The inability to meet Pacific Island expectations on climate change will erode Australia’s leadership credentials and influence in the region.
Australia ensured its official communique watered down commitments to respond to climate change, gaining a hollow victory.
Boys play on a beach in Kiribati in 2014. Cuba is training doctors to tend to people on the Pacific island nation, struggling with disease amid the worsening effects of climate change.
Cuba is offering a compelling example of how we can take care of each other during the climate crisis with its work training doctors on Kiribati, a nation that is being devastated by climate change.
Rising sea levels are an urgent problem facing island nations across the Pacific.
Pacific countries are eager for assistance in securing their future, whether sourced from old friends like the US and Australia, or new enthusiasts like the Chinese.
A king tide breaching a defence wall at Sabai Island in the Torres Strait, 2011.
AAP Image/Suzanne Long
Torres Strait Islanders argue the government has violated their rights to culture, family and life.
Accumulated plastic debris on Direction Island.
Jennifer Lavers 2017
The entire Cocos (Keeling) Island group is a little more than twice the size of the Melbourne CBD. So it’s hard to envision 414 million debris items washed up there.
Looking out from Ontong Java settlement at the mouth of the Mataniko River, Honiara.
Alexei Trundle (2017)
Pacific island nations are often framed as remote atolls facing rising seas and cyclones. But their cities are growing fast, so are efforts to help the most climate-vulnerable people hitting the mark?
JC142 research cruise: reproduced with permission of the British Geological Survey, National Oceanography Centre ©UKRI 2018.
Deep sea mining could supply valuable rare minerals to green technology, but one project in the south-west Pacific is invoking the wrath of local spirits.
Lone Sharks supporter Scott Morrison gives out Wallabies rugby jerseys to Pacific Islands leaders after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Port Moresby. There will be fewer hand-outs in future.
AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
The strength of Australian aid is that it has been fully grant-based. Offering Pacific nations debt-based development financing instead is no way to win friends.
Mother and children in Tanna, Vanuatu. Australia’s investment in the Pacific care sector would bring a broad range of positive outcomes.
To be a good neighbour Australia should invest in a sustainable temporary labour migration scheme for Pacific nations.
The referendum is part of an ongoing reconciliation process following violent protests by indigenous Kanak residents in the 1980s.
Thirty years after deadly protests erupted in Australia's close neighbour, New Caledonians head to the polls again to vote on whether to remain a part of France.
A raised fist carving on a highway at Touho, Grand Terre. Kanaks, New Caledonia’s Indigenous people, have struggled for independence for over 150 years.
Indigenous New Caledonians, who will vote in an independence referendum next week, have been struggling since French colonisation in 1853. Through songs, they have chronicled past traumas and resistance heroes.
Locals in Kiribati building a sea wall to protect the low-lying Pacific island from rising sea waters.
Australian aid to the Pacific has been criticised for not focusing enough on infrastructure. But rising Chinese influence is bringing a shift of priorities.
Nauru’s people are struggling in the face of environmental change.
Nauru is best known as a site of Australian offshore asylum detention. But everyone on the island - not just refugees - is struggling with the issue of environmental change that threatens their lives and homes.
Environment Minister Melissa Price is accused of insulting Kiribati’s former president, saying he was only in Australia “for the cash”.
At a time when the future of many Pacific islands is under threat, a little compassion is in order, not barbs at their expense.
Red star rising: China has clear strategic designs on the Pacific Islands region.
Huge loans to poor island nations leave them vulnerable to becoming vassal states for China's strategic interests.
To sustain geo-political relations with French-speaking Pacific nations in the future, we need to change the way French is taught to young Australians.
More than 1,000 New Zealanders have been deported from Australia in the last 2 years.
Changes to Australian immigration law have resulted in a sharp increase in deportations, particularly among New Zealanders of Maori and Pacific Island descent.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull shaking hands with Tongan Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva at last year’s Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa.
Australia has long been concerned about foreign powers gaining influence in the Pacific, but China's involvement in the region may not be as nefarious as it fears.
If New Zealand introduces a climate refugee visa, 100 Pacific Islanders could be granted access on the basis that their home islands are threatened by rising seas.
New Zealand's plan to create the world’s first humanitarian visa for climate refugees has to consider ways people from Pacific Island nations actually want to be assisted.
Scientists call large marine protected areas effective tools for conserving sea life. But do they benefit countries that create them? Scholars explain how Palau's huge marine protected area seeks to protect resources for Palauans.