As young Pacific Islanders working in the climate movement, our role must be to to shift this single story that paints us as victims of climate change, to one that reflects our multiple truths as Pacific Islanders, living with climate impacts, but thriving nonetheless.
As a people, we need to retell our stories. We need to shed light on our multiple truths and record this part of our history, so the next generation can learn from our stories. Not just for the sake of Pacific Islanders in the climate discourse, but for Pacific Islanders in general.
The indigenous Saami live in the Arctic regions of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia, at the frontlines of climate change. These are four stories of Saami people speaking their truths about what climate justice means to them.
In May 2017, a group of Pacific Islanders travelled half way across the world to visit the Canadian tar sands.
Justin Trudeau’s recently approved pipelines will unleash catastrophic climate change — for Pacific islanders this means rising sea levels threatening their homes, communities, and cultures. The Pacific Climate Warriors embarked on this journey in order to bear witness to the project responsible for unleashing destruction on their homelands. Along the way, they built solidarity with Indigenous Peoples in Canada whose traditional territories are threatened by tar sands.
People across the world are already struggling with the impacts of the climate crisis and every second the world leaders fail to act, the crisis is deepening. Central Anatolia is no exception. Once known as the “granary of Turkey”, the fertile lands of Konya are under threat from drought. As if this is not enough, coal extraction is busy destroying the agricultural lands, basins, and livelihoods of communities in Konya.
Is it still possible to hope? Follow the story of “The Whirl” from the middle of Anatolia, Konya.
The Rise for Climate Justice Mural Project organized the world’s largest street mural on September 8, right before world leaders gathered for the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. Dozens of organizations and community groups were involved, painting 50 murals. Each group’s design is a response to the question, “What is one solution to climate chaos in your community?”
Matagi Mālohi tells the story of our journey to uplift our people and shape a narrative that paints us not as victims of the climate crisis but as the leaders, the healers, the nurturers, the artists, the gardeners, the growers, the seafarers and the navigators we are.
We need to be the strong winds that have carried our ancestors across the seas. We need to be the strong winds pushing our leaders forward as they come up against the might of these big bullying nations. We need to be the strong winds, that Matagi Mālohi, that bring the change our people need to see.
“This is my story of growing up under the constant threat of climate destruction. Living with this threat is something I thought was “normal” as a child, and only recently have I realized how bizarre it is to face the possibility of outliving nature as we know it.
I created this story so that it might spark conversations about the toll of climate change on the mental and emotional wellbeing of children everywhere, which is a serious topic that has largely been left out of the conversation on climate.”
350 is the most important number in the world. This number is the safe line for our global climate and a start line for a global movement. Join 350.org to take action in your community, engage our world’s leaders, and build an international movement to solve the climate crisis.