Sunset over the mighty Sepik
GOROKA - The mighty Sepik River has existed since the dawn of time, twisting and turning, forming a wide belt of active meanders and fish-populated great lakes.
This great river, its banks adorned with lianas, sago palms, and pandanus, deposits vast amounts of fresh water into the ocean.
Continue reading "Sukundimi: Guardian of the mighty Sepik" »
| Act Now!
PORT MORESBY - A new doodle-style video has been launched that explains how Papua New Guinea’s reliance on large-scale mining and export logging has failed to improve the lives of most people.
Over the last 50 years, the quality of health, education and infrastructure have declined and it also explains why PNG now ranks below its Pacific neighbours on most development indicators.
Continue reading "An important video: From extraction to inclusion" »
The PNG Forest Authority has failed in its mandate to ensure the sustainable management of PNG’s forests and is pushing back against government reforms
| Act Now!
PORT MORESBY – The increase in duty on round log exports introduced in Papua New Guinea’s 2020 budget is already having a positive effect.
Analysis by community advocacy group Act Now! shows that the higher export duty has increased government revenue and driven down log exports in line with government policy.
Continue reading "Log tax increase must be defended" »
Sir Arnold Amet - The people have a right to be heard and their views to be considered
| My Land, My Country
LAE – Papua New Guinea’s former chief justice Sir Arnold Amet and leaders from the north coast villages of Madang have written to the Justice Department and the Mineral Resources Authority urging them to allow further consultation in relation to the proposed sand mining project.
Sir Arnold has echoed sentiments by people in the Sumgilbar local level government area that their views against sand mining have not been adequately heard.
Continue reading "Views on sand mining must be heard" »
CANBERRA - There is a long and important history in Papua New Guinea of recording traditional information about the medicinal use of plants.
In more recent decades, this has been augmented by chemical investigations of such plants and their possible efficacy in treating illness.
Continue reading "PNG medicinal plants: a research summary" »
| Graun Blong Mi (My Land)
An open letter to prime minister James Marape on behalf of the cancer patients in Papua New Guinea from your citizen Sylvester Gawi
Dear Prime Minister James Marape….
I am writing this letter with tears streaming down my face.
Continue reading "On behalf of cancer patients" »
| My Land, My Country
LAE - Our planet is filled with millions of plants with healing properties – some of which we are only starting to understand.
In Papua New Guinea, traditional healers and elders in our many cultures are custodians of a lot of that knowledge.
My maternal grandparents taught me a lot about the healing properties of guava leaves, hibiscus, native gingers and cinnamon bark.
Continue reading "Plants that heal: the old folks know" »
NOOSA - Sometime this year - nobody seems to know exactly when - Australians will be asked to roll up their sleeves and receive a vaccine to fight the dreaded Covid-19.
We don't know which shot we'll get, not yet anyway. It may be the high performing Pfizer (effective in 95% of shots) or the not so flash AstraZeneca (62%, but there's a lack of clarity about that).
Continue reading "Covid dilemma: Australia’s vaccine vacillation" »
You may buy something that looks like real medicine on the street. It might look genuine but there is no way you can really know
| Duresi's Odyssey
AUCKLAND - There’s no other ways to put it but bluntly – buying medicines off the street can kill you.
Here are important reasons why people should not buy medicines off the street, or from unlicensed shops.
The source of the medicine is unknown. It’s anyone’s guess where the medicines were obtained and it’s anyone’s guess how they were manufactured.
Continue reading "Buying medicine off the street can kill you" »
| Duresi's Odyssey | Edited
AUCKLAND - We all know that Papua New Guinea, with its diverse environment, is prone to disasters, both natural and manmade.
At times of disaster, we as a nation have joined forces to help as best as we can – many times through donations of whatever we can spare.
Continue reading "Donating medicines? What you should know" »
| My Land, My Country
AUCKLAND - Couple of things but I’d like to talk about. First, the kind of food we are giving our babies and, second, the implications of being an underweight baby.
We all can be advocates for our future generation. If you have a family member who is under five, be that child’s advocate.
Continue reading "Malnutrition: What you need to know and do" »
A transit house provided by Catholic Mission on Iwon Island, East Sepik, for the sick and their caregivers (Mary Fairio)
| My Land, My Country
PORT MORESBY – 2020 is a year to remember, many will say.
