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Pacific Plunder

The extraction of valuable resources from across the Pacific has made
companies billions but comes at a sometimes catastrophic cost

Who profits from the mass extraction of the region's natural resources?
A series from Guardian Australia since 30 May 2021, link

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A rusted truck remains at a Panguna mine in Bougainville, which recently voted for
independence  from Papua New Guinea. Photograph: Illya Gridneff/AAP

A global audit of Pacific resource extraction undertaken by the Guardian’s
Pacific Project has revealed that:

  • China dominates resource extraction in the region, taking just over half the total tonnes of the minerals, timber and fish exported.
  • In some industries, Pacific communities see less than 12% of the final value of the resources being extracted, with little paid in royalties or reinvested in the countries which own the resources. Despite their collective natural resource wealth, GDP per capita remains low for many Pacific Island states.
  • The extraction each year of billions of dollars worth of minerals, oil, gas and timber – US$11.8bn in 2019 - is causing environmental devastation, poisoning rivers and forests, and degrading food security.
  • The scale of these extractive industries is also having significant social and health impacts on Pacific people.
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A logging truck heads through the village of Vanimo, Papua New Guinea, en route to the Vanimo Forest
Products log camp where the logs will be loaded onto a ship for export to China. Photograph: Chicago
Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images


23 July 2021: Samoa court declares FAST party new government; link

More than 100 days since the 9 April election Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, the daughter
of Samoa's first prime minister, becomes the country's first woman in the role.

Political and Constitutional Crisis in Samoa:
Samoa incumbent leader rejects first female Prime Minister's swearing in as 'treason'
Reports by Radio New Zealand link

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Photo: RNZ/Vinay Ranchhod, RNZ 27 May 2021


Fiji´s 1987 coup: from trauma to cohesion
By Shailendra Singh, DevPolicy Blog on 25 May 2021, link


Titelstory der Nürnberger Nachrichten vom 22. Mai 2021: link
Kolonialismus: Wie Neuendettelsauer Missionare Neuguinea ausbeuteten


Sachbuch & Literaturtipp Mai 2021

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Das Luf-Boot vor der Handelsstation von Hernsheim & Co. auf Matupi, 1903.
Foto: Richard Parkinson/Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

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Götz Aly: Das Prachtboot. Wie Deutsche die
Kunstschätze der Südsee raubten.
link zum Verlag

SPIEGEL-Online Interview mit Götz Aly:
Kolonialverbrechen in der Südsee
"Die Deutschen zerstörten ein Paradies -
und behaupten bis heute das Gegenteil"
8. Mai 2021, link

Artikel Süddeutsche Zeitung:
Das unmögliche Exponat.
10. Mai 2021, link
s.a Artikel in der Neuen Züricher Zeitung
vom 19. Mai 2021, link
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Katharina Döbler: Dein ist das Reich. Ein
ungewöhnlicher Familienroman über ein
verschwiegenes Kapitel deutscher Geschichte:
die Beziehung zwischen christlichem
Sendungsbewusstsein, Kolonialismus und
Rassismus. Rezension von Jörg Häntzschel
in Süddeutsche Zeitung vom 3. Juli 2021,


Papua New Guinea´s founding father Sir Michael Somare died
Friday, 26 February 2021

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Image: National 2 March 2021, link

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`Papa blo kantri´ Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare in Madang 2012 (photo: Roland Seib)

Obituaries on the death of Sir Michael by Ron May (ANU),
link and Johnny Blades, RNZ Pacific Journalist, link

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PNG’s first prime minister, Michael Somare, and first Governor-General, John Guise,
Independence Day ceremony, 1975 (photo:Denis Williams/PNG Post Courier)


PNG: Government accepts new gold and copper mine

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Illustration: National 28 Feb. 2021, link


Bougainville president meets rebel king in reconciliation
RNZ 26 Jan. 2021, link

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'King' Noah Musingku meets Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama at Tonu, 22 January 2021.
Photo: Anthony Kaybing / ABG


Since 13 November 2020:
Power struggle for the post of prime minister in Papua New Guinea

16 December 2020: A sigh of relief, full story RNZ 17 Dec. 2020, link

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Photo: National 17 Dec. 2020, link

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Image: PNG National 11 Dec. 2020, link


(17. Nov. 2020) Website der AG Tiefseebergbau ist online:


(2 Nov. 2020) Neues Positionspapier des AK Rohstoffe:
Krisenverschärfendes Handeln stoppen - Rohstoffwende umsetzen, link


