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An opportunity to learn from each other: 2019 Pacific Update

July 7, 2019 7:50 am

The 2019 Pacific Update brought together a number of academics and practitioners to discuss a range of issues affecting the region.

With the various panels, there were a number of examples shared that could easily be used here in Fiji and other Pacific Island Countries to improve communities and the quality of life.

University of the South Pacific’s senior lecturer Dr. Neelesh Gounder says there were a number of lessons Pacific Island Countries can learn from each other.

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“There have been great examples of how local businesses have been successful, how indigenous businesses have been successful, how ideas from local villages and indigenous knowledge have been used to benefit communities.”

The 2019 Pacific Update which was open to the public also looked at some of the down sides of development.

An area of focus was the labour mobility in the region which now has a number of PICs involved.

Rachel Smith, a Research Associate from Cambridge University highlighted some of the findings of her work in Vanuatu which is responsible for about 40 percent of all seasonal workers to New Zealand and Australia.

“Situations of living and working together that wouldn’t normally be so intimate with each other, this was leading to quite a lot of extra marital affairs and disputes. I attended several court cases around this and they could only really do a court case when both accused members were in the community so they often complained that it was very difficult to adjudicate.”

Smith presented her research on community perspectives on labour mobility which looked at some of negative aspects that had a social impact on communities in Vanuatu.

The 2019 Pacific Update wrapped up on Friday with co-conveners the University of the South Pacific and the Australian National University now focused on the next chapter.

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