It is a year that brought challenges to many people from the community to the national level in our beloved motherland, Papua New Guinea.
A tear falls for the unborn baby who died because there was no medical attendant.
Continue reading "A personal reflection on 2020 & Covid-19" »
| My Land, My Country
LAE – A mother and her child make the two day trek to Josephstaal.
For an outsider, it is difficult to comprehend the hardships that the people of Josephstaal go through every day.
Continue reading "The neglect of Josephstaal" »
| My Land, My Country
AUCKLAND - Scott Waide’s article on Josephstaal got me thinking about access to medicines to aid posts, the primary level health facility throughout rural Papua New Guinea.
As a kid, during holidays at home, you knew you’d get help at the aid post if you fell ill with malaria or got scratches on your legs that became infected.
Continue reading "Why are most aid posts non-operational" »
TUMBY BAY - Back in 1993 the pop group Aerosmith sang in the opening lines of Livin’ on the Edge, “There's something wrong with the world today. I don’t know what it is.”
The idea that there is something wrong with the world, including the people in it and the way they behave, is a feeling that has probably been around ever since our forebears crawled out of the swamps and grew legs.
Continue reading "Leaving a mess for the kids to clean up" »
Paramedics attend to a patient on an air ambulance flight (St John Ambulance)
| The Guardian | Judith Nielson Institute | Extract
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea’s main ambulance service – St John Ambulance – was allocated no money in the Marape government’s budget for 2021.
St John Ambulance runs a fleet in Port Moresby and across provincial centres. For much of the country it is the only ambulance service.
Continue reading "Ambulances under threat as money runs out" »
David Attenborough in Papua New Guinea, 1971
CLEVELAND, QLD - David Attenborough’s latest book ‘A Life on Our Planet’ sounds an ominous warning of what will happen in the future of Planet Earth based on what has happened in the recent past.
Attenborough suggests that the Holocene period that started with the end of the last Ice Age may well now be over.
Continue reading "Attenborough’s grim vision of our future" »
Rumginae's twin arrival
RUGHAZ, WESTERN PROVINCE – Yesterday was my day off from Rumginae rural hospital but I had determined not to sleep in, which is my norm.
I had administrative issues to attend to with my resident Dr Polycarp. That being the case we planned to get the ward work done early and then travel to Kiunga to attend to these.
Continue reading "In the warriors’ code, there is no surrender" »
NOOSA – The local newspaper where we're staying, Noosa Today, last week ran a piece from someone pushing anachronistic, sexist, mansplaining propaganda which I could not let pass.
In a published response in the same newspaper, I pointed out that we can all agree that no one – man, woman or other – should face discrimination, emotional abuse or physical violence.
Continue reading "Bumps on the road in the push for equality" »
BRISBANE - No one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it and the sinister objective of every tyrant is to curtail free speech, crush rebellion and disenfranchise dissidents.
The vision or mission statement of most corporations, which even includes some not for profit organisations, mirrors shareholder theory and it is incongruous with the primary object of preventive occupational health and safety legislation.
Continue reading "Through immigrant eyes – Part 5" »
BRISBANE - Australia’s track record covering human rights is rather abysmal and several notable and controversial struggles include the Home Children child migration scheme, Stolen Generations and Wave Hill pastoral workers.
More recently Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the Pacific Solution involving the Manus Island and Nauru Island regional processing centres have attracted significant worldwide media attention.
Continue reading "Through immigrant eyes – Part 4" »
Cartoon - polyp.org.uk
ADELAIDE - While I have a lot of sympathy with Bernard Corden’s characterisation of neo-liberal capitalism in his Through Immigrant Eyes series, it is wrong to conceive of this philosophy as some sort of malevolent conspiracy.
Neo-liberalism is, as the name suggests, simply a reconceptualisation of the classic liberalism that prevailed during most of the 19th century and into the early 20th century.
Continue reading "Through Immigrant Eyes – Some historic context" »
Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels (Painting by Tom McAulay)
BRISBANE - Papua New Guinea is Australia’s closest neighbour and during the World War II many of its humble natives were engaged under a military directive to provide assistance for embattled Australian troops along the infamous Kokoda Trail.
