Author: Colin Tukuitonga

Tobacco use continues holding back the potential of the Pacific

World No Tobacco Day falls on 31 May every year, highlighting the health and other risks associated with tobacco use, and promoting effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. It is a grim fact that tobacco use kills seven million people every year. Despite some successes in bringing down smoking rates in some Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs), the Pacific continues to have some of the highest smoking rates in the world. Approximately half of the adult population smokes daily in Kiribati, Tokelau, Nauru, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, and Wallis and Futuna. The 2018 focus for Wold Tobacco...

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Why the Pacific is taking an integrated approach to climate change and NCDs

The Island nations of the Pacific region are a community encompassing many unique traditions, cultures and experiences. These generally small island nations are spread across one the largest and most important regions on Earth. With small populations dependent on living in harmony with the natural environment, the people of Pacific Islands are finding themselves at the forefront of some of today’s more serious global challenges. Among the greatest of these challenges are climate change and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Climate change will have significant and damaging effects on communities and economies over the coming decades. Some projections estimate an additional...

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Reflections on 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, I want to take a moment and express my appreciation to SPC staff, partners, donors and our many supporters around the world. It has been a year of evolution for SPC, and our achievements over the last 12 months have positioned our organisation for an exciting future. In a world with so much change, it is incredible to think that the Pacific Community has been serving its members in the Pacific region for 70 years. The CGRA and SPC Conference in Noumea in July therefore took on a specific significance, as Pacific leaders...

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“Fish is the cornerstone of food security in the Pacific region.”

Coastal Fisheries – Our Livelihoods, Our Future This dramatic statement was part of the 2011 SPC report ‘Vulnerability of Tropical Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change’. That publication highlighted the importance of Pacific fisheries to the world and emphasised the absolutely fundamental role of fish for the people in the region. The numbers in the report are staggering, “The average annual consumption of fish (including shellfish) by coastal rural populations ranges from 30-118 kg per person in Melanesia, 62-115 kg in Micronesia, and 50-146kg in Polynesia.  Even in urban centres, fish consumption usually greatly exceeds the global average...

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Smart policy starts with good data

As the principal scientific and research organization for the Pacific region, big data, numbers and statistics are at the heart of our work. SPC strives to promote and provide the very best evidence based research for the benefit of our members and partners.  We were therefore, delighted have hosted the 5th Heads of Planning and Statistics (HOPS) meeting this week in Noumea with close to 100 participants from member states, development partners and other stakeholders. The HOPS meeting is the most important forum for senior statisticians and planners from member states to discuss the challenges of providing statistical services...

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