Bougainville media news: Speed of media information is crucial for rural audiences in PNG

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 We are using a mix of conventional media tools and mobile technology.

“The speed of information is crucial, if rural audiences are to contribute, and be informed.”

 Bougainville News and New Dawn FM Aloysius Laukai, Speaking at the opening day of 10th OUR Media conference at the University of Goroka

DOWN LOAD THE 80 Page Program HERE

OURMedia-Program-Final-web

VIEW EM-TV INTERVIEW with Aloysius HERE

EM TV transcript

The 10th OUR Media conference at the University of Goroka has brought together participants from five nations and the twenty provinces of Papua New Guinea.  
 
Over the past two years, the University of Goroka has been at the forefront of developing media content through community participation.
 
Over the next five days, array of topics will be discussed here in Goroka of primary importance, are the production of local content and the various applications of tools and technology related to the media.
 
Now Goroka is of significance, because it used to be the heart of PNG’s film industry.
 
Now over the last twenty four months, the University of Goroka has been heavily engaged in community produced documentaries.
 
It’s an encouraging movement to this still in its infancy. Participants at this conference have come from various parts of the world, Colombia, Australia, Japan and a few more, experiencing the feel of a buried and thought provoking, with ongoing social challenges faced by communities in PNG, the focus here has been to give communities a voice, that can influence political and social change.
 
One of the tools most highlighted, has been the use of visual media.
 
Dr.Michael Mel from the University of Goroka is one of the many, who want to see a re-emergence of the film industry in a big way.
 
Goroka’s film industry once strived, but largely unsupported the industry, slowly dwelled into non-existence.
 
The renewed interest in the film industry using rapidly evolving technology has been encouraging for those driving the development.

Bougainville Aloysius Laukai, is using a mix of conventional media tools and mobile technology. He says the speed of information is crucial, if rural audiences are to contribute, and be informed.

Diverse communities, diverse media, it’s a theme that echoes what needs to be done and, what’s evolving. 

Bougainville Investment News: Update Nevis Announces Investment in Bougainville Development, LLC

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PRESS RELEASE : Nevis Announces Investment in Bougainville Development, LLC
Jul 21, 2014
OTC Disclosure & News Service Lake Kiowa, TX –

Nevis Capital Corporation (OTC: OCEE), is pleased to announce that they have signed a final agreement with Bougainville Development, LLC, a Mississippi Limited Liability Company, to acquire a 50% ownership of Bougainville Development in an all-stock transaction consisting of Nevis common stock.

The principal asset of Bougainville is a wholly owned subsidiary, Tall J(PNG) Ltd. of Papua, New Guinea, that has the contractual rights with the Papua Government to harvest the timber and to explore and develop the underlying minerals on 255,000 acres in Section 1645. Bougainville has a current investment in excess of $ 4,000,000 USD in this project.
Mr. Stephen Strauss, BD Director, estimates that production should commence within 12-15 months for delivery of finished materials to Asian markets. Surveys from ITTO estimate that this tract contains approximately 2.5 million cubic meters of timber valued at $ 1.3 Billion at current prices, generating estimated revenues of $ 37 Million annually over a 35 year production and reforestation cycle.
The Papua Government has endorsed the economic growth and development of their natural resources. Exxon Mobil has recently invested $ 19 Billion in Papua, NG, building one of the largest Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) projects in the world which began shipments in May with anticipated annual revenues of $ 7.2 billion.
Nevis Capital expects the operational profits from this investment, the previously announced US producing oil and gas investment and expansions thereof, the Macau Live Online Gaming investment, and initiatives to acquire interests in profitable Medical Marijuana ancillary product producers to rapidly increase shareholder value for this development stage holding company.

New Dawn report June 2014

President of Bougainville, Chief John L. Momis, today challenged “Me’ekamui Government’s” Philip Miriori to be honest about Bougainville mining issues. He was responding to a statement saying discussions about mining can happen only after the referendum on independence, and calling for Australian advisers to “go home”.

