NATION

‘Warriors’ To Inspire Islands Post-COP23

The inspirational group of young regional leaders, the Pacific Climate Warriors, have returned to tell their stories of COP23. In the coming weeks, the Warriors will visit marginalised communities around
08 Dec 2017 11:00
‘Warriors’  To Inspire  Islands  Post-COP23
Pacific Climate Warriors (from left): Joseph Zane Sikulu, Cherelle Fruean, Fenton Lutunatabua, Brianna Fruean, Billy Cava, George Nacewa during the 2017 International Civil Society Week at the University of the South Pacific on December 6, 2017. Photo: Kogo Fujiki

The inspirational group of young regional leaders, the Pacific Climate Warriors, have returned to tell their stories of COP23.

In the coming weeks, the Warriors will visit marginalised communities around the Pacific to further inform them on climate change and the outcomes of the international climate summit in Bonn, Germany.

“From February, the ‘Warriors’ will start going out to the different communities telling them what climate change looks like all over the world,  and not only in the Pacific, as they have seen this already,” Pacific Climate Warrior, Fenton Lutunatabua said.

“We will talk about what are the causes of climate change which of course is the continuous burning of fossil fuels but also what is COP – why this COP was particularly important.”

Mr Lutunatabua said the Warriors will “demystify” COP23 to help Pacific communities take on board the jargon and language used at COP.

“For us it is important in the next couple of weeks to honour the feedback loop, so going back home to communities and not giving the science or the politics but telling them stories,” he said.

“Again, it’s not about the language, the jargons – we connect primarily with the frontline grassroots communities.”

Mr Lutunatabua said while attending COP23, former President of Kiribati, Anote Tong said something he will never forget.

“He said: ‘when we go back to our homes, people won’t ask whether we managed to negotiate 1.5 or 2 degrees – because they don’t understand all of that’,” Mr Lutunatabua said, quoting Mr Tong.

“They’ll ask you what you did and how you served them in that space.”

The Climate Warrior said the Bonn visit filled the Warriors with emotions of sadness but also pride, which allowed them to understand the different ways climate change affects Pacific communities.

“An emotion that was consistent throughout our entire time in Bonn was one of sadness, but not in a fragile way – sadness in a way that allowed ourselves to see the complexity of the impacts of climate change on the islands,” he said.

“It’s not only the physical impacts through loss of land, but also how climate change impacts our ability to access cultural practices and so many different things.”

The ‘Warriors’ are based in 15 Pacific countries, working to end the age of the fossil fuel era and push for an immediate transition to renewable energy.

“It’s incredible to think that one of these Pacific Climate Warriors could be the Prime Minister or President of their country one day and to know that they are so grounded in their sense of service to their people is incredible.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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