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Walking into Nogoli, PNG Highlands
© James McIlraith/University of Otago

New Report from ACT NOW!,
Jubilee Australia and the Oakland Institute:
 Calls for a Dramatic Change from Extraction
to Inclusion for Real Development in
Papua New Guinea,
Oct. 2020, link


Ishmael Toroama declared president-elect of Bougainville, PNG
RNZ 23 Sept. 2020, link


(1 Sept 2020) new report: Intern. Cyber Policy Centre & Australian Strategic
Policy Institute: The Chinese Communist Party´s coercive diplomacy, link


(17 August 2020) East Sepik people have rejected the Frieda River
project according to Governor Allan Bird; link


(6 August 2020) The Oxygen Project - STOP DEEP SEABED MINING!
Legendary eco-activists Jane Fonda and Sylvia Earle, along with Phillipe Cousteau,
Julien Lennon, and other conservationists star in this emotional video asking us
to help stop a destructive new industry: Deep Seabed Mining; link


(25 July 2020) Article by Franco Zocca from 2012 about Belden Namah,
currently Papua New Guinea´s opposition leader in the national parliament:
Life excursus of Mr Belden Namah, here


(25 June 2020) New paper: Pacific Network on Globalization & Ozeanien-Dialog
Rough Seas: Looming Dangers of the Blue Economy, link


New photo gallery New Zealand available here

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New Report Highlights Deep Sea Nodule Mining
Danger to Pacific Ocean and Island Nations
Deep Sea Mining Campaign, 20 May 2020, link

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Inside Indonesia's Secret War for West Papua

Just north of Australia a secret war is being fought. West Papuan independence 
fighters and Indonesian security forces are involved in a protracted and bloody
battle over the issue of Papuan independence. ABC Foreign Correspondent
12 May 2020; link; Background:

The battle for West Papuan independence has intensified; Post-Courier link

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Ronny Kareni, West Papuan Musician and Activist, Canberra


Arbeitskreis Rohstoffe:
12 Argumente für eine Rohstoffwende, 5. Mai 2020, link


"Save the Sepik"
`Project Sepik´ calls for PNG Government to halt Frieda mining project

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Frieda River heading north to join the Sepik River. Photo: Facebook - Sepik Capital, PNG -
Wewak Urban Local Level Government; RNZ 9 April 2020 link


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"Die zornige Stimme der
Internierten in Australien" (SZ)

"Woher komme ich? Aus dem Land der
dem Land der Wasserfälle, dem
Land der
uralten Gesänge, dem Land der Berge. (...) Aus einem kleinen Dorf inmitten eines Kastanienwalds." (291)

Original title: "No Friend but the Mountains.
Writing from Manus Prison". Sydney 2018

zum Hintergrund: link
Rezension von Jan Bielicki,
Süddeutsche Zeitung vom 3. Feb. 2019, link
  see also J.M. Coetzee, New York
Review of Books 26 Sept. 2019, link


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23-year old Geraldine Damana and her
baby Joylin, outside their home inside
the Panguna mine pit; photo: HRLC

New report by
Human Rights Law Centre:
After the mine.
Living with Rio Tinto´s deadly legacy.
  April 2020, link


Death toll from Papua 2019 protest month put at 59, RNZ 6 March 2020, link

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Protest march in Jayapura, West Papua against racism towards Papuans in Indonesia 19 Aug 2019
photo: RNZ 6 March 2020


19 Feb 2020 new report by the London Mining Network:
Cut and run: How Britain´s top mining companies have
wrecked ecosystems without being held to account, link

Neue Studie der Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik zur
Strategischen Rivalität zwischen USA und China, Feb. 2020, link

Documentary: Malaysian Logging Colonialism in Papua New Guinea
UK based Sarawak Report by journalist Clare Rewcastle-Brown, 7 Jan 2020, link


Interview mit der Deutschen Welle:

Chinas "Umarmung" der Pazifikinseln beunruhigt Westen

Pekings verstärktes Engagement in der Südsee ist bislang nur wirtschaftlich.
Aber militärisch-strategische Absichten werden vermutet, Sicherheitspolitiker
in der Nachbarschaft sind alarmiert. Sogar Berlin hat reagiert.
2. Dezember 2019, link


Bougainville independence referendum:

Bougainville referendum report gives historical perspective
Radio New Zealand/RNZ 12 June 2020, link