This involved supply of ancillary equipment to the frontline offensive and first aid treatment and pastoral care for many sick and wounded Australian soldiers.
Continue reading "Through immigrant eyes – Part 3" »
BRISBANE - During the first quarter of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic reached Australian shores and its devastating consequences spread across the continent like a catastrophic bushfire.
After many decades of rampant unfettered free market fundamentalism, it soon became evident that preventive legislation, superficial social protection mechanisms and deteriorating public health and privatised aged care facilities were disproportionately inadequate and often ineffective.
Continue reading "Through immigrant eyes – Part 2" »
‘In recognising the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute’ - Thurgood Marshall
BRISBANE - Much like most superficial western democracies, the Australian economy is underpinned by a ruthless feudal system of indentured servitude, peonage or serfdom.
More recently, it is fashionably and somewhat deviously referred to as a gig economy, which disguises many sinister neoliberal features that secure and protect the interests of the powerful over the powerless.
Continue reading "Through immigrant eyes – Part 1" »
DR PAMELA TOLIMAN
| Twitter | Edited
PORT MORESBY - No funds should be awarded to these people (Niugini BioMed), no drugs should be procured, and no patients should be enrolled until their protocols have been scrutinised and vetted.
This should be done by the PNG Medical Research Advisory Committee and the PNG Institute of Medical Research.
Continue reading "Niugini BioMed: What is this madness?" »
| My Land, My Country
LAE - As a Singaporean company with Chinese interests works to get approval to mine sand along the north coast of Madang, many Papua New Guineans are unaware of the impacts of this multibillion dollar global industry.
Sand mining remains largely under the radar in Papua New Guinea.
Continue reading "50km of Madang beaches planned for sand mining" »
| Transparency International
BERLIN - We take forests for granted. We forget they’re the reason we breathe, until they burn. We don’t know of all the ways they keep us safe, until we’re sick. We ignore how our way of life threatens them, until they're gone.
Forests are not spared by corruption: illegal logging, illicit wildlife trade, land grabbing and drug trafficking are some of the plagues that lead to critical deforestation, hampering efforts against the climate crisis and making agreed-upon carbon neutrality goals moot.
Continue reading "The world’s forests under threat" »
Ship waits to load logs at Turubu Bay, East Sepik (The Oakland Institute)
| Act Now!
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea think tank and community advocacy group, Act Now!, has joined with Jubilee Australia and California’s Oakland Institute to publish a new report calling for an urgent change of course from PNG’s political leaders.
The report, From Extraction to Inclusion, analyses PNG’s economic and development performance since independence in 1975.
Continue reading "Dramatic development change needed for PNG" »
LYANNE TOGIBA & BEN DOHERTY
| The Guardian | Judith Nielson Institute
PORT MORESBY - The plan for the largest mine in Papua New Guinea’s history carries a risk of catastrophic loss of life and environmental destruction and “appears to disregard the human rights of those affected”, according to United Nations officials.
In an extraordinary intervention, 10 UN special rapporteurs have written with “serious concerns” to the governments of Papua New Guinea, Australia, China, and Canada, as well as the Chinese state-owned developers of the gold, copper and silver mine proposed for the remote Frieda river in the country’s north.
Continue reading "Frieda mine plan ‘disregards human rights'" »
“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear” - George Orwell
BRISBANE - In the United States on 28 January 1948, a Douglas DC3 aircraft chartered by US Immigration Services crashed at Los Gatos canyon in California.
There were no survivors and the casualties included several crew members and 28 migrant farm labourers.
Continue reading "Australia is exploiting its seasonal workers" »
KENNY PAWA AMBIASI
PORT MORESBY - I recall a house built by a young man in the village. It was outstanding in the community.
He developed a unique design, secured a tract of land near the village square and built it using long-lasting materials.
The house was to be occupied by the designer’s younger brother in which to keep the designer’s belongings while he went to a faraway place to complete his studies.
Continue reading "On life expectancy (and lazy brothers)" »
The new Royal Adelaide Hospital: K5.5 billion to build and K2.9 billion a year to operate.
