Pacific – The Pacific Community and the United Nations Development Programme are launching a graphic design contest for Pacific youth to raise awareness on non-communicable diseases, or NCDs. Through the Wake Up! Project, young people between 18 and 30 are eligible to enter. Winners will receive training in street art and work with professional graffiti artists to produce their own murals. The Pacific Community says NCDs are the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the region and a crisis of epidemic proportion. It says tobacco, harmful use of alcohol and poor diet combined with a lack of exercise are the leading risk factors for NCDs. Typically observed in adults, NCDs are now being increasingly diagnosed in young people.
helping women learn work skills
SAMOA – An initiative implemented by the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality and the Samoa Victims Support Group, Nofotane, is training young married women to learn new skills and mitigate climate change. Talamua Online reports the project is taking plastic waste off the streets like coffee sachets and rice bags. More than 3000 women have received training, particularly from around the Vaitele industrial area and more than 400 now earn a living from their new skills. The organisers said the project was not about changing cultural perspectives but aimed to improve the economic empowerment of women and increase their participation in domestic and community matters.
ILLEGAL FISHING ON SUMMIT AGENDA
PACIFIC– The battle against illegal fishing is expected to be high on the agenda at a meeting of Pacific leaders with Japan’s government. The Pacific Island Leaders Meeting, known as PALM, is held in Japan every three years. Ahead of this summit, Tokyo said measures to help Pacific countries enforce maritime law within their maritime jurisdictions would be included in a joint statement. Pacific Island countries struggle to adequately police their exclusive economic zones which have become subject to regular incursions by so-called Vietnamese blue boats. The statement for PALM 8 will coincide with a new Japanese ocean policy targetting perceived growing threats from North Korea and China.