35 research outputs found

    The Road Map to Democracy and Fiji's 2012 Constitution-Making Process

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    On 1 July 2009, the Bainimarama regime announced a road map for democracy that promised a transition to parliamentary democratic rule by September 2014 (Ministry of National Planning 2009). An important part of this roadmap were the plans for a constitutionmaking process that would provide a ‘solid foundation and framework for the rebuilding of our nation’. To ensure national ownership of the constitution, the regime promised a participatory constitution-making process that would involve political parties, the private sector, civil society, non-government organisations, and citizens of Fiji.AusAI

    The Road Map to Democracy and Fiji’s 2012 Constitution-Making Process

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    On 1 July 2009, the Bainimarama regime announced a road map for democracy that promised a transition to parliamentary democratic rule by September 2014 (Ministry of National Planning 2009). An important part of this road map were the plans for a constitution making process that would provide a ‘solid foundation and framework for the rebuilding of our nation’. To ensure national ownership of the constitution, the regime promised a participatory constitution-making process that would involve political parties, the private sector, civil society, non-government organisations, and citizens of Fiji

    Public participation & constitution-making in Fiji: a critique of the 2012 constitution-making process

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    On 1 July 2009, the Bainimarama regime announced a Roadmap for Democracy that promised a transition to parliamentary democratic rule by September 2014 (Ministry of National Planning 2009). An important part of this Roadmap, according to the same announcement, was the plan for a constitution-making process that would provide a ‘solid foundation and framework for the rebuilding of our nation [that is] is critical for Fiji’. To ensure national ownership of the Constitution, the regime promised a participatory constitution-making process that would involve political parties, the private sector, civil society, non-government organizations, and citizens of Fiji.AusAI

    Spreading (dis)trust in Fiji? Exploring COVID-19 misinformation on Facebook forums

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    The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant challenges for the health system across the globe and fueled the surge of numerous rumours, hoaxes, and misinformation regarding outcomes, prevention and cure of the virus.  The COVID-19 pandemic has also had severe political, economic and societal effects and affected media and communication systems in unprecedented ways. While traditional journalism has tried to adapt to the rapidly evolving situation, alternative news media on the internet have given the events an ideological spin. These voices have been criticised for furthering societal confusion and spreading potentially dangerous ‘fake news’ or conspiracy theories via social media and other online channels. The impact of the disease and the lack of information associated with it have allowed medical misinformation to rapidly surface and propagate on various social media platforms. Previous studies have highlighted a similar trend during recent public health emergencies, mainly the Ebola and Zika outbreaks. Such a phenomenon is alarming on both individual and public health levels to the extent that governments are realising the gravity and attempting to limit its effects. This article offers a unique perspective because it provides data-driven qualitative insights into Fijian Facebook posts related to infectious disease outbreaks. This study aims to understand public views and opinions on Fijian social media during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and to outline potential implications for health information

    Qi no tu i baba ni qwali (living down by the river): Impacts of flooding and mining on ecosystems and livelihoods

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    A vast ocean rich with resources to maintain a sustainable livelihood surround Pacific Island Countries and Territories. In Fiji, coastal resources are a primary source of food, medicine, income and other necessities for livelihood security. Human-induced climate change places growing pressure on the quality of coastal resources due to the increased intensity and frequency of natural disasters like coastal erosion and flooding. Anthropogenic activities like coastal mining of earth minerals further threatens livelihood security with cumulative pressure on the coastal environment and its resources. This paper discusses the compounding impacts of mining in the flood-prone community of Vanua Votua in Ba (Fiji). They currently witness the degradation of their coastal environment and its resources (iqoliqoli). The people of Vanua Votua have a cultural and spiritual attachment to their coastal ecosystem as indigenous custodians. However, they are limited in their ability to conserve and protect their iqoliqoli due to an unfair legal duality of national coastal governance structures and processes between the state and indigenous custodians. We found that a central issue of coastal mining, governance, and the people’s livelihood vulnerabilities, is Fiji’s Mining Act [Cap 146] and associated environmental legislations and policies that consolidate much of the coastal governance authority with the state. The Fiji Mining Act is currently under review. This paper provides a timely case study using the Sustainable Livelihood Approach and the Vanua Research Framework, outlining the need for current and future legislation to be nuanced and sensitive to the realities of the local context

