NASA satellite sees a rooster in Tropical Cyclone Solo

IMAGE:On April 10 at 02:45 UTC, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Solo in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean. view more

Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

Tropical Cyclone Solo looks like a rooster in visible and infrared imagery taken from NASA’s Aqua satellite on April 10. Solo formed in the Coral Sea and is giving several islands something to crow about, because it has triggered watches already in Solomon Islands.

In the Solomon Islands today, April 10, a tropical disturbance watch was in effect for Rennell and Bellona, Temotu, Makira, Central, Guadalcanal and Malaita. For additional information visit the Solomon Islands Meteorological Services website at: There are currently no warnings in effect for New Caledonia, but because Solo is expected to move toward the island, warnings are expected. For additional forecast updates in New Caledona, visit the Meteo France web page:

On April 10, when Aqua passed over the Southwestern Pacific Ocean, two instruments aboard gathered data on the newborn tropical cyclone. In visible imagery from the MODIS or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument aboard Aqua, the center of the storm was circled by powerful thunderstorms, and a band of thunderstorms extended from the southeast out from the storm to the northeast, resembling a neck and head of a rooster. Another band of thunderstorms wrapping into the center from the northwest to the northern quadrant of the storm resembled a feathered tail.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite saw cloud top temperatures as cold as 210 kelvin (-63.1F/-81.6C) in powerful thunderstorms circling Solo’s center and in bands of thunderstorms east and northwest of the center. Previous NASA research has shown that thunderstorms that high (and that cold) have the ability to generate heavy rainfall.

On April 10 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT), Solo’s maximum sustained winds had already reached 45 knots (51.7 mph/83.3 kph). It was centered near 16.4 south latitude and 160.6 east longitude, about 484 nautical miles (557 miles/896 km) northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia. It is moving to the south at 13 knots (15 mph/24 kph) and is expected to turn to the southeast.

Solo’s winds are expected to peak near 55 knots (63.2 mph/102 kph) on April 11, before weakening as a result of increasing vertical wind shear when it interacts with a deep mid-latitude trough (elongated area) of low pressure and cooler sea surface temperatures. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect those two factors to dissipate the storm by April 14.


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NASA satellite sees a rooster in Tropical Cyclone Solo

Solomon Islands Timber delegation seeks opportunities

Solomon Islands Timber delegation seeks opportunities in Australia and New Zealand

A group of Solomon Islands timber exporters and government officials are in Australia and New Zealand this week hoping to increase understanding among exporters and importers of market requirements and opportunities for Solomon Islands sawn timber. The mission started in Brisbane on Monday and carries on in Auckland until Sunday 29 March.

The delegation is meeting with importers, government officials and the New Zealand Timber Importers Association at Pacific Islands Trade & Invest office in Newmarket today. Sixty percent of Solomon Islands sawn timber is sold to markets in Australia and New Zealand.

At present, the vast majority of Solomon Islands timber is exported to China as unprocessed round logs, with wide recognition of the unsustainable level of harvesting. This delegation, however, is focused on promoting exports of sawn timber, as part of a wider goal of adding value to timber exports. Sawn timber exports from Solomon Islands are valued at over SBD 80 million or around USD $9.5 million per year, and the industry employs more than 1000 people.

The mission is being funded by the Pacific Horticultural & Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) program as a follow up to market studies conducted in 2014. Based on those studies, the Solomon Islands Timber Industry Working Group recognised the need to better understand market requirements in Australia and New Zealand, and made the trade mission a priority.

The eight member delegation consists of five private sector timber exporters, two officials from the Solomon Islands Ministry of Forestry and Research and a PHAMA representative.

A key part of the mission will focus on importers and exporters exchanging information relating to market requirements for timber legality and quality. Markets in the EU and the United States have already introduced the requirement to demonstrate the legal origin of imported forestry products.

Australia implemented similar legislation in November 2014, while New Zealand (which currently has a voluntary code of practice) could also follow suit.

Other equally important discussions will include opportunities to improve timber quality and presentation, processing and end-product requirements, supply, consistency and potential markets for alternative species. Opportunities for potential collaboration with importers to improve timber

processing quality in Solomon Islands will also be examined. The outcomes from the mission will be shared in the Solomon Islands adding to the further development of the timber export industry.

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Solomon Islands Timber delegation seeks opportunities

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (Honiara, Solomon Islands) – 9545 kHz – Video

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (Honiara, Solomon Islands) – 9545 kHz
Reception of Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (Honiara, Solomon Islands) on 9545 kHz by CX2ABP in Jaureguiberry, Uruguay (GF25hf). March 15, 2015 at 0900 UTC. Receiver: Tecsun …


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Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (Honiara, Solomon Islands) – 9545 kHz – Video

Cyclone Pam damages some islands in Vanuatu archipelago, according to reports

A powerful cyclone descends upon the Pacific island chain of Vanuatu on Friday.

