By Harriet Smith, an intern with the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program.

  • Applications are now open for the 2016 Australia-Papua New Guinea Emerging Leaders Dialogue, the flagship event of the Aus-PNG Network, hosted by the Lowy Institute.
  • The Bougainville Government says that the mining company Bougainville Copper Limited now only has ‘minimal value’. Bougainville's Mining Minister Robin Wilson has claimed that attempts by the PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to donate some government-owned shares in the company to landowners in the area is a ‘political move’ to weaken Bougainville’s independence campaign.
  • This year’s commemorations for the International Day of the Disappeared in Bougainville will include three events over three days to remember those who went missing in the conflict.
  • A proposed policy on rice production from the PNG Government (which would seek to make the country’s rice production self-sufficient by 2030) continues to create unease for Australia.
  • There have been several violent attacks on women suspected of sorcery in the Enga province of Papua New Guinea. 
  • Danish politicians who were planning to visit the Nauru detention centre have cancelled their trip after two were denied visas. Nauru has also cancelled the passports of 20 people (including former MPs) accused of involvement in anti-government protests last year.
  • Tonga’s parliament is proceeding with the implementation of anti-corruption measures.
  • The Solomon Islands government is rearming its police force as the peacekeeping mission RAMSI prepares to depart after 13 years in the country.*
  • Baby Pam, named after the devastating cyclone she was born during in Vanuatu, is now a toddler, but 18 months after the storm life has yet to return to normal.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s 2016 World Conservation Congress will take place in Honolulu, Hawaii, and will be attended by Pacific Island leaders.
  • Preceding IUCN's event is the 10th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders, organised by the East-West Centre and this year chaired by PNG PM Peter O’Neill. On the agenda is regional security and climate change, and leaders will be addressed by US President Barack Obama.

 *Editor's note: This item was edited after it was posted.