President Momis said:

“It’s amusing to see Mr. Miriori say mining can happen only after the referendum. For it’s widely known in Bougainville just how deeply involved Miriori is already involved in mining. It was he who worked closely with the Americans involved in Tall J Foundation Ltd. That company tried to do industrial mining of gold on the tailings on the Jaba River. But the people chased them away. Then a Chinese investor in Tall J. Tried to get his lost money back by bringing in Chinese to gather and sell scrap metal from Panguna. Then there is the Australian, Ian Renzie Duncan, at different times involved with Australian mining companies Zeus Resources and Trnaspacific Ventures. It was he who wrote Mr. Miriori’s speech delivered when Prime Minister O’Neill visited Panguna. It’s widely talked about in central Bougainville that Miriori is investing with Mr. Duncan, and that Duncan is taking alluvial gold supplied by Miriori.

“These are just a few of the mining interests that Mr. Miriori is involved in. It’s these and other mining interests that have take him off so regularly to meetings in Cairns, Brisbane, Perth, Singapore, and other business tourist destinations. Everyone around Panguna knows one thing for sure: no other Me’ekamui President has done more foreign travel than Miriori!

“But with all his deep involvement in mining already, how can he talk about decisions on mining waiting until after the referendum? I challenge him to be honest about his long history of mining interests.

“I also challenge him to be equally honest about foreign advisers. He says Australian funded advisers are not welcome. But these advisers have all been requested by the ABG to help us fill in gaps and weaknesses in the Administration. Although Australian funded, many are not Australian. They include Bougainvilleans. Until recently our legislative drafting adviser was from Vanuatu. Our Policy Adviser was from Bermuda – all paid for By Australia.

“For the ABG, the two most important things about our advisers are these. First, we only have them when we have a gap we cannot fill with a Bougainvillean. Second, they must follow the directions of the Bougainville Government. I am absolutely confident that they do  that. They do not control the ABG. They are not here to make money for foreign companies.

“I challenge Mr. Miriori to tell us about his foreign advisers, and what they are doing to make money for foreign interests. They included two Americans with the Tall J Foundation, Stewart Sytner and Thomas Megas. There are documents freely available on the Internet that show they claim that Mr. Miriori sold them mining rights in areas to the north of the Panguna Special Mining Lease. I challenge him to tell us is what Sytner and Megas claim is true.

What about the other investors in Tall J? What advice did they give to Miriori? What about the Tall J investor who brought in the Chinese scrap metal dealers? What advice did he give? What about the advice that Mr. Ian Renzie Duncan gives?

“Mr. Miriori is not being honest about the future of mining. His hands are not clean in relation to mining.

“Mr. Miriori is not being honest about foreign advisers. Again his hands are not clean.

“I challenge him to be honest on these matters. I challenge him to enter these debates only when he has clean hands.

Tall J, O’orang & MTRL alluvial mining in the Tumpusiong Valley

Leonard Fong Roka Feb 2013

As way back as 2008, an Edwin Moses from Sireronsi village and an Amos Ove from Kongara were in an underground contact with Americans, Steve Strauss and Mike Holbrooke. Their dialogue was an interest to tap into the lucrative alluvial gold panning in Central Bougainville.

Jaba Industries company logo

Then they connected the Americans and their company Tall J whom were said to be specialized in small scale mining to the so called Meekamui Government of Panguna led by Philip Miriori (president) and Philip Takaung (vice president) a pair that, when talking about BCL to the media had being so anti-mining.

In early 2009, Edwin Moses, Amos Ove and Philip Takaung formed their own company under the blessing of the Meekamui Government which they named O’orang with all executives from their respective villages and Amos Ove as the manager and Edwin Moses as director to start formal negotiations with the Americans.

Tumpusiong Valley sedimentattion that hosts the gold

After O’orang was established, Tall J money began entering Bougainville. O’orang was assigned to lay out the ground work for possible mining operations in Panguna, especially the Tumpusiong Valley where Amos Ove was married. The valley had tones of gold washed from the Panguna mine’s long operations and today it is one of the main alluvial gold attractions in Kieta. The company’s attempts to lure the targeted people were often met with opposition but the report that went to America was of positive progress.

So back in America, there was excitement to have established a link on one of Pacific’s richest islands and their landowners, from debriefs O’orang passed on from Bougainville. Thus money flowed in and O’orang members earned American money and drove around in new vehicles.

In mid-2009, the Americans and O’orang met in Honiara to finalize a go-ahead for a joint venture on establishing an alluvial gold mining operation in Panguna. A week later, a team of nine Americans arrived in Panguna with a Komatsu front-hand loader and three other equipment for sampling and other preparations under the leadership of Steve Strauss to learn that nothing had being done out of their money.

