13 Jun 2012

Vanuatu's ambassador to EU says Europe's kava ban could soon be overturned

5:16 am on 13 June 2012

Vanuatu's ambassador to the European Union, Roy Mickey Joy, says Europe's ban on kava since 2002 could be soon be overturned.

The African, Caribbean and Pacific ministers have agreed to take a resolution to the European Union Council of Ministers to have the ban overturned.

Roy Mickey Joy says given Vanuatu's dependence on kava, it's a major breakthrough.

"Since the 2002 kava ban by Germany, and subsequently by other EU member states, has created a huge shock throughout the islands, because the islands have become so dependent on kava. Statistics show the total loss of economic commercial value of the ban itself is within the estimate of between 150 and 200 million dollars, in the last ten years."

Roy Mickey Joy says scientific studies to back up the resolution are being conducted in Germany now.