This platform aims to elevate Pacific voices and raise awareness of climate change issues and action in the region. One of our key objectives is to provide a platform for Pacific peoples, organisations and communities to share stories and increase the awareness of, and engagement with, Pacific perspectives on climate justice.
If you have a climate change related project, story, initiative or case study that you would like to write about and share with a broader audience in Australia and across the Pacific Islands then we would love to hear from you.
We are interested in publishing a wide range of perspectives through diverse mediums including storytelling, narrative and lived experience. We also recognise diversity of cultural identities, languages and peoples across the Pacific and we prioritise the participation of all willing voices even where barriers such as language exist. We also welcome author contributions from other non-Pacific Island perspectives.
You can submit a full article or pitch an idea for one by submitting a form here.
Arti Chetty | Pacific Climate Warriors | July 2020
We are Pacific Climate Warriors (PCW), Kulin Nation based in Melbourne, Australia. PCW are active in 18 Pacific Island nations and also in diaspora communities in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. We work closely with 350.org Pacific to fight for climate justice for our Pacific communities, for our lands and waters: for our homes. Our oceans are rising as a direct consequence of global warming and, without radical change, many of our Pacific Islands will lose everything to sea level rise.
Sitting now in the mid-terrain of 2020, having travelled the rough contours of this year’s atlas, including the enormity of the bushfires and now the advent of COVID-19 (with all that ensues), and for some of our Pacific families, the devastation of Cyclone Harold, we have taken the enforced restructuring of daily interactions as an opportunity to share and reflect. We look again to our storytelling and artistic roots as scaffolding for collaborative organising.
In the context of this differently dynamic period, PCW Melbourne was privileged to be asked to collaborate with artist Tal Fitzpatrick as part of the Next Wave Festival – Signs of our Times project to create a banner to aid in our work.
Rarangaa taai aika ana roko is in the Kiribati language and literally means weave the days to come.
The banner calls for a #JustRecovery and an end to disaster capitalism.
The tatau (double lines circling the centre) comes from traditional tattoo designs of the Mungiki and Mungaba people (Solomon Islands). It is inspired by the shell of a beetle which symbolises a protective shield. The shield holds the stories of our ancestors who guide our work and protect us as we fight for a #JustRecovery. The scales are the scales of a fish and represent our connection to the ocean and to each other. The figures in the centre represent us, the Warriors, who weave the days to come together; to build a just future together: rarangaa taai aika ana roko. Tal lovingly wove the banner from upcycled fabrics using our design, echoing the work being done by the four figures seated in the banner.
The #JustRecovery Principles and PCW values rest on common themes of resilience, community, mana, solidarity, family and justice. Mana is the complex spiritual force that permeates the universe and flows between all beings and objects. Mana is not one thing, but many things, and speaks to the possession of honour, respect and power. Pacific communities are connected across oceans and we express this interconnectedness through this banner in an act of solidarity with our PCW families as they look toward the future and consider the very real possibility of the destruction of their worlds. The banner reflects the story of the many stories intertwined across the Pacific, woven together by shared experiences, a shared fight for justice, shared hardship: our diversity woven together by our common stories, our diversity woven together to strengthen our resilience.
While change is inevitable, especially in the face of climate change and now COVID-19, a just transition to equitable structures is not. The slowing of our day to day lives by COVID-19 has created the space and time to allow us to further bear witness to the decay of neoliberalism and to the existential threat presented by disaster capitalism. In these new spaces, we consider the utility of living more slowly as an act of resistance in and of itself. If we are to advocate for a #JustRecovery, for community centred and environment centred structures of governance, then we must also create them. We must protect and nurture the spaces required to build these structures. A #JustRecovery is not only to be demanded of government as they propose alarming new policies, but something we all need to participate in. We can build these structures in our families, our neighbourhoods and in the way we ourselves operate. We do this by telling stories, building communities, collaborating with others in acknowledgment of our own capacity to build new and sustainable projects.
This is a time to be decisive in saving lives, cultures and livelihoods. It is a time to be bold in charting a path to a genuinely healthier and more equitable future through a #JustRecovery. Join us to create a just future together with your stories woven with ours – rarangaa taai aika ana roko.
Sign the open letter petition for a #JustRecoveryhere
Arti Chetty is a member of the Pacific Climate Warriors Kulin Nation. She was born in Suva, Fiji, and grew up in Narrm (Melbourne). Arti works as a refugee lawyer and spends time thinking about the clear and growing links between migration and climate change, and what this means for the already huge numbers of displaced peoples around the world. Her connection to the Pacific and the fast rising waters surrounding those islands drive her to work toward climate justice and to learn how to centre country and community in the way that she lives.