Jaba Industries operations site in the Tumpusiong Valley

Spending months in Panguna, with Philip Takaung also renting rooms to them, they tried to sort things out themselves. Half of the Americans returned seeing that their money was wasted on liars that the people hardly respected. Even Amos Ove was making his own money by having the mechanical loader on hire after they were chased out of the Tumpusiong Valley in their first attempt. But the other half stayed on under the leadership of Steve Strauss and Mike Holbrooke.

With the Americans around them and Amos Ove gone due to illness, Philip Takaung and Edwin Moses began to fast track negotiations with various people around Kieta. They visited the Eivo area; went into certain parts of Kokoda; frisked the whole Panguna valley for partners, especially the Tumpusiong Valley. They entered Kupe, where an Australian company once had a gold mining operation in the 1930s, three times and on the fourth visit, angry Kupe people chased them.

By Christmas 2009, all Americans left accept Strauss who was so concerned in finding ways to recover the money they had spent. By early 2010, the Americans had spent some K1.7 million through O’orang in order to secure alluvial gold mining operations with the people.

Mr. Michael Tona, MTRL deputy chairman

As the year was fast winding down Strauss saw no hope and was packing to leave Bougainville when a Michael Dendai and Michael Tona who were not involve in Tall J first attempts in the Tumpusiong Valley walked into him in Panguna with a claim that they and their families owned much of the west Tumpusiong Valley tailings area.

Strauss was relieved and forged an agreement with the pair and also donated an open bag land cruiser to serve the Tumpusiong communities that was controlled by Michael Dendai since.

In a series of meetings held at Panguna within a period of two months, a new company, Middle Tailings Resources Limited (MTRL) led by Michael Dendai and Michael Tona was born. O’orang also fought hard not to be left out in this new relationship and was accepted and Strauss again fought to secure more off shore funding for this new operation.

Closer look at the camp in the middle of the BCL created barren land

This time funding was secured from a Chinese partner and more Americans began to arrive to pave the way forward for the Tumpusiong project. And seeing the Chinese money on their hands Dendai and Tona carelessly fast tracked the go-ahead of the project without engaging the majority of the west Tumpusiong community members in decision making. But still the project was steaming on with the happy MTRL gang.

So the joint venture named as the Jaba Industries was consisting of O’orang owning 33.33% shares; MTRL owning another 33.33% and Tall J holding the last 33.33% of shares. In all three joint venture partners, the unidentified Chinese financier was catered for; that is, the Chinese were shareholders in all three companies. At the same time, Tall J had certain percentage of shares in the 33.33% shares owned by O’orang in Jaba Industries concerning the K1.7 million Tall J money O’orang corrupted.

All things sorted, equipment and plants, funded by the Chinese, began arriving one at a time for the whole of 2011 and half of 2012; plants were kept at Birempa on the Morgan-Panguna mine access road near Edwin Moses’ home. Plants include dump trucks, an excavator, a front-hand loader, a number of open bag land cruisers and gold processing equipment. And during the Christmas break of 2012, establishment began at Toku village in the western section of the Tumpusiong Valley.

With heavy sedimentation intact, the project could last

Alongside the development conflict also surfaced. The locals were brawling with the MTRL executives over decision making processes as landowners witnessing the fact that Michael Dendai was running the MTRL as his private business because on paper, collective decision making was the way and that majority beneficiaries should have being the community.

Also despite the fact that the men involved with the creation of MTRL were the close relatives of current ABG mining mister, Michael Oni, the parliamentarian have being said to knew nothing of this development. So people also public condemned MTRL and Jaba Industries as illegal businesses.

The main village of Toku further boiled with strikes. In a launching and dedication ceremony held in December 2012 just before Christmas at the mining site, the other half of the Toku villagers did not attend nor did they ate the food that was brought to them.

Furthermore, the locals were angered by the project when, all executive positions in the joint venture was held by the O’orang who were not even landowners in the Panguna mine site or the Tumpusiong Valley but were from the inaccessible by car hinterland villages of Pangka and Mosinau to the south-east of the Panguna mine who now squat in the remains of the Panguna township causing a lot of disharmony with the people owning the Panguna mine and town areas like the Moroni people and even the Panguna District administration.

