Bougainville News : Bougainville Government invests in new shipping service

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The shipping woes of the people in the New Guinea Islands will soon be at an end following the official handover of MV Chebu on Sunday to the Bougainville Government.

MV Chebu is part of the newly created Chebu Shipping Company, a joint venture between the Autonomous Bougainville Government and Hakau Investments Limited, a subsidiary of businesses owned by local Businessman, Sir Henry Chow.

ABG President Chief Dr John Momis has described the new ship as the biggest impact project undertaken by the ABG to date following the Bougainville Crises.

“This ship is something all Bougainvilleans can be proud of as it shows our willingness to progress and reconstruct Bougainville,” President Momis said.

“I would also like to thank all those responsible for making the ship a reality especially the ABG official, Hakau investment and the Shunhai Ship Building Company for building the vessel,” the President said.

After viewing the vessel the President and Sir Henry were mutually happy with its completion and its specifications as it suits the maritime needs of the people

The President also revealed that after consulting Sir Henry they have decided to purchase another vessel for the Chebu Shipping Company in the near future.

The vessel has been built to specifications suitable for Papua New Guinea and will carry at 370 passengers including the crew and offers the latest in maritime technology that will guarantee safe passage for those wishing to travel the route.

The K15 million vessel has also been designed to meet National Maritime Safety Authority regulations such as proper safety equipment for each passengers and creature comforts including flat screen televisions in the main seating area and cabins and life jackets for every passenger and crew.

MV Chebu will be travelling the New Guinea Islands route from Buka, Rabaul, Kimber and Lae, a very lucrative route that has not been serviced since the tragic Rabaul Queen.

The joint venture company involved with the ABG in the Chebu Shipping Company, Hakau Investments limited has expressed its satisfaction at the completion of MV Chebu.

PNG entrepreneur Sir Henry Chow who owns Hakau Investments has expressed his gratitude to the Shunhai Ship Building Company for its workmanship for the last 18 months.

Sir Henry explained that the project is a joint venture between the ABG and the Chow family who have an immense experience in providing maritime services in Papua New Guinea as they own Coastal Shipping amongst their properties.

Sir Henry said he had accepted an invitation ABG President Chief Dr John Momis’ proposal to enter into a joint venture with the ABG to build a ship to service Bougainville and the New Guinea Islands.

He said Hakau Investments had done the initial design for the ship which was then given to a Singaporean firm to add the final touches to its design which has been used to complete the vessel.

Despite the vessel’s completion there have been minor technical and bureaucratic details that have to be sorted out before the vessel is set to sail for Papua New Guinea waters.

Sir Henry has given his assurance that the MV Chebu will be able to sail to PNG in the coming weeks once the technical issues have been resolved.

“Bougainville at this time desperately needs the services of a reliable ferry service one which the Chebu Shipping Company will graciously meet,” Sir Henry said.

“We are very confident this ship will provide a good service to the people of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea,” the Knight remarked.

The commitment by Sir Henry to go into business with the ABG came after the tragic loss of 300 lives, most of whom were Bougainvilleans, aboard the ill-fated MV Rabaul Queen.

Sir Henry was one of the first respondents to the needs of the survivors, providing support in cash and kind and also helped the ABG look after Bougainvilleans involved in the shipping mishap two years ago.

Sir Henry Chow was knighted by the Queen of England for his philanthropy to the people of Papua New Guinea over the years.

 

 

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.
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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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Bougainville Tourism News July 2014 : Bougainville developing its tourism sector

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The resource-rich island of Bougainville is preparing to welcome more tourists after its decade-long civil war.

The Autonomous Region of Bougainville is hoping tourism will help it get back on its feet after a decade of civil war.

Tourism authorities on the island are launching an initiative aimed at selling the island to the world.

Bougainville also has a website featuring the many tourist experiences the island has to offer.

Lawrence Belleh is chief executive officer of Bougainville Tourism and organises many Festivals like the MONA  and Siwai Festivals (see image Below)

SEE BOUGAINVILLE TOURISM”s  NEW WEBSITE

He told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat that the country has many attractions that will be a draw for tourists.

“We have the still rawness in the natural environment and everything people would want to see especially with the ecotourism that is around here in Bougainville,” he said.

“The people here are very, very friendly.

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Mr Belleh says the island’s natural environment is still in tact after the 10-year conflict and is suitable for tourist activities.

“So many things like lakes, the mountains, the volcanos… you see crystal clear water everywhere, it’s good for diving, snorkelling, swimming, fishing,” he said.

Example of Ecotourism Manee Via Arawa

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Zhon Bosco : Bougainville Experience Tours

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Rotokas Eco tourism operators Follow on FACEBOOK

Rotokas

 

There remains much wariness among the locals over reopening the copper and gold mine because of what they experienced at the height of the civil war.

The mine, which was one of the world’s largest, was closed in 1989 after it caused the civil war on the island.

“One of the things we are trying to avoid is to reopen the mine and that’s the sentiment that we have here especially the people of Panguna where what they would like to do is to do tourism,” Mr Belleh said.

“Rebuilding their lives, they want to build it through ecotourism, that’s what people have openly said.”

A recently released film Mr Pip – which is set during Bougainville’s civil war period – has also generated global interest in the island.

The movie is based on a novel by New Zealand author Lloyd Jones.

“Some of the actors and scenes you see in the film is actually the experiences people had experienced during the height of the crisis,” Mr Belleh said.

The government is already seeing an increase in tourists and making room for them.

“There are so many things that are happening and because of the film, there are so many people now that are coming to see where the film actually took place,” Mr Belleh said.

“With the people as well, there are facilities that people are now building like guest houses.”

A good example the Arawa Visitors centre

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And the recently upgrade Kuri Village Resort in Buka

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Bougainville Tourism News : The World cruise ship comes to Bougainville

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Bougainville continues to attract International cruise ships boosting tourism, economic and cultural opportunities throughout island according to Bougainville Tourism CEO Lawrence Belleh speaking from Buka

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The World ( pictured above) latest visit arrived into Buka on 8th June and morning 9th June at Pokpok Island ( pictured above from Simon Pentanu see below) , Central Bougainville. 130 Pax came down to visit Buka, 20 walked around Buka town and 24 of them went diving.” said Mr Belleh

Tours to the Parliament Haus, Rahats Botanical Garden and see a mini cultural show at Hutjena Secondary School Hall.

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Picture above: International tourists transferring to Buka via Kuri Village Resort

Another one will visit Kieta on the 20th of  this month with 330 guests and will come in from Vanuatu, goes off and returns to Kieta on the 23th of August this year.

The September visit will see another one to Buka and then Buin.

There have increases in the number of visits by cruise ships this year then other years. A good sign for tourism into the region.

Updated Report From Simon Petanu

MS The World is registered in Nassau, The Bahamas as a private residential cruise ship serving as a residential community owned by its residents from 19 different countries. Visited Buka 08062014 & Kieta (Arovo Island) 09062014. Looking so alive in all its symmetry, beauty and reality on water off Arovo.

 

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Further Information about Bougainville Tourism

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