Wellington, New Zealand An extremely powerful cyclone blew over islands in the Pacific’s Vanuatu archipelago late Friday after a westward change of course put populated areas directly in the path of its destructive 270 kilometer- (168 mile-) per-hour winds, according to relief workers.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a release there were unconfirmed reports of deaths in Vanuatu’s northeastern islands after Cyclone Pam moved off its expected track.

The Category 5 cyclone had average wind speeds of 250 kph to 270 kph, with gusts up to 340 kph, according to the office. It said the periphery of the eye of the storm had passed over islands that are home to several thousand people and was expected to hit or come close to the island of Efate, home to the capital, Port Vila.

Located about a quarter of the way from Australia to Hawaii, Vanuatu has a population of 267,000 spread over 65 islands. About 47,000 people live in the capital.

Vanuatu had earlier issued a red alert to its residents, urging them to take shelter from Pam.

Authorities said they feared the cyclone would destroy homes as well as cause landslides and severe coastal flooding.

The cyclone has already destroyed some homes and caused damage to other Pacific islands including Kiribati and the Solomon Islands.

David Gibson, acting director of the Vanuatu meteorology and geo-hazards department, said the winds could cause severe damage to the nation’s buildings.

Alice Clements, a spokeswoman for relief agency UNICEF who is in Port Vila, said earlier Friday the capital was like a ghost town as people took shelter. She said the pelting rain was blown horizontally by the wind.

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Cyclone Pam damages some islands in Vanuatu archipelago, according to reports

Firefly – Trabol Sum + Taz feat. Prote-J – (US, PNG + Solomon Islands collab) – Video

Firefly – Trabol Sum + Taz feat. Prote-J – (US, PNG + Solomon Islands collab)
Music Video for Trabol Sum + Taz performing Firefly feat. Prote-J A CHM Music and Shefram Studios collaboration Filmed in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and Orlando, Florida CHM Music.

By: CHM Music Entertainment

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Firefly – Trabol Sum + Taz feat. Prote-J – (US, PNG + Solomon Islands collab) – Video

Solomon Islands Trade Policy Framework Endorsed

28 February 2015 Solomon Islands Trade Policy Framework Endorsed by the National Trade and Development Council

The Solomon Islands National Trade and Development Council has endorsed the Solomon Islands Trade Policy Framework earlier this week. The Framework is expected to be presented to the Solomon Islands Cabinet for final approval before its official launch in March 2015. The Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Milner Tozaka chaired the meeting of the National Trade and Development Council to consider the key policy recommendations of the Solomon Islands Trade Policy Framework.

In his opening speech, Hon. Tozaka highlighted the importance of a cohesive approach towards removing impediments to trade, and building the productive capacity of Solomon Islands in order to benefit from market access opportunities.

The vision of the Trade Policy Framework is to Build the productive capacity of the Solomon Islands economy via sustainable trade and investment. The resulting creation of wealth and employment opportunities is aimed at promoting human development, reducing poverty and improving living standards for Solomon Islanders.

The Trade Policy Framework will assist the Solomon Islands government by integrating trade into the national development processes and will guide the work of the National Trade and Development Council in implementing its key policy recommendations. The Framework has been widely consulted at various levels including government, the private sector and community groups in Western Province, Malaita, Isabel and Guadalcanal as well as other provincial constituents over a two year period. The key objective of the framework is to promote greater coordination amongst government departments, the private sector and non-state actors in addressing critical trade related challenges.

The implementation process for the Trade Policy Framework will be managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade for the Solomon Islands. Support for this project has been provided by the European Unions Pacific Integration Technical Assistance Project (PITAP) under the 10th European Development Fund with technical assistance through the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. Supporting the Forum Island Countries (FICs) in the development and implementation of comprehensivetrade and investment policy frameworks is an integral part of services that the Economic Governance Programme of Forum Secretariat provides to the FICs.


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Solomon Islands Trade Policy Framework Endorsed

Let’s Play: Door Kickers – Alpha 4: Level 19 Solomon Islands Embassy (3 Stars) – Video

Let's Play: Door Kickers – Alpha 4: Level 19 Solomon Islands Embassy (3 Stars)
That was easier then expected.Part 20:…Part 1:…Other Let's Plays:Ironclad Tactics: …

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Let’s Play: Door Kickers – Alpha 4: Level 19 Solomon Islands Embassy (3 Stars) – Video

[loopable] Flag of Solomon Islands waving in the wind. Seamless loop – Royalty-Free Stock Footage – Video

[loopable] Flag of Solomon Islands waving in the wind. Seamless loop – Royalty-Free Stock Footage
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[loopable] Flag of Solomon Islands waving in the wind. Seamless loop – Royalty-Free Stock Footage – Video

Meet the world's ultimate checklist traveler

Few have seen as many as Gary Arndt.