Tumpusiong Valley

Most of the Tumpusiong men were employed as security guards earning a K75 per fortnight. Plant operators and so on were the O’orang employees. And point of argument was, to the former BRA fighters, Mr. Dendai was not at home during the conflict and now was walking over them thus he was not accepted to be a sole decision maker in this project.

Somewhere in late 2012, the Chinese partner under the cover of Jaba Industries announced that it shall be releasing a K300 000 community development packet and two vehicles for the Tumpusiong Valley around the 2012 Christmas period. The people waited as they watched the test-run of the operations that produced a positive result in a week’s operation in January 2013 that was shipped overseas as a sample.

But to their dissatisfaction in the mid-January of 2013, a new accusation surfaced that the awaited K300 000 development packet was already deposited into Michael Dendai’s bank account in 2012. Without any hesitation, the villagers torched the gold processing equipment in broad day light.

After this, all Tumpusiong men working as security guards at the mining site walked off, with a demand to Jaba Industries to solve the issue or pack up and leave.

Posted by Leonard Fong Roka at 18:10

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Bougainville News : Information will be vital in Bougainville mine negotiations

Pan

An increased flow of information will be provided to Panguna landowners and other Bougainvilleans as they give consideration to a re-opening of the former copper mine, says the co-chair of the joint Panguna Negotiations Coordination Committee, Raymond Masono.

He said this is part of a strategy to ensure that Bougainvilleans are at the centre of decisions about the mine’s future.

“The exclusion of Bougainvilleans from decisions about development of the Panguna copper mine was a key cause of the Bougainville conflict.

“This is why customary landowners, the Autonomous Bougainville Government,  the National Government and Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL) are adopting a very different approach in considering whether the mine should be reopened,” said  Mr Masono.

“At the heart of this approach is a commitment by all parties that decisions on the future of the mine will rest with Bougainville.”

Prime Minister O’Neill and the Chairman of BCL, Peter Taylor, agreed with Bougainville President John Momis that strong support from the ABG and affected landowners is essential if the mine is to reopen.

“This is very different to what happened in 1969, when the key decisions were made by the Australian Colonial Administration and the mining company, which was then CRA Ltd,” Mr Masono said.

The transfer of mining powers from the National Government to the ABG and the development of Bougainville’s own mining legislation, are critical in ensuring that Bougainville is in control.

The other big change is that all of the major stakeholders will be closely involved in negotiations about the future of the mine, and will have access to the information they need to deal with the legacies of earlier mining and plan for the future.

“The JPNCC has been created to make sure that this happens,” Mr Masono said.

The JPNCC is a partnership between Panguna-affected landowners, the ABG, the National Government and BCL.

A key role of the JPNCC is to undertake baseline studies designed to establish the state of the environment, and existing social conditions, in areas surrounding the Panguna mine.

These studies, which will be conducted over the next 12 to 18 months, are essential to deal with the impacts of earlier mining and to inform decisions about whether the mine should be reopened.

“If people are to have trust in the findings of baseline studies they must be conducted independently, transparently, and to the highest technical standards.

“The JPNCC will ensure that this happens,” he said.

He said much remains to be done to improve communication of information about the baseline studies and other preparations to Bougainvilleans.

“An ABG survey of communication channels, both formal media and informal transfer of information, confirmed that people outside Buka have very limited access to mainstream media, including radio, television and newspapers,” he said.

“In response to these findings the JPNCC is developing a communication strategy focusing on face-to-face communication and delivery of print materials that are designed specifically to suit Bougainville conditions”.

New Bougainville Party launches Tonsu branch

THE people of Tonsu constituency in the west coast area of Buka Island recently witnessed the launching of the New Bougainville Party’s Tonsu branch.

The ceremony which was held at Petats Island last Wednesday was attended by party leader and President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, John Momis and his cabinet ministers, party president Linus Sahoto and other senior members of the party.

The event marks Tonsu as the first constituency in Bougainville to have set up its branch, thus showing that many people there greatly admire and support the current leadership of President Momis.

On top of that, Tonsu will shortly be having permanent executives that will be manning the party’s interest. During the 2010 ABG Elections, NBP was only operating on an adhoc basis in the Tonsu area.

Mr Momis and his delegation included ministers Joel Banam (Public Administration and member for Tonsu), Luke Karaston (Works), Wilfred Komba (Commerce), Rose Pihei (Culture and Tourism), Newton Kauva and others.