Final Bougainville referendum report presented to PNG
RNZ 5 June 2020, link

In photos: Bougainville chooses independence, as Papua New Guinea makes pitch.
RNZ 20 December 2019, link

The Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) returned the referendum writ
with the results to the Governor General at Government House in Port Moresby

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RNZ 13 Dec 2019, Photo: Facebook/BRC

Bougainville voted yes to becoming the world´s newest nation. Now begins the gold rush.
ABC-PNG correspondent Natalie Whiting on 13 December 2019, link

11 December 2019: Bougainville - A new sovereign state is born

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Bougainville flag flies high in Panguna Photo: RNZ Pacific 21 Nov 2019 Johnny Blades

A 97.7 percent majority has voted for independence in Bougainville´s historic
referendum. Over 85 percent of those enrolled having voted. Consultations with
the Papua New Guinea government will follow. The chairperson of the Bougainville
Referendum Commission, former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern, paid tribute to
the people for their enthusiastic and peaceful participation. The leader of the
Australian  Observation Mission, Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne, said,
the referendum process was "free, fair and credible". link

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People of Bougainville celebrating the outcome of the referendum in Buka on Wednesday,
Photo: The New York Times 11 Dec 2019, Courtesy of Serahphina Aupong/UN in PNG via AP

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Bougainville people take their flag with them to vote for the referendum.
Photo: RNZ 7 Dec 2019, Johnny Blades

Photo essay: Bougainville´s historic independence referendum,
RNZ 6 Dec 2019 link

Bougainville referendum inspires hope, RNZ 28 Nov 2019 link

23 Nov - 7 Dec 2019 Polling period for the referendum on
Bougainville´s independence from Papua New Guinea

PNG leaders caution ahead of Bougainville vote, RNZ 22 Nov 2019, link

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Bougainvilleans check the voter roll ahead of their region´s independence referendum;
Photo: RNZ 7 Nov 2019, Bougainville Referendum Commission

"Whatever we think about whether independence for Bougainville is a good or bad
thing, the more important principle is that we work to honour UN-ratified peace
agreements. If our region fails to do that, if the UN Security Council fails to, we
will find it more difficult to reach peace agreements to end future wars."
John Braithwaite and Miranda Forsyth, 28 Sept 2017, Blog


China's 'soft invasion' of the South Pacific pathway to greater influence
Nine 17 Nov. 2019, link

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Chinese-owned Ramu Nickel mine in PNG shut down after toxic slurry spill

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Photo: RNZ 24 Oct. 2019 Facebook Elisha Wesley Mizeu; See ABC report 25 Oct 2019 link


Akilisi Pohiva´s son wins by-election, RNZ 28 Nov 2019 link

Pacific leaders pay tribute to Akilisi Pohiva, link

12 Sept 2019, Akilisi Pohiva, the leading figure of Tonga´s pro-democracy
movement and twofold prime minister died today at the age of 78;
RNZ link

Keith Locke (former NZ Green MP):
A democratic giant of Tonga – a tribute

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photo: Akilisi Pohiva, at the 2019 Pacific Islands Forum summit in Tuvalu.
Photo: RNZ / Jamie Tahana


Das moderne Weltsystem - Zum Tode von Immanuel Wallerstein.
Ein Nachruf. SZ vom 3. Sept. 2019, link


PNG´s Resource Curse: Double or Nothing Revisited
Paul Flanagan, PNG Economics, 12 June 2019, link


Old Apia Courthouse completely demolished
photo: Areta Areta, Samoa Observer 6 June 2020, link

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Demolition of historical courthouse in Samoa begins
Link: RNZ 19 May 2020

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New Zealand, British, Australian and French servicemen raise the Union Jack
at the Apia courthouse in August 1914

117 year-old German colonial courthouse in Apia will be pulled down, Samoan PM

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Photo: Roland Seib, 2011; RNZ report 8 June 2019 link


New Papua New Guinea prime minister calls for unity

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James Marape, left, being sworn in as prime minister of PNG by the
governor general  Sir Robert Dadae, 30 May 2019.  Photo:
PNG prime minister´s office media; link RNZ report

Marape promises to rebuild country in first address to PNG, link RNZ 6 June 2019


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Chinese President Xi Jinping and officials meet with Papua New Guinea´s Prime Minister
Peter O´Neill and ministerial colleagues at the 2nd global Belt & Road Forum in Beijing,
25 April 2019; Photo: Xinhua/Yan Yan


