The idea behind this blog spot is to bring up topical issues within the areas of interest of STAR members in a less formal way.
STAR members are all of those that are part of the STAR Network email group maintained for the Network (who are all urged to register here as well) and those who register at this website. You have to be a Member to initiate a blog topic and to engage in discussions on this page.
I’m starting us off with articles about the features of the new website; and the new format of the STAR, going forward as an independent network. All members are urged to engage and comment so that we can get to know each other better and collate our thoughts in one spot so we can get a good community of like-minded people engaging in meaningful discussion.
Regardless of whether this blogspite will go anywhere or not, what all Members need to be aware of is the very real need for guidance and real (not necessarily ideal) advice for inhabitants of the Pacific going forward in terms of resource management and ‘real’ sustainable development for the island nations given the prevailing stresses on a number of global systems that affect us all.
Hopefully this blogspot can be a good place to seek preliminary advice either way, from Pacific islanders to the whole community on a particular problem in their country; or a technical expert can request inside information from Pacific islanders pending a first-time visit to any of the countries. That’s a good place to start.
We feel the blog spot as opposed to an e-mail discussion list is less intrusive and people can visit when they have quality time to spare. The blog is also creating a 'talanoa' style community, which is very much a feature of life in the Pacific islands. We hope it will help loosen the natural reserve of the majority of Pacific islanders (in the classroom setting) so that they are a bit more forthcoming in expressing their personal perspective on the topics that will be brought up by Members.
We don’t expect that there will be any call for moderation on the comments or the types of topics that will be brought up for discussion on this forum; but to ensure that this rule of thumb is not going to come back and bite us, we do require that when you register to be part of the STAR network that you are recommended by any of the existing Members of STAR. Send me an email (see Contacts on the Homepage) if you’re not sure if you know anyone directly and I will check with the Members on your behalf.
That said, Aloha (my favourite greeting), happy blogging and welcome to the STAR Network blogspot.
Secretary, STAR Network