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Vanuatu bans plastic bags in bid to preserve its ocean
2 January 2018 - The South Pacific Ocean nation of Vanuatu has banned unrecyclable plastic bags and polystyrene takeaway boxes in a bid to address growing pollution concerns affecting the island nation's surrounding waters. As of next month, Vanuatu will ban the importation and local manufacturing of non-biodegradable plastics, reported The Vanuatu Independent. (more)

South Pacific islands ban western junk food and go organic
3 February 2017 - A group of south Pacific islands are banning foreign junk food imports in favour of an all-local, organic diet as a way to combat future health problems. Torba province, part of Vanuatu, aims to impose restrictions on the import of western foodstuffs and instead take advantage of its productive agricultural land and rich natural resources. Father Luc Dini, a community leader and head of the local tourism council, said a ban on foreign food imports would improve the health and wellbeing of islanders. 'At the moment we have an infiltration of junk food from overseas,' he said. '. . . . There is no need to eat imported food when we have so much local food grown organically on our islands.' Torba aims to be Vanuatu's first organic province by the year 2020. (more)

Government of Australia offers $35 million in extra assistance for Vanuatu's recovery from Cyclone Pam
24 May 2015 - The Australian Government has committed an extra $35 million of aid to help with the cyclone recovery effort in Vanuatu. Infrastructure in the country was badly damaged by Cyclone Pam when it crossed the country's islands in March. Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement the latest funding was a long-term recovery package, developed in consultation with Vanuatu's government. (more)

From volcanoes to snorkeling, a snapshot of Vanuatu
15 March 2015 - A volcanic island chain that forms a Y-shape, Vanuatu is located about a quarter of the way from Australia to Hawaii. It's made up of more than 80 islands, about 65 of which are inhabited. Almost all of Vanuatu's 267,000 residents are indigenous Melanesians known as Ni-Vanuatu. Following is a snapshot of the South Pacific archipelago nation of Vanuatu, from volcanoes to snorkeling: (more)

Vanuatu: Traditional knowledge feeds into resilience plans
25 June 2014 - From investigating where turtle eggs are buried to how many mangoes are growing in a season, scientists on the southwest Pacific Island of Vanuatu are evaluating the accuracy of traditional means of forecasting weather, with the aim of incorporating the most effective ideas into planning to help island communities better prepare for the impacts of climate change and more severe natural disasters. (more)

Vanuatu tops happy planet index
14 July 2006 - The nation of Vanuatu, which is part of the Pacific archipelago, is rated number one on the Happy Planet Index, 'which measures quality of life against environmental impact.' (more)

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Vanuatu struggles to account for cyclone damage, deaths (with Associated Press video)
15 March 2015 - Officials struggled Sunday to determine the scale of the devastation wrought by a monstrous cyclone that tore through the tiny South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu, with death counts varying in the single digits but expected to rise once communications are restored with outlying islands. Cyclone Pam tore through Vanuatu early Saturday, packing winds of 270 kilometers (168 miles) per hour, and leaving a trail of destruction and unconfirmed reports of dozens of deaths. (more)


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