PNG and Fiji not only share traditional and cultural ties but are developing countries who understand each other?s problem?s in the region.

?This relationship would open another window of opportunity for our (skilled) people who could find jobs in PNG.?

Ba Provincial Council chairman and the?turaga na tui?Tavua Ratu Jale Bokini welcomed the new chapter in the provinces achievement

?I hope this relationship goes a long way in bringing prosperity for the people of our two provinces,? Ratu Jale said.

The Ba province starts from Korovuto village in Nadi and ends at Korovou village in Tavua including the interior parts of Nadi, Lautoka, Ba and Tavua.

The Gulf province of Papua New Guinea is located on the southern coast with Kerema as its provincial capital.

The 34,500 km province is dominated by mountains, lowland river deltas, and grassland flood plains and has the second-smallest population of all the provinces of Papua New Guinea.

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3.?CLIMATE CHANGE STUDIES IMPERATIVE

Climate change is one of the greatest barriers to sustainable development for small island countries, says Ministry of Foreign Affairs director Political Treaties, Mr Esala Nayasi.

Mr Nayasi said the adverse effects of climate change is a security threat to Pacific Island Countries (PIC?s) as it greatly affects the survival of people through the impact it has on resources.

Speaking at the ?First Open Discussion Workshop about Climate Engineering: Perspectives of Pacific Small Island States? at Holiday Inn today, Mr Nayasi highlighted the need for research, scientific studies, data and even climate engineering in addressing the impact it will have on these nations.

?As PICs, it is incumbent on us to endeavour to advance our interest within the international community and we need science, we need research, we need data and we need climate change engineering,? he said.

Mr Nayasi said Fiji had long recognised that individually it cannot hope to achieve change but needed to use collective strength to persuade communities on the absolute imperative for action on climate change.

He noted that there were some countries that were now providing research funding for climate change studies.

The workshop is a joint effort of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies and the University of the South Pacific?s Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, where experts from both these institutions would share their findings with the participants over the three day meet.

The meeting which is being attended by 12 PIC?s is looking at progress, research and data on climate engineering as a mode of addressing climate change.

Climate engineering, a term that has been around since the 1990?s, is the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth?s climatic system with the aim of reducing global warming.

Mr Nayasi said through its annual National Climate Change Summit, which had its second meet in Narewa village, Nadi last week, Fiji was mapping out a comprehensive plan of action to address climate change through clear time bound and detailed implementation strategy.

He encouraged the participants to learn all they can from the experts about climate engineering and to share the information in their respective countries.

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4.?NCDs CAUSE 82 PERCENT DEATHS IN FIJI

Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni has highlighted that the Vodafone Hibiscus festival is a good platform to raise awareness on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which are regarded as silent killers.

During the official opening of the Vodafone Hibiscus Talent Show for Ladies this week, Dr Luveni revealed that NCDs are the cause of 82 per cent of deaths in Fiji annually.

?Non-communicable diseases are not caused by infection but are typically developed due to hereditary, our surroundings or lifestyle factors,? Dr Luveni said.

?In 2012, more than 800 amputations were carried out in Fiji, an increase by more than 100 annually from previous years.?

She added that heart complications reported in hospitals and health centres are a result of high consumption of sugar and fats that cause high blood pressure.

Dr Luveni reiterated the need for people to adopt healthy eating habits and make responsible decisions to ensure a healthy lifestyle.

?These diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases can be prevented to a large degree by being informed, making conscious diet and exercise decisions and being proactive about our health.

?I suggest that we adopt a healthy goal. Although our current life expectancy rate is around 67, let?s live to a healthy 90 and longer. It only takes a good healthy diet to include bigger portions of vegetables and fruits, live healthy lifestyles and exercise daily,? Dr Luveni added.

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5.?FIJI READY TO HOST 2013 PPSEAWA INTERNATIONAL WOMEN?S CONFERENCE

Fiji, for the first time would be hosting women from South East Asia and Pacific countries to raise awareness and educate women on their roles in protecting the environment and conserving earth?s natural resources for future generations.

The 25th Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women?s Association International Conference (PPSEAWA) would ?be held next week at Novotel in Suva from?August 26 – 30, 2013?and will be officially opened by the Minister for Women and Social Welfare Dr Jiko Luveni.

The meeting would see the arrival of representatives from 13 of the 23 member countries of the Pacific and South East Asia, as well as the Pacific rim countries of the United States of America and Russia. ?Attending also would be the PPSEAWA UN representatives based in New York. They will be joined by 41 women from Fiji, includes women from Labasa, Nadi, Lautoka and Suva.

PPSEAWA (Fiji) vice president and organising committee chairperson, Mrs Ravesi Johnston,said the key theme of this conference??Managing the Environment for a Sustainable and Peaceful World?, was selected because of the importance of raising awareness of the vulnerability of our planet due to human?s indiscriminate use of earth?s resources.

?Three of the five days of the conference will explore this further under three sub-themes ?Disaster Management and Food Security,? Mrs Johnston said.

?Women are conservationists in their homes and it is hoped that after this conference the delegates will be challenged to become environmental conservationists,? she added.

Mrs Johnston highlighted that space would be allocated at the conference site to where national member countries would display the various environmental projects they have been involved in these past three years.

?There will also be display of the Peace Gardens that resulted from the PPSEAWA 2000 conference decision to help promote the decade of Peace and Non-Violence Against Children,? she said.

The 2013 PPSEAWA International Triennial Conference has been made possible through a $50,000 grant from the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation.

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6.?YOUTHS TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE

Youths from the Western Division today planted more than 300 mangroves in Lautoka in the fight against soil erosion and climate change as a result of rising sea levels.

Divisional Youth officer western Mr Valami Nima said the planting of mangroves is part of their youth community programme during the second term school holidays.

Mr Nima said youth in the division were planning to plant more mangroves along shores of the Western Division.

?This is our contribution as part of the National Youth day celebrations here in the Western Division,? Mr Nima said.

?Today we planted along the Namoli village foreshore and?tomorrow?we will plant vegetables for the old people?s home at Natabua,? he added.

A sports day has also been organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports?on Friday?before an awards ceremony in the evening ?in recognition of the contribution of young people that have made a difference to their communities.

Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr Viliame Naupoto would be opening the sports day and would also be presenting awards at the ceremony evening.

?The attendance of the Minister is to encourage youths to continue the good work in building a better Fiji for all,? Mr Nima added.

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7.?NAPUKA STUDENTS ENCOURAGED TO EMBRACE EDUCATION AND CULTURE

Ministry of iTaukei Affairs permanent secretary, Mr Savenaca Kaunisela, advised students from a school in Savusavu on the importance of culture in defining identities.

Mr Kaunisela spoke to close to 40 students and six teachers from Napuka Secondary College, who visited the Ministry as part of a school excursion.

Mr Kaunisela highlighted that while education was an important aspect of a person?s development, respect for tradition and dress were equally important.

?Indigenous language is fading out in many cultures and that should encourage you as young people,? Mr Kaunisela said.

The Ministry?s scholarship officers made presentations to the students as part of their excursion before the students returned to Savusavu yesterday.

A group of students from Kadavu also visited the Ministry last week and were hosted by the iTaukei Ministry?s scholarship officers. ??????????????????????????????

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