ADELAIDE - My first outstation posting in Papua New Guinea was to Baimuru Patrol Post in the Gulf Province.
In 1970 the station boasted a grass airstrip, a native materials office, a small collection of houses and miscellaneous outbuildings.
There was also a rickety wharf decked with Marsden matting left over from World War II.
Continue reading "An odious comparison: PNG & Australian hospitals" »
Cuscus and handler at Port Moresby Nature Park
| Guardian Australia | Judith Nielson Institute | Extracts
PORT MORESBY - From the heat and dust of the city’s noisy, crowded streets, the Port Moresby Nature Park is an oasis, for the city’s residents as well as the animals it keeps.
Home to more than 500 creatures and spread over 30 verdant acres, the park has spent years rescuing injured, orphaned or trafficked animals from across the country, and protected and nurtured native species, including the endangered pig-nosed turtle, and the magnificent riflebird.
Continue reading "Covid threatens PNG’s animal rescue centre" »
PNG's green climate fund is launched
PETER S KINJAP
PORT MORESBY - PNG’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) program was launched here last week to coordinate a wide range of international and domestic stakeholders in designing and executing activities to address climate change in the country.
The PNG based stakeholders include government agencies, provincial institutions, civil society, faith-based organizations, NGOs and the private sector.
Continue reading "Green climate fund program launched" »
| My Land, My Country
LAE - Papua New Guinea’s environment minister has tried to ease tensions over the proposal to dump mine waste into Huon Gulf in Morobe Province.
Wera Mori says it has not been decided if tailings from the K17 billion Wafi-Golpu project will be disposed using deep sea tailing. But he also admitted that the construction of a tailings dam is not part of the plan.
Continue reading "Mine waste debate divides Huon people" »
PORT MORESBY – A campaign to plant more trees in Port Moresby and Papua New Guinea has been initiated by Travel4Green (T4G) PNG, a not-for-profit project in partnership with Catholic Bishops Conference.
The campaign has adopted the ‘Keep It Clean. Go Green’ under Pope Francis’s Laudato Si statement and the PNG Conservation and Environment Protection Authority’s recently launched ‘10-million trees in 10 years’ target.
Continue reading "Plant More Trees campaign underway" »
Kavieng from the air - a beautiful place I'd never seen before until my coronavirus-affected travels
PORT MORESBY – Last Tuesday the Papua New Guinea parliament extended the coronavirus state of emergency for another two weeks to provide time to pass a new piece of legislation – the Public Health Emergency Bill - that will control how people live in that condition known as the ‘new normal’.
Many people felt the extension was unnecessary, especially when all eight people officially tested positive to Covid-19 have recovered and no new cases detected.
Continue reading "Covid-19 & muting the Angel of Death" »
Port Moresby can be a beautiful city
| Global Green Growth Institute
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s Travel4Green (T4G) project has been selected amongst 15 candidates to participate in the green entrepreneur program run by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).
Of the 164 applicants T4G’s entry in the Green City category saw it selected for the Greenpreneurs 2020 program!
Continue reading "PNG team scores in greenpreneurship" »
Fighting coronavirus is a daunting task when clean water for drinking and washing is a major challenge
EDKARL GALING & ALEXANDRA CONROY
| Asian Development Bank
MANILA - A lack of safe water supply in urban settlements around Asia and the Pacific complicates efforts to use improved hygiene to fight COVID-19
Handwashing with soap and proper hygiene are the first lines of defense to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Continue reading "The challenges of unsafe water" »
Logging at the Pohowa project (Ed Davey Global Witness)
| Guardian Australia
SYDNEY - A Malaysian company that won a permit to clear tropical rainforest on Manus Island has been accused of failing to deliver on its promises to the local community, while reaping millions of dollars in profits from the logging of valuable hardwood timber.
According to licensing documents, the company, Maxland Ltd, secured a permit to clear land in the south of Manus to plant between three and five million rubber trees as part of the Pohowa Project.
Continue reading "Loggers accused of dudding Manusians" »
Margaret Melke has been a nurse in East New Britain for more than 40 years
| Guardian Australia | Judith Nielson Institute
KOKOPO - The first that staff at Nonga General Hospital in Papua New Guinea heard that they had been treating someone with coronavirus, was when they saw the country’s prime minister announce it in televised press conference on Monday.
