[From Press Release 5 Apr 2016]
FORTY Pacific Island youth, known as Pacific Climate Warriors, who met in Fiji this past week have concluded the first Pacific Climate Warriors Retreat in Nadave.
The group of 40 included three youth from the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network - a movement of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait representatives all calling for climate justice. They came together over the course of four days to discuss their individual and collective roles in ensuring that the world keeps to its target of 80 percent, if not more, of fossil fuel reserves remaining in the ground.
“Pacific communities are experiencing firsthand the consequences of climate change and the damage inflicted by the fossil fuel industry. In May, the climate warriors will be part of thousands of people the world over pushing to break free of fossil fuels and accelerate the shift towards a just transition to 100 percent renewable energy,” explained 350.org Pacific Coordinator, Koreti Tiumalu.
“Pacific Islands will bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change with increasing sea levels, floods, and intense storms,” stated Milañ Loeak, a climate warrior from the Marshall Islands. “My people and my islands suffer the impacts of climate change through extensive droughts and increased floods from high tides.
“The impacts of climate change in my country has very real impacts on people's lives,” she concluded.
George Nacewa, a climate warrior from the Fiji Islands, said that this retreat was a great opportunity to plan, as a region, ways to eliminate the use of dirty fossil fuels and accelerate the just transition to 100 percent renewable energy.
“It is very important for us to take direct actions against climate change because it is threatening our lives and our islands. Our land is the most valuable treasure in our lives and the impacts of climate change will destroy it. We don’t want this to happen and we will not allow it to happen.
"Coming off the Retreat, and a month after mega storm Cyclone Winston tore through Fiji, the Fiji Islands are again surrounded by three new storms. We need to take action now," concluded Nacewa.
350.org Pacific works with a group of young people calling themselves the Pacific Climate Warriors.