journal@ntamar.net or marshallislandsjournal@gmail.com
August 22, 2014
News Update
R&D sponsors Food Safety Program workshop
A Food Safety Program workshop and certification training to improve the standards and quality of Marshallese Made products wrapped up in early August in Majuro. The training was delivered by Apiame Cegumalua, Export Processing Officer, and Temalesi Waqa, Trade Facilitation Assistant from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The training was funded by the European Union under the Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) program of the Land Resources Division at SPC. The IACT program aims to strengthen the export capacity of Pacific member countries.
Read more about this in the August 29, 2014
edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.
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USP hotel puchase saves millions
Purchase of the Long Island Hotel for the University of South Pacific (USP) campus is seen as a ‘win-win’ for the
Marshall Islands and USP. Education Minister Dr. Hilda Heine, pictured, told the Nitijela on Tuesday that the initial USP campus
plan was for the university to take over the Ministry of Education facility. She said this original proposal would have cost USP $12 million to renovate MOE’s facility and convert it into a campus. Meanwhile MOE would have had to locate a new facility to move into, which they had estimated would have cost the government $2 million to establish. Combining USP and MOE initial proposals, it would have cost all up $14 million. “This is a win-win for all,” said Heine. “MOE doesn’t have to move and it will only cost USP one million to renovate the Long Island hotel into a campus.” The government purchased the hotel for $3.8 million. Heine said a USP architect inspected the hotel facilities and found them suitable. “All of this was done before the hotel was bought,” said Heine adding that once the facility is up and running USP can accept Northern Pacific students to attend its campus.
The Australian government has pledged $2 billion to replace the existing fleet of patrol boats in the region, including the RMI Sea Patrol’s Lomor vessel. Ambassador Dr. Terry Beven told the Journal this week that a request for tenders to replace the existing 22 Pacific
Australia to upgrade Micro-fleet
Class patrol boats will be issued in early 2015 with the first of the new vessels expected to roll out by 2018. Australia’s Pacific patrol boat program is the program Sea Patrol’s vessel Lomor comes under. “We are renaming the program from the Pacific patrol boat program to the Pacific Maritime Security Program to reflect the broader initiative of the program,” said Beven. Along with a new fleet of patrol vessels, this updated maritime surveillance program will now include planes to provide aerial surveillance in conjunction with the boats. The initial aerial surveillance component of the program will be a pilot project operating over the air space of five countries — Samoa, Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands. The Australian Navy will run the aerial surveillance program, and unlike the current PT Orion planes used, a smaller more maneuverable aircraft will be utilized. Under the package, each of the five nations in the pilot program area will have 10 aerial surveillance exercises annually within their respective exclusive economic zones. Meanwhile, as each new patrol boat comes on line and is gifted to the 12 Pacific Island countries, Beven explains the existing fleet will be returned to Australia and decommissioned. The new patrol boats have yet to be designed. However, Ambassador Beven said they will be the same size boats with new technology and they will be built to be more efficient. “It will be a whole new fleet but we will still have the same deal in terms of crew training and providing Navy advisors,” he said adding that it is most likely the North Pacific region will be last in line to get their new patrol boats as they have the latest vessels in the current fleet in the Pacific. In 2010, the Lomor received a multi-million dollar refit in Australia.
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