20 August 2015
Samoa is set to host the south-south youth sub-regional initiative on climate change conference from next Monday, 24th-27th August. It will be the first time young people from Samoa and Niue, Tokelau, Cook Island come together for action-orientated dialogue and share their climate change action.
The south-south youth sub-regional initiative on climate change conference will be the first time young people from Samoa and Niue, Tokelau, Cook Islands come together for action-orientated dialogue and to share their climate action stories. The conference will be held in Apia from the 24th to the 27th August 2015.
With the tagline #My Climate Action Story
, the conference will bring to light youth climate action stories that will hopefully inspire other young people to make a difference.
This event will also launch the South-South Youth Sub-regional Initiative on Climate Change, which will have a timeframe of 12 months from August 2015 until August 2016. This initiative will reaffirm and support the Polynesia Against Climate Threats (P.A.C.T.) Declaration signed on the 16th
July 2015 by our Polynesian leaders including the Prime Minister of Samoa, the Prime Minister of Cook Islands, the Ulu o Tokelau and the Premier of Niue.
The South-South Youth Conference will include a youth declaration on climate change, which will aim to facilitate cooperation with the Pacific leaders in actions against climate threats.
The Conference will be followed by the development and implementation of youth-led action plans, which will detail practical ways for youth in each country to connect positively with their spiritual, social, cultural, physical and economic environments and to preserve these in a sustainable way.
A Run will be organized on the 27th
August 2015 to support the Pole to Paris Campaign.
The conference is organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) and with support from the Australian AID.
What was my Inspiration
In 2014 I was part of a group of youth from Tokelau who had the privilege to attend the 350.org Global Climate Movement in Sydney Australia. I was able to meet other Climate Change Warriors like myself from across the South Pacific region and from all over the world. People who were also experiencing the same challenges as we did in Tokelau. The opportunity to attend this Conference inspired, encouraged and motivated me to take action. I decided I would focus my actions on raising awareness in my country, especially with students and youth, on the effects of climate change and the threats to Tokelau.
We had already observed how our shoreline had been increasingly pushed inward by the ocean. We knew the longer dry spells were causing our coconuts to dry up. The longer dry spells also reduced the volume of drinking water available for our livestock and the affected quality of water for human consumption. But there was very little knowledge on how my people could adapt to these changes, and carry out actions that would reduce the effects of Climate Change.
As the youngest Taupulega
member from this small island nation - I vowed to be a Climate Warrior. I have a responsibility and a duty to my people to protect our land, our heritage, our identity and our future from the effects of climate change.
My participation in conferences and other meetings strengthens my determination. It gives me weapons to continue the fight against global climate change. And it helps me to develop actions that will help our people adapt to the effects it is causing in Tokelau.
My Climate Actions
In the Pacific, there is a saying that "the children are our future". I base my actions on this belief. Our Council of Elders have permitted me to continually work with our schools and our young people to educate them on climate change and the threat to Tokelau and the Pacific region. They learn how climate change is affecting the natural environment. They learn how human actions can either protect or damage our environment. With this knowledge, the youth and children can take actions. They spread awareness to their family at home and in their community. We organize clean up days when we walk all around the island picking up rubbish carried by the ocean to our shores. We continually empower and inspire our children and youth to also become Climate Safe Warriors.
As a youth I am so proud that my home Tokelau is the first small island nation in the whole world to become 100% renewable energy efficient. Youth actions in our Solar Project has resulted in financial savings for the Government of more than one million dollars per year on the cost of diesel supply. Youth actions and awareness raising has helped our people to build their knowledge and to make informed decisions and actions on how to adapt and reduce the effects of climate change. Our leaders and those who have gone before us have inspired us to do greater things for the world and encouraged us to not give up. “We are not drowning. WE ARE FIGHTING!"
Huega Detlef Isaia
is a young climate warrior from Tokelau. He is a fisherman and the youngest member of the Taupulega (Council of Elders) in Nukunonu Village.
Hear what other youth from Samoa, Niue, Tokelau and Cook Islands have to say on Climate Change: 24th-27th August 2015
in Apia during the South-South Youth Sub-Regional Initiative on Climate Change c
onference. Please also join us on the 27th August
for a run in support of the Pole to Paris Campaign. This campaign is taking youth voices to Paris for the 21st Session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) to the UNFCCC. For more information, please contact UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme @ tel:21393
or Pole to Paris @ email: email@example.com