Arti has chosen to publish and license her piece under Creative Commons licence CC BY 4.0. So we encourage you to republish her work (in part or in full) for free, online or in print. Just remember to acknowledge the author in line with CC BY 4.0.
In 2018, the former President of Kiribati visited Sydney and Melbourne for a series of inspiring live interviews and keynote addresses, supported by climates.
“For us climate change is not an event in the future. It’s an event that we’re dealing with now…our entire survival is at stake” – Anote Tong
Throughout October climates provided research and technical support for three informative events with Anote Tong.
Following an Environmental Film Festival Victoria sold-out screening of the film ‘Anote’s Ark’ at ACMI, Melbourne, Mr Tong was interviewed by ABC journalist Jo Lauder. Climates prepared a detail brief and cultural-sensitivity coaching to support this interview, and provided new insights into life in Kiribati amid the climate crisis as well as regional climate politics and activism efforts.
Also in Melbourne, Mr Tong gave a moving and motivating address on climate change action in Australia and across the Pacific, ‘Views from the Climate Frontline: an Evening with Anote Tong’, at Melbourne University. This event was organised by The Climate Reality Project Australia & The Pacific, which is hosted by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. Climates provided technical support for the event, recording and broadcasting a sophisticated live stream to more than 500 viewers.
In Sydney, Mr Tong was interviewed by Future Super, an Australian superannuation fund focussing on zero fossil fuel investment and holistically ethical investment with an emphasis on clean energy projects. Climates provided technical support, recording and live stream broadcasting to more than 1,000 viewers, as well as set-design and logistics.
Watch the live streams on The Climate Reality Project Australia & The Pacific’s Facebook page here, and Future Super’s Facebook page here.
In September 2018, The Pacific Climate Warriors, a branch of 350.org Pacific, hosted a panel in Melbourne.
The sessions invited young Pacific people to explore and discuss cultural identity, connection to land, and community engagement from a diaspora perspective.
The day was highlighted by two main panels, both of which were recorded and broadcast by climates, who also provided live audio/visual support. This meeting also included a shared lunch, art exhibition, dance and music performances.
Watch the live streams on the Pacific Climate Warrior’s Facebook page here.
Have we started to see a tangible shift in the narrative and action of the private sector on climate change?
About this event
Moderated by Bank Australia’s Victoria McKenzie-McHarg – Climates hosted a discussion on reshaping the private sector featuring:
● Paul Dobson, Asia-Pacific Sustainability Lead at Deloitte
● Adam Verwey, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Future Super
● Bianca Sylvester, Associate Director at the Clean Energy Finance Corporation
This panel explores how the financial sector is reshaping itself to respond to the global climate crisis. The discussion focussed on the forces that are driving recent changes towards decarbonisation, as well as those that continue to hold us back. See trailer video.
The Paris Agreement, next generation CEOs, customer preferences or cost savings – what is influencing commercial decision making? Does it matter whether environmental leadership is driven by profit or altruism? Can business lead government to adopt ambitious policies?
Since 2018, Climates has worked closely with Digital Storytellers and event sponsors to ensure all events are accessible to people right across Oceania. See the Facebook Live recording for this full event.
This event was hosted in Melbourne, Australia on 10 July 2018.
“In the clean energy sector, where there are obvious returns to be made… JP Morgan saw the returns that were possible from carbon markets, and they hired a team – within two years – of 600 people, and that was during the financial crisis. So where the returns are obvious, I think they have the capacity to change their business.”
A rare platform for discussion on climate change from the perspectives of women leading change in sport, health and safety, business and culture.
About this event
Moderated by Bank Australia’s Victoria McKenzie-McHarg – Climates hosted this incredible discussion on women leading change featuring:
● Chyloe Kurdas – Gender Equity, Diversity, Sport and Social Inclusion; AFLW Commentator
● Danielle Dal Cortivo – CEO, Asthma Foundation of Victoria and the ACT
● Kate Fitzgerald – Director of Relief and Recovery, Emergency Management Victoria
● Megan Flynn – Head of Environment and Carbon Strategy, Qantas
● Noemi Cummings – Regional Representative, Ethnic Community Council of Victoria
Debates about climate change are dominated by the perspectives of scientists, economists and politicians. While these views are clearly very important, we need to engage everyday Australians on climate change by exploring what it means for them.
It’s time we hear from members of society who represent the human side of climate change and how it might impact our communities. This will introduce fresh perspectives on what we can expect and what steps we can take to protect our rich cultural values.
“It’s mould from floods; it’s thunderstorm asthma events from all the pollen being in the air; it’s bushfires and the impact of that on respiratory health… What happens if we’re dealing with a number of these events at the same time?”