    COVID-19 vaccine online misinformation in Fiji: Preliminary findings

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    Digital media, opens a vast array of avenues for lay people to effectively engage with news, information and debates about important science and health issues. However, they have also become a fertile ground for various stakeholders to spread misinformation and disinformation, stimulate uncivil discussions and engender ill-informed, dangerous public decisions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, antivaccination social media accounts are proliferating online, threatening to further escalate vaccine hesitancy. The pandemic signifies not only a global health crisis, it has also proven to be an infodemic characterised by many conspiracy theories. Prior research indicates that belief in health-related conspiracies can harm efforts to curtail the spread of a virus. This article presents and examines preliminary research findings on COVID-19 vaccine related misinformation being circulated on Fijian Facebook Forums

    A crucible for bottom-up regionalism? The digital renaissance: West Papuan media suppression and social media in the Pacific

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    Commentary: West Papua has one of the most repressive media landscapes in the world. Consequently, West Papuans have increasingly harnessed social media platforms to broadcast human rights violations committed in West Papua. Through this, Pacific Islanders around the region are increasingly leveraging social media as a political tool for showing solidarity and support for West Papuans. As a result, in recent years there has been a regional groundswell in support for West Papuan demands for self-determination, with prominent political figures such as Peter O’Neill of Papua New Guinea, and Gordon Darcy Lilo alluding to the awareness on West Papuan issues that have been raised through social media. This commentary explores how the rise of West Papua solidarity, is resulting in a heightened Pacific regional consciousness at the community level

    Smartphones and parenting in fiji: regulation and responsibility

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    With growth in smartphones and social media use in places such as the global south, we see the emergence of new challenges for the practice of parenting. These include decisions about how to monitor or control children’s access and use of technologies, as well as broader questions about where responsibility lies. For www.parenting.digital, Heather Horst, Romitesh Kant and Eliki Drugunalevu discuss the tensions between regulation and responsibility that emerged in their documentary film “Parenting in the Smart Age: Fijian Perspectives”. The film is available on YouTube under a Creative Commons License

    The political affordances of the ‘coconut wireless’: Rotumans on social media in the 2018 Fiji elections

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    As a unique group of people, Rotumans make up less than two percent of Fiji’s population, and as a minority Indigenous ethnic group in Fiji, they have remained relatively hidden and silent in political affairs. Outmigration from the island has led to more than 80 percent of Rotumans residing outside of Rotuma. In recent times, the Rotuman diaspora has heavily relied on the use of ICTs and new media technologies as crucial tools for the reinvigoration of Rotuma’s culture. This in itself poses an intriguing paradox as internet connectivity on Rotuma is quite limited. However, social media platforms have been increasingly used by Rotumans outside of Rotuma, and have enabled increased connectivity and greater dissemination of information among the Rotuman diaspora. Recently, the primary purpose of such social media groups has evolved from merely being a tool for rekindling familial ties, to being a platform for political discourse on Rotuman issues. In essence, despite the scattered nature of the Rotuman population, digital technologies are offering Rotumans the affordance of being able to inform and educate themselves and their networks on political issues of Rotuman interest. By employing ethnography and netnography principles and through in-person and online engagement with Rotumans within and outside of Rotuma, this article examines the affordances that digital technologies offer Rotumans concerning national political discourse. This is carried out with a specific focus on the 2018 general elections in Fiji

    Climate change advocacy in the Pacific: The role of information and communication technologies

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    This article explores the phenomenon of the use of ICT for climate change activism in the Pacific. Climate change activism in the Pacific is characterised by the use of ICT tools such as social media. The article draws on semi-structured interviews and an analysis of social media sites to examine the use of social media in Pacific climate change campaigns. While other campaigns such as relating to West Papua have also been facilitated by social media, it has been generally NGO, citizen-led and varied in Pacific government support. In contrast, climate change campaigns in the Pacific are fully supported at the NGO, citizen, and state levels. Furthermore, while early Pacific ICT-based climate change campaigns used iconic images of Pacific Islanders leaving their homelands, more recent campaigns have leveraged social media to depict Pacific Islanders not as victims but as ‘warriors’. This new imagery aims to empower Pacific Islanders and engender a regional Pacific identity that shows strength and solidarity on the Pacific’s stance towards climate change
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