2nd Pacific Islands University Research Network (PIURN) Conference

19-21 September 2016

“Addressing the Challenges of Sustainability in the Pacific Islands”

 The National University of Samoa, Le-Papaigalagala Campus, Apia, Samoa.

The second PIURN conference will comprise three colloquiums on the following themes:
I. The evolving principles and practices in customary land tenure systems in the Pacific in the context of development pressures and climate change.
II. Pacific Regional Cooperation in the 21st century.
III. Pacific Indigenous Art form and Languages in the 21st century – the challenges of sustainability.

These are some of the current issues which continue to dominate the development debates among the governments and citizens of the Pacific region. They also impact on how development partners in the Pacific decide to prioritise the various forms of assistance they are offering the Pacific countries.

Aims of the PIURN Conference:

I. To bring together scholars from the Pacific region to collectively address the changes in the Pacific region in the context of the three themes.
II. To enable graduate students to develop knowledge and connections with other scholars and to share research data and methodologies on these three themes.
III. To raise awareness about the work and existence of PIURN and enhance its profile and visibility as a potential regional research “think tank” organisation for technical and professional advice on (specific) research areas concerning the Pacific.

This conference invites presentations from the academic staff of PIURN member institutions. In addition, PIURN also encourages the participation of Post-Graduate research students from member institutions to discuss their research topics, methodologies, and to network – to promote future academic research collaborations. All sessions will be held in plenary, not as parallel separate sessions.

Key Dates:

                                  20 July 2016         Registration (Open)
                                  31 July 2016         Extended Deadline for Abstracts with Brief Presenter Biodata.
                                  31 August 2016   Full Paper Deadline


The Registration Form is now available at: www.nus.edu.ws and www.samoanstudies.ws.

US$100.00     International Participants                             ST$200.00       Local Participants
US$30.00       International Students                                   ST$50.00         Local Students

(The Conference Dinner of ST$60.00 is not included in the Registration Fee: Please note students need to
present a valid student ID).


The following accommodation providers are closer to the University: Malifa Lodge, Samoan Outrigger Hotel, Insel Fehmarn Hotel, and Traveller’s Point Hotel. Participants are directed to the following website for arranging their own accommodation: www.samoa.travel/accomodation. Please contact the conference organisers for more information.

Background to PIURN:

The Pacific Islands Universities Research Network (PIURN) was founded and launched in July 2013 after eleven universities in the Pacific region agreed to set up a regional network to facilitate and encourage academic research in the region. The eleven founding universities included three from Fiji (USP, FNU and The University of Fiji); five from Papua New Guinea (UNITECH, UPNG, UoG, UNR&E and PAU); two from the French territories (UNC in New Caledonia and UPF in French Polynesia), and one from Samoa (NUS, the National University of Samoa). In 2014, the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) joined PIURN as a member, hence a total of 12 current PIURN members.

These institutions agreed to work together to “…strengthen their strategic scholarly collaboration and institutional cooperation to better contribute to the development of the region, promote the well-being of local peoples and create a real regional platform to support public policies beyond language differences, through research, education and exchange”. The PIURN Executive is currently considering applications from other universities situated outside the Pacific to be associate members of the network.

PIURN held its inaugural conference from the 3rd – 7th of November 2014, hosted by the University of New Caledonia in Noumea with funding assistance from the French Pacific Fund. The first part of the conference was to finalise and formally adopt the network’s structures and procedures. The second and main part was the presentation of papers by participants. The presentations were organised into seven broad themes:

I. Research and the questions of ownership; belonging and relationships;
II. Disruptions and Continuities in the 19th and 20th centuries in the Pacific;
III. New Territories and Reconstruction of Identity – colonisation and decolonisation;
IV. Land, State, Law and Customs – contemporary stakes;
V. Land, Economic Development and Regional Development Policies;
VI. Land and Agricultural Development – assessing food security;
VII. Mines and Governance.

These broad themes were organised partly to guide the presentations, but also to raise further questions which would guide future research activities by post graduate students and staff of the network members. The three themes for the 2016 conference were chosen with these in mind.

Note to Presenters:

Intending presenters are asked to send titles of their presentations with brief abstracts of not more than a hundred words to any of the organisers. The deadline for abstracts was the end of April but it has been extended to the end of July. These should be accompanied by full names of presenters, their institutional affiliations and contact addresses, emails, etc. Presenters are encouraged to send in completed papers by the end of August to help us with organising the programme and to discuss publication options.

Conference Organisers:

Please address all queries to the following email: piurn2016events@gmail.com
Professor Malama Meleisea (Conference Convenor): m.meleisea@nus.edu.ws
PIURN Members