On the death of Bill Standish, Australian National University, Canberra

Dr Bill Standish, 14.6.1944 - 31.3.2019, remembered as a fearless commentator
and expert analyst of PNG politics. An excellent colleague. During my PhD
research in 1988, I shared a room with Bill at the ANU for three months.
Link: Liam Fox on Pacific Beat, 15 April 2019


Video Tipp: Lost in Dhaka, March 2019 link

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Book review:
In defence of `Silent Invasion´
The book that launched a thousand rants
by Kevin Carrico
Policy Forum of the Asia & The Pacific
Policy Society, 1 March 2019, link


New study by Jubilee Australia, 14 June 2019, link:
The Frieda River Mine and the Threat to the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea

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for more information link: Save the Sepik river and its people
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Human Rights Watch calls for Indonesia to investigate the Death of Papuans
killed during protests across the country; RNZ link 9 Sept 2019

Wut und Armut in Papua; Arne Perras in Süddeutsche Zeitung, 23. August 2019; link
West Papua rebels unite to form new army;
RNZ link

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The newly formed United Liberation Movement for West Papua. Photo: RNZ 1 July 2019


Environmental toll of oil spill still being calculated, Solomon Times 3 July 2019, link

Analysis: The political economy of the Solomon Islands oil spill, by Daniel Evans
DevPolicyBlog, 8 March 2019, link

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The MV Solomon Trader stuck on a reef off Rennell Island in the Solomon Islands is leaking oil into the
ocean. Feb. 2019. Photo: Australian High Commission in Solomon Islands, Radio New Zealand, 4 March 2019


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Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) holds talks with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill in Port Moresby on 16 Nov. 2018 (Xinhua/Ding Lin); Assessments of the APEC summit by the APEC minister Tkatchenko, National link, Nick Bisley, ABC News (US-China tensions leave cooperation in the cold) link, Arne Perras in Sueddeutsche Zeitung (Eine Konferenz wird zur Arena) link und Tagesschau zum APEC Gipfel vom 18. Nov. 2018 link

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Group photo before a banquet held for leaders and representatives attending the
26th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and their spouses in Port Moresby,
Papua New Guinea, on Nov. 17, 2018 (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

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APEC House POM, Photo: RNZ 26 Oct. 2019 AFP/DOZIER Marc /

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Fleet of Maserati Quattroportes bought by the Papua New Guinea government
for the APEC Summit 2018 (photo and report carscoops, 4 Oct 2021, link)


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Air Niugini`s Boeing 737-800 landing in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia
Photo: AFP or licensors, Radio New Zealand, 29 September 2018, link


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June 2018
Post-election riots in PNGs
  Southern Highlands Province:
first Air Niugini aircraft set alight, link

Photo: Martyn Namarong on Twitter


Oceans Face Ultimate Threat from Deep Sea Mining
Urgent Need for Moratorium on Deep Sea Mining Exploration and Exploitation
Joint letter of scientists and NGOs to the International Seabed Authority (ISA)
25 July 2018, here


New Report of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN):
Deep seabed mining: A rising environmental challenge
"We are operating in the dark. Our current understanding of the deep sea does not allow us to effectively protect marine life from mining operations." (Carl Gustaf Lundin) "Stringent precautionary measures to protect the marine environment should be a core part of any mining regulations, yet these remain missing in action." (Kristina Gjerde) 16 July 2018, link


Stop the Exploitation of the Deep Sea!
AG Tiefseebergbau 14. Mai 2018, deutsch hier, English here


Jonathan Pryke: What next for Papua New Guinea? A series of papers of Sydney´s Lowy Institute assessing the contemporary state of PNG (local politics, the PNG society, the internal security, the current state of the economy, the infrastructure, the changing nature of geopolitics in PNG, and a summarising paper on future scenarios). 6 December 2017, link


18 December 2017: Pohiva retains Tonga prime ministership. link
17 November 2017: Akilisi Pohiva´s Democratic Party has won a resounding
election victory in Tonga. Voters continue to back political reform. link

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Photo: RNZ / Koro Vaka´uta


Link Spiegel Online 9. November 2017:
Die Schande von Manus: Australiens Flüchtlingslager im Pazifik

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  Foto: Spiegel Online, 9. November 2017


Celebrating the 42th Independence of Papua New Guinea,
Melanesian Institute, Goroka, 19 September 2017 (photos: Roland Seib)
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Poster: Goroka Show
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Goroka Show, 16 September 2017 (photos: Roland Seib)
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"The deep sea mining disco love song"
(Seas at Risk, Brussels, 21 April 2017); link

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PRESSEMITTEILUNG Berlin, 13.12.2016

Verbände fordern Stopp des Tiefseebergbaus!
Kein Wettlauf um Rohstoffe auf Kosten von Umweltschutz und Menschenrechten link



Ulrich Brand & Markus Wissen: Imperiale Lebensweise.
Zur Ausbeutung von Mensch und Natur im globalen Kapitalismus.

