These photos are just in from the 350 Fiji team – a powerful demonstration of warrior energy. They’re putting that fierce and powerful energy in behind everyone showing up in Washington, DC this weekend for the Forward on Climate rally, and in the push for President Obama to deny the Keystone XL pipeline.
This was also the launch of a Pacific-wide Warrior Day of Action, with the message “We are not drowning. We are fighting.” On March 2nd, Pacific Islanders across 15 Pacific Island nations and territories will be mobilising at prominent locations to perform their unique war challenges, songs, and dances. There’s a common perception that the Pacific Islands are drowning from sea-level rise. While it’s true that in the coming decades, sea-level rise will challenge the existence of the low-lying atoll nations and coastal areas of any island, it’s not yet time to give up on the Islands. Over the last few years I’ve had the privilege of working with 350.org organisers across the Pacific Islands. I’m always inspired by how dedicated they are to not giving up or being victimised – and how committed they are to creating a bright and exciting future for their islands. So it’s time to change the global narrative of the Pacific Islands - from drowning and victimisation, to building the power to fight the fossil fuel industry, and climate change. And as the global climate movement, it’s our job to never give up on them, and to fight every step of the way with them.
The Warrior Day of Action is the start of a wider campaign where 350 organisers across the Pacific Islands will be doing all they can to pressure and shift the power away from the fossil fuel industry and politicians. Help us SHARE the voices of our Pacific Island brothers and sisters, by sharing this blog around on email and on social media – and stay tuned for more in the coming weeks.
You can find out more about the Warrior Day of Action here, and if you’re reading this from the Pacific, sign the 350 Pacific vision and pledge here.
A massive shout out to our key partners, UNICEF Pacific and the Pacific Voyagers Foundation.
AUCKLAND – Federated States of Micronesia’s (FSM) representative to Power Shift, Lucille Sian wants to create change in the mindset of her country’s people in their attitudes towards disaster preparedness and take back a practical action plan after returning home from the biggest youth climate summit in New Zealand.
Lucille, from Chuuk State in FSM has vast experience in youth advocacy, a member of several youth councils in FSM – Chuuk Youth Council (NGO), FSM Youth Council and Pacific Youth Council – and is currently an employee of the College of Micronesia.
While delivering her country presentation at the Looking Beyond Disaster (LBD) forum today, Lucille highlighted that Chuuk is one of the four states in FSM, with more than half of the islands population (53221 people) living on it and though the young people are the majority – 75 percent – they are very silent in voicing out their concerns on issues concerning their future.
Lucille at the LBD forum.
“My plan of action after these events (Power Shift and LBD forum), is to gather as much information and share it through my networks,” says Lucille. “I am here to absorb information from my fellow Pacific youths, their actions, experience, opinions, projects and solutions in regards to disaster.”
She explains that the rising sea levels due to global warming has a mental impact on the disaster resilience work carried out by the people on the island, sometimes getting their hopes down to take action.
Lucille adds her expectations out of Power Shift is very high and aims to take back workable or actionable strategic plans that young people – from Chuuk Youth Council/FSM Youth Council/ Micronesians – can relate to and implement.
Using music to inspire…the Niuean bunch strut their stuff..
As we get closer to the start of Power Shift NZ-Pacific, and as young leaders from the region start stepping into the number one rugby playing nation on the planet, to be inspired by other young people from what could become “the” most historical summit for young people in Oceania, it is only a complete event when there are smiling, humble and genuine faces from the Fiji islands.
And at Power Shift, we have three very charming Fijians who will be flying their country’s flag at the Pacific youth climate event. Jone Sinavi, George Nacewa, and Kelvin Anthony will be the three participants from the island paradise who are eager to make a lot of positive contributions through their unique experiences in climate advocacy during and after Power Shift.
So let’s get to know Jone first.
Jone is one of those young leaders in Fiji who walks by unnoticed but his actions usually speaks volume of his character and his interest to work with rural youths, in villages, creating awareness on climate change.
“The opportunity presented sounds interesting and fascinates me as I read and watch video’s on Power Shift through social media,” says Jone. “I want to attend this forum to expand my networks to all the passionate young people and develop partnerships on climate related projects around the region.”
All smiles and all set…Jone (left) and Kelvin in Suva, Fiji heading for Power Shift NZ-Pacific.
He wants to learn from esteemed and inspirational speakers who will be giving keynote messages at Power Shift, as well as the young Pacific leaders who are active in climate advocacy.
“The event itself is an amazing moment in history to which I am grateful to be a part of and to create an impact that will enable our future generation to live happily in our ancestral land,” he explains.
As a young person who comes from the rural areas, Jone believes that Power Shift is an opportune time to expand his knowledge on climate change and to listen and learn from the experiences young people are facing in the region.
Upon returning to Fiji, Jone has a lot of ideas he’d like to action.
“I would like to set up projects and take lead roles into organizing young people in rural communities to act sustainably, contextualize concepts learned from this experience to make it understandable and appreciative to them (rural youths) so they can identify themselves with it,” says Jone.
After Jone’s sharing on his work and his participation at Power Shift, it is clear that his focus focus leans ver much on rural young people in Fiji and he hopes that, “through such experience, I will be an agent of change for Power Shift in rural communities where majority of vulnerable community members are unaware of climate change.”
We are very happy to have Jone , George and Kelvin be part of Power Shift NZ-Pacific and sure to hear more from the other two Pacific friends in the coming days.
Bring it on Fiji!
350 Pacific’s inspirational, motivated, young and empowered female organizer from the Solomon Islands, Christina Ora, also a key speaker at Power Shift, shares with us her excitement, building up to all the hype of a true New Zealand-Pacific event.
I am counting down to the Power Shift NZ-Pacific episode in Auckland! Few more days to go! Few more days before we see young professional and youth leaders not merely gather, but more so become empowered and visible as a force to be reckon with and utilized in relation to the challenges posed by Climate Change.
Lead…what Christina does best!
The correct adjective is THRILLED! Thrilled because such an amazing event has been brought to our part of the world, and New Zealand with the Pacific youth will illustrate PEOPLE POWER on NZ soil!
Understandably, Climate Change is demanding all of us to find new ways of looking at ourselves and the world around us in order to develop our leadership and organizations to face the changes and work towards the ultimate goal, which is to have our voices heard, not only in our streets, but especially in policy formulations.
But first, it is only wise to build, empower and boost the greater community!