September 3, 2013

Message in a bottle

Today, with help from the Australian Conservation Foundation and 350, the people of the Pacific Islands let Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbot know in no uncertain terms that they expect action on climate change from Australia’s future PM.

At St Kilda’s beach, in Melbourne, a crowd gathered to read Pacific Islanders asking both Rudd and Abbot to take a firmer stand on climate change.  Their requests were simple.  They want Rudd and Abbot to agree to support the Majuro Declaration which is being proposed at this weeks Pacific Leaders Forum.  The declaration calls for leaders to increase international climate finance to at least $350 million per year and decrease Australian greenhouse gas emissions of at least 25% by 2020.

Here are some of the examples of the calls heard today:

Dear Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott,
I am from the neighboring island just next to your shore: During my visit to the RMI in 2005. I can’t control my tears to see such a lovely island started to sink due to the effects of Climate Change..The lovely coral reefs and the lagoons has lost it sight and I do wonder when we will appreciate the creation of God that has been there from 100 of centuries ago and still here today to protect us and now has been driven out. Please I ask you do support the Majuro declaration and commit to reducing Australia’s Greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020.–   Losevati Naidike, Kadavu Islands, Fiji


Dear Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott,
We here in Nanumea Island in Tuvalu humbly ask you to support the Majuro declaration and commit to reducing Australia’s Greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020. Your inaction could cost us our precious Islands, our identity, and our future . But your action could keep us above water, and save our lives and our home and our future. You can take us away from Tuvalu but you CANNOT take Tuvalu away from us. Act now. FAKAFETAI LAHI (Thank you),–   Marilyn Asapo, Nanumea, Tuvalu

Our homes..
Our children…
Our unique way of life is just as important as
Your homes
Your children
And your Australian heritage.
Accept the Majuro declaration! 
Make the changes necessary to maintain life and all its wonders.

Tubwa kor ouwak!!:)-   Nerida-Ann Hubert, Nauru Pleasant Island

The cries from the Pacific are heartfelt and should be a warning to all of us of the future we may face if the climate begins to run away from us.  Although the Pacific Islanders will be amongst the first to feel the pain, for the rest of us, dire consequences will soon follow.  The sooner we start to realise that we are all in this together, the sooner we will be able to forge a path to a safe future for all.

The Pacific Islanders are famed for the fierceness and tenacity of their warriors.  Today they understand that they face perhaps the largest challenge in their long island histories.  They will not go down without a fight, their voices will be heard.  Join them, join us and if you need any more inspiration watch this…..