Youths take on climate fight

YOUTHS from across the Pacific participated in the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Action through a ninety-minute COP23/GIZ Pacific Voices in Unison event that was beamed live from Suva to Bonn, Germany, last week Wednesday.

Pacific Voices in Unison — a collection of six Pacific personalities chosen to share their people’s experiences of resilience against the effects of climate change — was invited to be the voice of their people at the festival.

Fiji’s Roving Ambassador to the Pacific Ratu Tui Cavuilati, who represented the COP23 presidency at the live event, said the engagement of young people had been at the heart of Fiji’s presidency because it was the youth of today who would bear the brunt of the effects of climate change unless urgent climate action was taken now.

“Since taking on the presidency of COP23 last year, Fijian youth have been encouraged to raise their voices by sharing stories, challenges and ideas about how they can make a difference in dealing with climate change. Innovative initiatives such as the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Action is one of the ways the COP23 presidency is continuing to engage with youth and we are thankful for GIZ’s (German development agency) support,” Ratu Cavuilati said.

GIZ director for the global program on loss and damage Dr Michael Siebert said the inclusion of the Pacific, especially youths, was vital to doubling the efforts of climate action and the festival provided a great interactive space to do so.

The world-class Oceania Dance Theatre and Pasifika Voices of the University of the South Pacific showcased performances — bringing to life the culture, traditions and spirit of resilience.

To save emissions, the live event was broadcast from Suva with voices from Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia represented by Anne Dunn, Kaboua John, Samantha Kwan, Eddy Maliliu, Iulah Pitamama and Broderick Menke.