They had been treating the patient, a volunteer health worker at the hospital, for pneumonia.
Continue reading "Broken health system braces for Covid-19" »
The Frieda River
WEWAK - A civil society organisation, Project Sepik, has called for the rejection of the proposed Frieda River mine saying that the environmental impact statement is ‘unfit for purpose’.
The copper and gold mine proposed to be located in the remote Sepik region, would be the largest ever mine in Papua New Guinea and one of the largest in the world.
Continue reading "Frieda River mine ‘unfit for purpose’" »
People last-minute shopping in Kokopo ahead of the coronavirus lockdown (Kalolaine Fainu, The Guardian)
| Guardian Australia
PORT MORESBY - Four thousand nurses are expected to participate in strikes across Papua New Guinea this week over concerns that the Pacific nation lacks the medical supplies and funding to handle a potential coronavirus outbreak.
The industrial action follows a sit-in by nearly 600 nurses in the capital of Port Moresby on Thursday over concerns about the lack of personal protective equipment for medical staff.
Continue reading "4,000 nurses to strike over coronavirus" »
Dr Mathias Sapuri - More than 6,000 cases of interest but PNG is doing very little coronavirus testing
PORT MORESBY – Dr Mathias Sapuri, chairman of Papua New Guinea’s medical board, says he believes that coronavirus is already present in the country.
“Our two closest neighbours, Indonesia and Australia, are climbing exponentially with Covid-19 cases,” he said, “and so they are serious risk to us especially after the PNG lock down period.
Continue reading "The wave is coming, says top medico" »
| Canberra Times | Edited
CANBERRA - At his meeting with fellow G20 leaders on Friday, Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison called for international focus on the plight of Pacific island nations and said Australia was "reconfiguring" its development assistance to support the operation of critical health services and manage the economic impact.
According to the ABC, this includes the reallocation of $22 million of existing aid commitments toward a COVID-19 support package for the Papua New Guinea government.
Continue reading "Experts warn of PNG health catastrophe" »
TUMBY BAY - While a number of conspiracy theorists, alarmists, doomsayers and social media terrorists have tried to insinuate that there is a link between the coronavirus epidemic and climate change, more level-headed minds have been trying to alert us to the connection between the health of the planet and the health of humanity for some time.
In 1993 the Norwegian physician, Per Fugelli, wrote: "The patient Earth is sick. Global environmental disruptions can have serious consequences for human health. It's time for doctors to give a world diagnosis and advise on treatment."
Continue reading "'The patient Earth is sick....'" »
Rabaul Queen survivors await rescue - 246 were picked up; as many as 500 died
Extract from ‘You’ll Never Work Again – The Great Safety Charade’ by Bernard Paul Corden, self published, 2019, 1058 pp. A thorough examination from global sources of how corporate barons – large and small – so often place their employees and the public at unconscionable risk. Download 'The Great Safety Charade'
BRISBANE - On 2nd February 2012 the MV Rabaul Queen ferry capsized and sank with the loss of approximately 150 passengers in treacherous waters off the northern coast of Papua New Guinea.
Despite holding a current but somewhat superficial seaworthiness certificate, the congested, overloaded, listing and dilapidated rust bucket departed from Kimbe in West New Britain the previous day.
Continue reading "Cry me a river – The Rabaul Queen disaster" »
James Marape and health minister Jelta Wong
PORT MORESBY – Following the detection of the first coronavirus case in Papua New Guinea late last week, in an emergency meeting yesterday the national executive council decided on the implementation of a series of tough measures to stop or slow the spread of the disease through the country.
“This is not just a health issue but a national security issue,” prime minister James Marape said in a public statement, adding that it will have profound effects on the economy, law and order and education.
Continue reading "Marape declares state of emergency" »
Wutung entry point at the border between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (RNZ - Johnny Blades)
| Radio New Zealand | Edited extract
AUCKLAND –Members of parliament in Papua New Guinea's Sepik region say they'll fund bolstered surveillance of the international border with Indonesia.
West Sepik province hosts the main land access point between PNG and Indonesia where coronavirus cases are surging.
Continue reading "Sepik boosts border virus surveillance" »