Bougainville News: Bougainville Government is entitled to fisheries 5 million kina revenue says Momis

 

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BY JENNIFER NKUI

The Bougainville Peace Agreement provides for the Autonomous Bougainville Government to receive the revenue that the National Government derives from fisheries in Bougainville waters and in the 200Km extended economic zone associated with Bougainville.

This was revealed by the ABG president Chief Dr John Momis in a press statement on Monday saying the revenue will be minus the costs of collection.

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He said for several years now the ABG has been negotiating about how to calculate the fisheries revenue payable to Bougainville.

He added that until now we have made very little progress. Chief Momis said the National Government has now agreed to pay the ABG an initial K5 million by August 1 this year.

He said in addition, it will provide the ABG with detailed information on fishing licenses and fish catch data to enable calculation of the fisheries revenue due to the ABG.

He said the ABG has made it clear that debts will be paid from the date of establishing the ABG in 2005.

Meeting Pic by Stephanie Elijah

Bougainville Education News :Book-Gain-Ville boosts access to books with e-reader project

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“The kindles has changed the lives of our teachers and students forever “

James Tanis Ex-President of Bougainville and founder of Narinai Elementary School in the Panguna District.

Book-Gain-Ville boosts access to literature with e-reader project

Originally published http://www.bougainville24.com/

Our thanks to Leonard Fong Roka for support and promotion of Bookgainville

An Australian man, so affected by a trip to bring e-readers to students in a remote Panguna village, has launched an initiative to improve literacy throughout Bougainville.

Colin Cowell started the Book-Gain-Ville project in Australia with the support and guidance of the Indigenous Reading Project.

Cowell’s original visit with 20 kindles was to the Narinai Elementary School in the Panguna District, the home of former Bougainville president Mr. James Tanis. Here the Book-Gain-Ville project was launched and welcomed to the community with dancing, singing, speeches and slaughtering of two pigs to mark the importance of the occasion.

“Travelling around I saw broader need across the whole island, so we have added ten more sites for trial of the Book-Gain-Ville initiative,” Mr Cowell said.

“By the end of June 2014 we hope to have over fifty kindles in ten pilot schools and over the next few years I would like to see over one thousand kindles in Bougainville schools with the support of all the local level governments.”

Cowell, who hails from Canberra, Australia, has 24 years of experience working with and training Aboriginal communities across Australia and stated that the key to the Book-Gain-Ville project is sustainability.

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“We now have in place at the Arawa Women’s Training Centre the support technology and trained staff to take this project forward in years to come,” Cowell said.

“Guiding this project on the ground is a leadership group lead by James Tanis and group of teachers and IT volunteers.”

“The Kindles with up to 1400 books inside cost $99.00 and a lot of communities including the pilot sites have already begun fundraising to buy extra kindle on top of our donations.”

Update 11 July 2014

We are packing another 40 Kindles in Canberra to send to Bougainville on Monday 14 July

kindles

Colin Cowell is no stranger to Bougainville having lived there some 40 years ago and return he spent the whole month of May travelling the length and breadth of the island.

He met his old friends like Linus kunokong from Buin and visited cultural shows in Siwai, South Bougainville; visited tourism development sites across the island and even participated in the Bougainville Remembrance Day, May 17, in Arawa.

He will be returning soon to Bougainville with more kindles In September after shipping in July (see above)

More information about the project is available at www.bookgainville.com

 

 

Bookgainville  Project on Bougainville PNG

 

 

Bougainville News : President Momis to PNG Government “show me our money”

 

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The Panguna Mine funded PNG’s development from 1972 to 1989. Now, at the Peace talks, the PNG Government agreed to fund Bougainville’s restoration through a guaranteed share of PNG’s development budget,” President Momis said

Financing the Autonomous Bougainville Government according to the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the PNG constitutional laws is not a new program or an option for the National Government.

ABG President Chief Dr John Momis made this bold statement during the Joint Supervisory Board Meeting in Kokopo last Friday as he pointed out the National Government’s lax attitude in funding the ABG’s Restoration Development Grant.

“My Cabinet and I are getting more and more annoyed when we hear National Government officers and sometimes minister speaking of Bougainville’s requests for funding of the RDG as though these are new claims,” the President said.

