Reconnecting to Nature: Tokelau Environment Day celebration 2017

Hui Faipule Kuresa Nasau addressing the Environment Day Programme
June 28, 2017
Showing how World Environment Day can catalyze change, Tokelau marked the day by engaging the communities in its 3 Nuku (Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo) in a community cleaning campaign, in segregating waste and in planting trees. Underlying this move is a commitment to enable people to reconnect Tokelau to nature.

The Hui Faipule of Atafu, Kuresa Nasau, in his opening statement stressed “the importance of Tokelau to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and to take a forward call to protect its vulnerable environment”. He reiterated that “this year’s theme invites us to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.”

The “reconnecting Tokelau to nature” theme sends a strong message to Tokelauans: a wake-up call for all to make peace with nature. How can we reconnect to nature” The answer is simple: value nature as your own mother - as we call her mother nature. We are the smallest nation in the world, fragile and vulnerable to impacts of climate change. So the theme of this environment day urges everyone to ensure a clean environment for future generations, and to always engage in positive environment action.
Hatessa Kirifi, Atafu General Manager showcasing Atafu Taupulega’s support to such national activities
The environment officers in Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo offered a colorful programme for this year’s event: These ranged from engaging school students in posters, essays and poem competition; community awareness programmes; and community activities involving them in connecting to nature. Everyone collectively contributed to the success of this special Tokelau day.

People enjoyed their time engaging and reconnecting in nature activities. The Atafu community engaged in a community cleaning campaign, by segregating its waste into 4 categories for ease of disposal: general rubbish; glass and bottles; aluminum and metal recyclables; and plastics waste.

The Nukunonu community showcased how we can connect to nature by a 100% community involvement in the environment day celebration. Every single person got involved with tree planting to increase the tree count on Nukunonu.
Loia Tausi, Manager of Environment presenting during awareness raising programme at Atafu for Tokelau Environment Day Celebration
Matiti Primary School Students planting a tree as part of the environment day activities in Nukunonu
Planting exotic tress for coastal rehabilitation can counteract coastal erosion and likewise build a community resilient to the impacts of climate change.

As part of the Fakaofo awareness-raising work, environmental officers engaged the whole community in collectively celebrating the day. They took the opportunity to talk to the community about the new work that the department will be engaged in, to keep Tokelau connected to nature.

This event is the first of its kind to have occurred in Tokelau: it is the beginning of a long journey that cherish our environment and the importance to keep it pristine. This event was strongly supported by the three Nuku Taupulega.

For further information, contact:
Loia Tausi
Phone: +690 22218
Email: puavasa@gmail.com