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

  • The 47th Pacific Islands Forum meeting is underway in the Federated States of Micronesia. Priority issues include the economic returns of regional fisheries, responding to the effects of climate change, and disaster risk management. You can find coverage at The Conversation and Radio NZ, with more to follow over the coming days.
  • The Economist has released an article detailing Australia’s complex relationship with the Pacific, highlighting looming geopolitical tensions in the region.
  • This is particularly relevant in light of China’s continuing engagement in the Pacific Islands, which is reflected in the recent update to the Lowy Institute mapping project on Chinese Aid in the Pacific. The map now covers a decade’s worth of Chinese aid to the Pacific spread across 218 projects and nine countries totalling $US1.7 billion.
  • The Asian Development Bank will double its loan and grant funding to the Pacific over the next five years, and has released a new strategy for the region.
  • PNG hopes that Australia will mirror Singapore and co-operate with efforts to halt the laundering of profits from corruption in PNG.
  • Amid growing criticism of PNG’s government’s rice policy, Dr Francis Odhuno from the National Research Institute says the policy is discriminatory, unfair, anti-competitive and bad news for consumers. NRI’s research on the rice policy can be found here.
  • Fiji has allegedly agreed to send two bio-security officers to Papua New Guinea after PNG threatened to cut trade in an ongoing dispute over PNG Ox & Palm corned beef.
  • The annual Samoan transgender beauty pageant, Miss Fa’afafine, included contestants from across the country, addressing the theme of ‘Healthy Eating’.
  • The first PNG-produced fiction film to address issues faced by young people in Port Moresby premieres today. Lukim Yu has been described by its Canadian writer and director as a 'cheesy teen drama', and features a mostly local cast and crew.