Oekom München 2017

Oliver Nachtwey: Die Abstiegsgesellschaft.
Über das Aufbegehren in der regressiven Moderne.
edition suhrkamp 2016

Stephan Lessenich: Neben uns die Sintflut.
Die Externalisierungsgesellschaft und ihr Preis.
Hanser Berlin 2016


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Demonstration of Melanesian solidarity: independence groups from Maluku and
West Papua, German Pacific Society, Hamburg 13 June 2015

Report "The Current Status of the Papuan Pro-Independence Movement"
Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, Jakarta, August 2015, link


» I don‘t want to live in a world where everything that I say,
everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or
love or friendship is recorded. « Edward J. Snowden am 08. Juli 2013

German Whistleblower Award 2013 to Edward Snowden, 30.08.2013

Statement of the jury, link

Berliner Erklärung von Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern 
zu den Bedingungen der Demokratie in der DIGITAL-WELT
Vereinigung Deutscher Wissenschaftler (VDW), Berlin, 29. August 2013, link

(English translation: Berlin Declaration by Scientists
on the Prerequisites for Democracy in the DIGITAL WORLD, link)


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      (12 June 2012) New photo gallery:
      "Mining and the Philippines" (see Asia)

Report "No Golden Times. A study tour on mining and its impacts
on the environment and human rights in the Philippines"
1 June 2012, 5 pages, available here

  Impressions from the German Study Tour 2012 on Mining in the Philippines

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Consultation with the governor of the province South Cotabato,
Arthur `Dodo´ Pingoy, City of Koronadal, Mindanao (photo: Roland Seib)

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Women power and good local governance with Mayor Lani Sarillo Candolada and
councilors in Tulunan, South Cotabato, Mindanao (photo: Stephanie Gantert)

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Partying after Joint Cultural Solidarity Night with Tri-People Youth
of Columbio, Tulunan, Mindanao (photo: Roland Seib)


Jahrestagungen der Deutsch-Pazifischen Gesellschaft e.V. 1974-2010:
Themen und Referenten; verfügbar hier


Friedensbotschaft auf Campus der Steyler Missionare erneuert
Gedenkplakette in Vorbereitung

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© Heide Lienert-Emmerlich                                 

Am 13. Juni 2010 trafen sich im Anschluss an die Jahrestagung der Deutsch-Pazifischen Gesellschaft e.V. (DPG) Hans-Joachim Brockmeyer, Heide Lienert-Emmerlich und Roland Seib im Garten der Steyler Missionare in St. Augustin bei Bonn, um mit dem Aufhängen eines weißen Tragenetzes (bilum) aus Papua-Neuguinea in der Friedenseiche zur weiteren  Vernetzung, Wahrnehmung und Wertschätzung des offenen Blickes auf die ganze Welt zu ermutigen. Die Friedenseiche war am 7. Mai 1987 vom Präsidenten der DPG Dr. Friedrich Steinbauer im Rahmen der Jahrestagung „Der Pazifik im Spannungsfeld der Weltmächte“ gepflanzt worden. In Vorbereitung ist nun eine Plakette, die vor der Eiche an diese Pflanzung des mittlerweile hoch gewachsenen Baums und seine Botschaft erinnern soll. (24 Nov. 2010) 


Konsultation der Deutsch-Pazifischen Gesellschaft mit Prinzessin Frederica

Lupe´uluiva Fatafehi-o-Lapaha Tuita von Tonga,
Tochter von Her Royal Highness
Princess Salote  Mafile´o Pilolevu Tuita und Chef-Kuratorin Dr. Adrienne Kaeppler
anlässlich der Eröffnung der  Bonner James Cook-Ausstellung. Einladung
der Bayerischen Staatskanzlei, Mandarin Oriental  München, 28. August 2009

Dr. Roland Seib (DPG), Princess Frederica, Dr. Adrienne Kaeppler, Frau Ritter (Staatskanzlei),
Mr. Siua Josh Holitei Fonua, Tonga National Museum, Nuku´alofa © Roland Seib 2009

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