“Our government’s entitlements are written into the Constitution of Papua New Guinea. Each government may share some blame for not getting this right from 2005, but that does make the provisions any less relevant,” he added.

When the Bougainville Peace Agreement was being negotiated the National Government’s finances were in a poor state and the National Government argued it could not afford to provide the massive sums needed to fund recurrent costs adequately and to restore infrastructure and service in Bougainville in what is now known as the Restoration and Development Grant.

The National Government team offered the Bougainville parties the rolling five-year average formula based upon the 2001 National Public Investment Program.

Their argument was that as Papua New Guinea’s economy improved Bougainville would benefit in the same proportion as the rest of the country, in other words the proportion of the National Development Budget would remain roughly the same as it was in 2001 and the rationale was primarily based around a concept of fairness.

“The Panguna Mine funded PNG’s development from 1972 to 1989. Now, at the Peace talks, the PNG Government agreed to fund Bougainville’s restoration through a guaranteed share of PNG’s development budget,” President Momis said

Under the RDG;s formulae proposed by the ABG’s share of the domestically financed Public Investment Programme will be around two percent but the formulae proposed by the National Government Bougainville’s share of the Development Budget will reduce dramatically to one third of the share it was in 2001.

Since the creation of Bougainville’s autonomous arrangement the RDG has remain stagnant at K15 m per year.
The President asked that the JSB seek to agree the RDG formulae and that the ABG want the 2015 paid at the correct rate to maintain services in Bougainville.

He also recommended that the respective Chief Secretaries of both governments sit down and agree on the appointment of a suitable mediator and arbitrator

Bougainville News: Bougainville Government radically structures its government ministries to meet current and future needs.

 

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Reported by Anthony Kaybing New Dawn FM Bougainville News

The Bougainville Executive Council has made the decision to radically structure its government ministries to meet its current and future needs.

This follows the establishment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s own Public Service that now operates under its own law within Bougainville.

Kabu House

 

 

ABG President Chief Dr John Momis made the revelation during the Joint Supervisory Body Meeting between the ABG delegation headed by President Momis and the National Government delegation headed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Leo Dion, in Kokopo, East New Britain Province this Friday (040714).

“This is the first restructure of the Bougainville Government Ministries and the Administration since 2005 and the number of ministries has been cut to 15, thirteen members of the Cabinet will have only one ministry, and only one minister will have two ministries.

This will enable all Ministers to focus their efforts on one government priority area,” the President declared.

With the new structure in place the ABG Ministries will now be as follows;

  1. Presidential portfolios:
  2. Administrative Services
  3. Treasury & Finance
  4. Justice
  5. Police and Corrections
  6. Mineral Resources & Energy
  7. Technical Services
  8. Lands & Physical Planning and Environment & Conservation
  9. Health
  10. Education
  11. Community Government
  12. Communities, Women, Youth and Culture
  13. Sport and Youth
  14. Primary Industry
  15. Commerce and Tourism.

The Bougainville Senior Appointments Committee (BSAC) will be responsible for the appointment of the Chief Secretary (formerly the Chief Administrator) and Head of the Public Service and Senior officers including departmental heads.

The Acting Chief Secretary will work with each minister to prepare a recommendation to the Bougainville Senior Appointments Committee for an Acting appointment for each department and directorate and all permanent appointments will be made within six months to start from 1 January 2015.

“The ABG has already taken practical steps to implement these new ministerial arranges that enforces the new Bougainville Public Service Act,” he said

The President also said that there were to be two new Ministries that will be created that sees the creation of a Ministry and Department of Police and Correctional and the Ministry and Office of Sports and Youth.

President Momis went on to reveal that the Bougainville Administration will have 11 departments headed by Secretaries and four Offices headed by Directors who will be the equivalent to a secretary of a department.

 

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Bougainville News: President Momis proposes new arrangement for engagement with PNG Government

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Reported by Anthony Kaybing : New Dawn FM Bougainville News :Picture above PNG Prime Minister on recent visit to Bougainville

The Autonomous Bougainville Government has called for the abolishment of the National Coordination Office of Bougainville Affairs (NCOBA).

The ABG made a proposal last year that NCOBA and its roles and functions should be reviewed and a joint review on Bougainville’s Autonomy Arrangements, now endorsed by both the ABG and National Government also recommended this.

