7 October, 2014, 12:00 am
A WARM traditional Fijian welcome was accorded to the crew of the Marumaru Atua and the Gaualofa by the crew members of the Uto ni Yalo in Suva yesterday.
The two canoes arrived with their message on people, oceans and climate change.
Collectively, the Mua voyage will convey the Pacific Islands’ message to the world about “Our People, Our Islands, Our Ocean, Our Future”. IUCN regional director Taholo Kami said the people of the Pacific had rich and diverse cultures, shaped by the environment, with islands and communities connected as guardians of the great ocean.
“The effects of climate change — rising sea levels, rising temperatures, ocean acidification and more intense storms — are damaging crops, threatening food security, affecting freshwater tables and intruding into island homes,” Mr Kami said.
“The Pacific people are calling for partnerships to help sustain the Pacific Islands for future generations and for the health of the planet.
“Over the next week, crew members from the Uto ni Yalo, Gaualofa and Marumaru Atua will continue to engage members of the public about the significance of the Mua voyage and will meet with key stakeholders, including policy makers, scientists and conservation partners.”
The Mua voyage will depart Suva on Monday October 13 and will berth at ports in Vanuatu and Australia.
It will then sail to Sydney Harbour on the opening day of the World Parks Congress, where it will be accorded a further traditional welcome by Australian Government officials and Aboriginal representatives.