Tag Archives: Marshall islands

Pacific Climate Warriors to blockade Australia coal export



By Jemima Garrett and staff

ABC reported that the Pacific Climate Warriors have arrived in Australia today to mount a protest against the Australian coal industry and call for action on climate change. The group made up of young Pacific Islanders represent 13 countries.  They brought five specially made traditional canoes, which will lead a fleet of boats to blockade the coal port of Newcastle. In the group is the daughter of Marshall Islands president Christopher Loeak.

“The coal port is the largest in the world and there are plans for it to expand and we want to bring the message that the expansion is definitely going to have an effect on the islands, not just in the Marshalls but all over the Pacific,” said Milan Loeak.

“We just want to share our stories and make sure that people are aware that the decisions that are being made over here are directly affecting our islands back home.”

The Warriors are in Australia as part of 350.org’s protest of the port, which will culminate in a flotilla of the Warriors and Australian volunteers blocking coal exports for a day on Friday.

Fiji Climate Warrior George Nacewa said he had already seen villagers displaced by rising sea levels. He said the expansion of the port would have wide-ranging effects.

“These expansions will affect us and I live in a generation that has inherited a perfect environment but I am not too sure if I can pass this on to my kids and future generations to come,” he said.

Getting their send-off in Vanuatu, Iasoa Chief Kawea Sausiara told the Warriors the canoes carry a vital message.

“If climate change is not stopped we will lose our cultural activities. This is the message that we must remember. If not, Vanuatu will be nothing more than a wasteland,” he said.


Marshall Islands poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner moves world leaders


Marshall Islands Poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner promises to protect her seven-month-old baby and what it means to fight for her heritage in light of sea level rise and the ultimate loss of her cultural identity. Click the link below to watch her presentation to UN and listen to her poem, “Dear Matafele Peinem”.

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner addresses the opening of the Climate Summit in New York.

Poem moves UN summit to tears

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner presents her poem Dear Matafele Peinem to the UN Climate Summit. Vision from UN.

The UN Climate Summit has been graced by the likes of actor Leonardi DiCaprio and US President Barack Obama, but the haunting words of a young mother from a tiny Pacific Island nation have made the most lasting impression.
Spoken-word poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, 26, from the Marshall Islands, was just one of four people chosen from 544 nominees to address the opening of the UN Climate Summit in New York.
In front of an audience of 120 state dignitaries, Jetnil-Kijiner performed a poem she wrote for her seven-month-old daughter, in which she promises to protect the child from the threat of climate change, which she says world leaders are ignoring.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/poet-brings-world-leaders-to-tears-at-un-climate-summit-20140925-10lq5x.html#ixzz3EPnPtJvf

The Truth: Australia does not give a shit!

In my 2008 research into climate change and how intangible cultures of indigenous people in the Pacific islands would be affect many were afraid to see that their future could be in someone else’s land. Here we had a light moment in our discussions about sea level rise and where they would move to; women leaders of Kalal Village, Tami Island, Papua New Guinea. Another low lying island in the South Pacific.
A house in Wanam Village Tami Islands at low-tide showing a basic safety wall made from chopped coconut trunks.


Picture of a graveyard in the Micronesia by one of the leading Climate Change Experts, Dr Chalapan Kaluwin.

Pacific Islands in Climate Change

We in the Pacific Islands, especially small islands less than two metres above sea level, can cry all we want about the 2 degrees change and what we hope to achieve in United Nations Assembly to discuss Climate Change this week but we must accept the truth – Australia does not give a shit. Recent changes in the government and its future goals have clearly ignored all global discussions and actions and in particular, the voices of many small island countries such as Tuvalu, Marshall Islands, and Kiribatis. These countries have always looked up to Australia as the big brother.
Nick O’ Malley wrote this article for the Sydney Morning Herald,  pointing out the fact that Australia has a responsibility.
Messages in support of action to combat climate change are projected onto the side of the UN building in New York on September 20, ahead of the international summit on the issue that begins on Tuesday.Messages in support of action to combat climate change are projected onto the side of the UN building in New York on September 20, ahead of the international summit on the issue that begins on Tuesday. Photo: AP

New York: Before it became dominated by the United States’ effort to build a coalition for war with Islamic State, this week’s General Assembly of the United Nations was to have focused on climate change.

So far Australia has been as vocal about the former as it has been silent on the latter.

Speaking in the offices of his nation’s mission to the United Nations on Saturday afternoon, Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony de Brum said he and the leaders of other Pacific island nations were bewildered by what he called “backsliding” on climate change by Australia, which the region had considered to be its “big brother down south”.

“Probably one of the most frustrating events of the past year for Pacific islanders is Australia’s strange behaviour when it comes to climate change,” he said.

Island nations had watched with dismay not only the abolition of the carbon tax in Australia, but also the defunding of scientific advisory bodies, said Mr de Brum.

“It just does not make sense, it goes against the grain of the world.

“Not only [is Australia] our big brother down south, Australia is a member of the Pacific Islands Forum and Australia is a Pacific island, a big island, but a Pacific island. It must recognise that it has a responsibility.

“The problems that have befallen the smaller countries are also Australia’s problems. You cannot remove Australia from the life and blood of the Pacific.”

He said Pacific island nations no longer have time to debate climate change or even to engage in dialogue about how it might be mitigated – they need immediate action.

“[Failure to act] for us would mean disappearance under the sea by the turn of the century.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/australia-is-a-pacific-island–it-has-a-responsibility-20140921-10jwdw.html#ixzz3E2SN20IS

Tribalmystic is storytelling about people, places, and things that have extraordinary stories. Author: Joycelin Leahy

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