The ABG is of the view that NCOBA should be replaced with a different entity that can better coordinate the efforts of the Bougainville’s state of affairs while also acting as a go-between the ABG and the National Government.

A proposed idea is that a Bougainville Government representative office be based in Waigani and to be managed by a Director and staffed by Bougainville public servants to undertake coordination and advocacy with the National Government its departments and agencies.

Another option that was raised was the creation of A Bougainville Affairs Ministry, unlike the present ministry that is aligned to NCOBA or there could be a small Bougainville Affairs office within the Department of the Prime Minister and National Executive Council (Policy Division).

ABG President Chief Dr John Momis believes that the proposed arrangements can manage its engagement with all National Government departments and agencies and work effectively and efficiently.

The current state in which NCOBA operates has come into question due to the fact that it has not been as effective and efficient as the ABG and bureaucracy along with the people can see fit.

During the JSB Meeting of this year in Kokopo, the ABG has asked the National Government that the entity be disbanded and allow for the creation of a new entity that will have both influence of governments and allow for clear liaisons between the two governments.

New Dawn FM understands that the best time NCOBA was seen as working was under the former Director, BILL DIM who is now in New Zealand.

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Bougainville News: Does the PNG Government currently owe the Autonomous Bougainville Government over K200 million ?

PM PNG
 

The PNG government will continue to honour its commitment in releasing K100 million annually for the remaining four years.

The national government in 2012 made a commitment to allocate K500 million over a five-year period, to rehabilitate infrastructure throughout Bougainville.

However, despite the first K100 million funding being released, last year (2013), nothing much has been done there,”

PNG Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said in a recent radio interview (see below)(picture above traditional welcome to Bougainville February 2014)

The Papua New Guinea National Government currently owes the Autonomous Bougainville Government over K200 million under the Restoration Development Grants.

This was revealed this week (30 June 2014) by the ABG president Chief Dr John Momis during the opening of a double classroom at Tilowa Primary School when he was talking about the transfer of powers to the Council of Elders

He told the people who gathered for that special occasion that this money under the Bougainville Peace Agreement belongs to Bougainville but the National Government was underpaying us.

He said after calculations were made, ABG found out that the National Government owes us over K200 million.

The president said if ABG gets that money, they will then look at ways to help the Council of Elders

in terms of increasing their funds.

He explained that in this way, the Council of Elders will be empowered to look after their own law and order issues, education

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill today (6/02/14) expressed the National Government’s gratitude towards the leaders and people of Bougainville for their kind welcome and generous hospitality, during his delegation’s recent visit to the region.

He said this during an interview on the FM100 Talkback Show, in Port Moresby and outlined the government’s commitment to assist Bougainville with infrastructure rehabilitation funding.

“The government will continue to honour its commitment in releasing K100 million annually for the remaining four years.

“The national government in 2012 made a commitment to allocate K500 million over a five-year period, to rehabilitate infrastructure throughout Bougainville.

“However, despite the first K100 million funding being released, last year (2013), nothing much has been done there,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said.

The Prime Minister said the monetary allocation was committed entirely to rehabilitate the rundown infrastructure throughout the region.

He also said the funding allocated last year was given to the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and it is solely responsible for acquitting the funds.

“There are also Special Resolution Grants sitting in trust accounts that need to be spent on upgrading infrastructure there,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said.

He said with the history of the crisis and loss of lives it was important for the national government to go back and engage with the people of Bougainville and apologize traditionally for all the hardship created, not only for Bougainville but for PNG as well. “I believe these issues could have been better managed before it got out of hand.

“It has been an eye-opening experience for a national government delegation which I led into the region recently,” Prime Minister O’Neill said.

He thanked the ABG, particularly President Chief Dr John Momis and his Cabinet, along with the four MPs of Bougainville for their partnership and dedication in putting aside their differences and working together to move Bougainville forward.

“I also met with the President of the Me’ekamui Government, Philip Miriori, and other leaders including the Panguna landowners like Laurence Daveona and Sam Kaona,” Prime Minister O’Neill said.

The Prime Minister reiterated that the government still respects the Arawa Peace Agreement signed in 2001 and looks forward to implementing it. “Our aim of going to Bougainville was to try and restore government services in the region.