It’s been nearly eight years since the founder of travel blog sold his house to hit the road as a full-time traveler.

Since then, the Wisconsin native has been to 291 UNESCO World Heritage Sites — a feat achieved by visiting all seven continents, more than 170 countries and territories, every state and territory in the United States, every Canadian province and every Australian state.

Now a well-known fixture in the travel blogging world, Arndt made a name for himself by capturing award-winning photos of his journeys — he says he learned to shoot on his own through trial and error — with World Heritage Sites being a particular area of expertise.

Originally, however, visiting so many UNESCO-listed sites wasn’t on his mind when he set out to see the world in March 2007.

“I’m not even sure I was aware of the list until after I had been to Volcanoes National Park [Hawaii], which is what I list as my first World Heritage Site visit,” he says.

“After a few months traveling, I was heading to New Zealand and I was aware that they had two sites on the list, so I made it a point to visit them.

“I then went way out of my way to visit East Rennell in the Solomon Islands, which is one of the least visited World Heritage Sites in the world.”

It was at this point that he decided he’d try to make a meaningful visit to as many of the sites he could and document them for his readers.

He now has a dedicated page on which he maps his visits, with each link featuring a writeup and photo of the site.

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Meet the world's ultimate checklist traveler

Bank sale concerns Cook Islanders

Westpac’s decision to sell its Cook Islands operation has led some customers to consider cancelling their accounts, local media reported.

Westpac recently announced the sale of its operations in Samoa, the Cook Islands, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tongato the Papua New Guinea-based Bank of South Pacific for A$125 million

Westpac said it would work with BSP, which has existing operations in Fiji and the Solomons, to ensure a smooth transition to the new owner for customers.

But the sale has concerned some Westpac Cook Islands customers, according to a report by Cook Islands News.

Customers who contacted CINews about the sale said they were worried about the stability of BSP, and concerned that it would not give the same access to New Zealand and Australian accounts as Westpac had.

“I believe PNG is one of the most corrupt countries in the world corruption is endemic,” one customer told the news service.

Another customer told CINews the sale raised issues about a lack of connectivity by SPB with a New Zealand and Australian branch network.

“Many local businesses have NZ bank accounts used to conduct business. So many Westpac commercial customers would likewise have Westpac NZ accounts.”

Westpac has said it will be business as usual for its Cook Islands customers until the sale is completed in the middle of this year.

– Stuff

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Bank sale concerns Cook Islanders

Solomon Islands Signs Agreement with World Bank

Solomon Islands Signs Agreements on Fisheries, Rural Development, Flood Recovery and Economic Reform

World Bank Country Director to meet with Government

HONIARA, January 29, 2014 The Solomon Islands Government today signed agreements with the World Bank for a sustainable fisheries project, funding support for rural poverty alleviation and flood relief, as well as continued economic and fiscal reform.

World Bank Country Director for Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, Franz Drees-Grosssigned the agreements with Solomon Islands Minister of Finance Snyder Rini in Honiara.

During his two-day country visit, Mr Drees-Gross will also meet members of the Solomon Islands Government who assumed office late last year, including Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and the Finance Minister.

The Finance Minister Hon. Snyder Rini said, The World Banks support is aligned with the Governments plan to drive economic growth, improve the lives of rural people and carry out economic and financial reform.

The signing included agreements for three projects approved and announced in late 2014: US$11.12 million for a Solomon Islands investment project under the Pacific Islands Regional Oceanscape Program (PROP) consisting of US$5.17 million in grants (including $US1.37 million from the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund) and US$5.95 million credit. A separate US$6.16 million grant for the Forum Fisheries Agency under the Pacific Islands Regional Oceanscape Program (PROP). US$9 million for the Rural Development Program Phase Two (RDP II) comprising of a US$4 million grant and a US$5 million credit; and a US$13.3 million (AU$15 million) grant in RDP II contribution from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. A US$5 million grant for an Economic Reform and Recovery Development Policy Operation.

The three projects we are signing today will support the people of the Solomon Islands with the opportunities needed to lead more prosperous, sustainable and resilient lives, said Mr Drees-Gross. The projects are also indicative of the strong relationship between the World Bank and the Solomon Islands Government, as well as other development partners including the Australian Government, who have contributed significantly to the second phase of the Rural Development Program.

In the Solomon Islands, PROP will build the capacity of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to better manage coastal and ocean tuna fisheries, including improving vessel monitoring and the ability of communities to carry out coastal fisheries activities.

PROP will engage with the Forum Fisheries Agency to provide regional coordination, implementation support, training and monitoring and evaluation for participating countries such as the Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu.

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Solomon Islands Signs Agreement with World Bank