News from South East Asia and the Pacific

Last week we (REEEP) decided to blog about news and relevant issues from the regions we cover (Southern Africa, South Asia, East Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific, North America and Latin America and the Caribbean) on a regular basis. Our staff will report directly from the regional secretariats and therefore we hope to give you a comprehensive overview about the local news. Just have a look on our  “News from ….” blogposts, they will cover the most interesting topics from the last weeks from the covered region.

Let’s start with “South East Asia and the Pacific”:

Pacific Leaders Forum, Cairns, Australia
Leaders from Australia, New Zealand and 13 Pacific Island gathered in Cairns in August 2009 for a two-day summit aimed at tackling the impact of the global economic crisis on some of the world’s smallest and poorest nations.
Climate change was another focus of the forum, with low-lying atoll nations such as Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands among the world’s most vulnerable to rising sea levels and changing weather patterns. The 40th Communiqué was published.

Pacific Trade Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus
Negotiations for a new free trade agreement under the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations, known as ‘PACER Plus’, between Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, were also on the Pacific Islands Forum’s agenda. Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, described the agreement as critical for driving closer economic integration in the region and advancing towards the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

Tonga takes a new approach to energy policy development

The Tongan Government has entered into an agreement with their development partners to work cooperatively on creating an “energy roadmap”. This energy masterplan is to enable Tonga to reach their policy target of 50% of electricity generation to be fuelled by renewables within three years. With this exceptional approach, the Government of Tonga is hoping to coordinate the planning and implementation aspects of the roadmap, whilst tapping into the collective expertise. REEEP is pleased to be of assistance to Tonga in this process.

Pacific Utilities agree to on urgent action to boost the region’s uptake of energy efficiency and renewables
Last month, the utilities of the Pacific region met in American Samoa to discuss the strategy of how to meet their countries’ future energy demands under the continued high diesel prices which are harming the viability of Pacific utilities, communities and consumers. At this annual conference, organised by the Pacific Power Association, REEEP addressed the delegates with a key note speech about energy efficiency opportunities for the Pacific Islands’ utilities and conducted a workshop for CEOs under the ADB’s Energy for All Partnership.

ADB Holds High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific, Announces Clean Energy Funds
The ADB highlighted the special stake and role of Asian and Pacific countries in solving the climate crisis. During the meeting, ADB’s President Haruhiko Kuroda announced a doubling of the organisation’s annual clean energy spending target from US$1 to US$2 billion starting in 2013.

Consensus GreenTech Awards – Nominations Now Open
Nominations are now open until the end of September 2009. The Awards recognise the contribution made by Australian and New Zealand organisations in the development and commercialisation of environmentally friendly “green” technologies. For more info have a look on the Consensus website.


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