“We want our hospitals to be functioning well in Bougainville, the roads upgraded and sealed, and the Aropa Airport reopened,” the Prime Minister said.

“The government has already opened the Port in Kieta and has re-established PNG Power to distribute power throughout Arawa town,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill announced.

The president of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, John Momis, says his government is considering suing the national government for what he says is its failure to meet the terms of the Peace Agreement.(Interview July 2013)

He says the lack of money is stalling preparations for the referendum on possible independence, which is a key part of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

That vote is likely in 2016 and Mr Momis told Don Wiseman Bougainvilleans need to be more self reliant or seek financial help elsewhere if the national government does not meet its commitments.

JOHN MOMIS: The people of Bougainville must realise that that event, that important political moment in the history of Bougainville is quite imminent. As a matter of fact, next year the ABG, their own house of representatives, will determine the actual date of the referendum. So whilst we’re experiencing a lot of problems in respect to assistance from the national government, we need to get ourselves organised and be more self-reliant, even in terms of sourcing funds from outside. Because we are not having a very successful engagement with the national government. They seem to be having no qualms or conscience and consistently breaching the Bougainville Peace Agreement. So the only way to motivate our people is to say, look, we have to be ready. It’s like saying the grand final date is on, and, whether we are ready or not, we have to play in the grand final. We made the commitment so we better get ourselves organised.

DON WISEMAN: When you say that the national government is breaching the peace agreement, there was a lot of good feeling toward the end of last year and the government came through with those very large commitments they had made. So are you suggesting there’s been a backtracking since then?

JM: There’s been quite a bit of backtracking, yes. Even last year the $100 million the government promised only came to us in November towards the end of the year. It doesn’t give us much time to implement, especially when the Bougainville administration doesn’t have the capacity. And this year, we haven’t go this year’s allocation yet. And the restoration and development grant, which is stipulated in the Bougainville Peace Agreement, which is sub-constitutionally guaranteeing the allocation of funds which should be given to us every year – they have been under paying us deliberately. We worked out that, in fact, the national government owes us something like approximately $188 million. That is the only guaranteed funding to Bougainville. They’ve been severely underpaying us.

DW: And that’s separate from the commitment of 500 million kina that was made?

JM: Yes, 500 million for the next five years – that’s a political commitment the national government made. Whereas the restoration and development grant is constitutionally stipulated. The national government has no choice but to give it. In fact, we are seriously thinking of taking them to court for such a massive breach, which creates a lot of doubt in the minds of Bougainvilleans about the national government’s goodwill

 

Bougainville NEWS: Environment group offers $9m for biodiversity projects

 
Solomon Island farmers
Photo: Solomon Islands has some of the best examples of biodiversity in the Pacific (Wade Fairley: Flickr)
An environmental group is offering $US9 million in grants to help non-government organisations fund projects in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.
map_of_emi_1_141513

The International Union for Conservation of Nature says it wants to fund work that will protect biodiversity in the region.

The CEPF investment strategy for the East Melanesian Islands Hotspot has five strategic directions:

  1. Empower local communities to protect and manage globally significant biodiversity at priority key biodiversity areas underserved by current conservation efforts.
  2. Integrate biodiversity conservation into local land-use and development planning.
  3. Safeguard priority globally threatened species by addressing major threats and information gaps.
  4. Increase local, national and regional capacity to conserve biodiversity through catalyzing civil society partnerships.
  5. Provide strategic leadership and effective coordination of conservation investment through a regional implementation team

HOW TO APPLY LINK HERE

The IUCN’s Luisa Tagicakibau says there are countless habitats that need protecting and is calling for groups to submit proposals.

“These islands are highly biodiverse and hold exceptional cultural and linguistic diversity,” she told Pacific Beat.

“There are so many threats to these biodiversities, which are human induced and include increasing population, lack of awareness, unsustainable economic development.”

The IUCN is targeting 20 key biodiversity areas covering 1.5 million hectares.

“There are so many cultural and linguistic diversities at play in this region and because only a few people are speaking certain languages, they’re fast disappearing,” Ms Tagicakibau said.

“And that’s often leading to an increasing erosion of traditional knowledge and practices. These people are the real stewards of biodiversity.”

The money is being provided by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, which is a collaboration of seven different bodies including the European Union, the Japanese and French governments and the World Bank.

The IUCN says groups have until August 26 to submit proposals for funding.

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