Voices from the frontline: Pacific Islands speakers tour

During July hear first hand accounts of the impacts of climate change on our Pacific neighbours. Oxfam and Greenpeace have combined to bring local leaders from the Pacific nations of Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) to Australia for a series of public meetings.

"The future of Kiribati is in our hands - we work very hard each year to support and help students to be successsful. But what is the future of our children when our country is being threatened by global warming?"

– Pelenise Alofa Pilitati, a speaker on the tour from Kiribati

All three of these low-lying island states are in grave danger from climate change. Sea level rise, tidal surges, salination of crops and fresh water, coral bleaching and loss of fisheries are already affecting these countries. Some Pacific islanders have also been forced to relocate because of climate change.

The realities of climate change in the Pacific underscore the urgent need for a global agreement on climate change. It is not too late to ensure that the Pacific has a future. To do this the Australian government must take strong action and commit to cut greenhouse emissions by 40% by 2020. To assist the Pacific and other developing nations to deal with the unavoidable effects of climate change the Australian government must commit to pay our fair share into a UN fund to assist developing nations cut their emissions and adapt to climate change.

Dates and Venues

When: Thursday 23 July, 7 – 8.30pm (registration from 6.30pm)
Where: Mitchell Theatre, Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, 280 Pitt St, Sydney
Speakers: Reverend Tafue Lusama and Pelenise Alofa Pilitati

When: Tuesday 28 July, 6.30 – 8 pm (registration from 6pm)
Where: Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane Room
Speakers: Marstella Jack, Reverend Tafue Lusama, Pelenise Alofa Pilitati, Sam Reuben (Torres Strait Islands) and John Kris (Chair, Torres Strait Regional Authority)

When: Thursday 30 July, 6.30 – 8pm
Where: Melbourne Town Hall, Supper Room
Speakers: Marstella Jack, Reverend Tafue Lusama and Pelenise Alofa Pilitati

When: Sunday 2 August, 4 - 5.30pm
Where: TBC

Other climate change talks

Solving the Climate Crisis Talk
When: Saturday, 25th July, 1pm
Where: Theatre G, Australian Museum, 6 College St, Sydney
Speakers: John Hepburn and Pelenise Alofa Pilitati
The talk is free with general entry to the Museum. General entry is $12 (adults) and $8 (concession).

The Perfect Storm - Australia's role in dealing with the triple crunch of the global financial crisis, climate change and rising food prices
ALP Conference Forum by Oxfam Australia and the Centre for Policy Development
When: Friday 31 July, 6 – 7.30pm
Where: Sussex Room, Crowne Plaza, 150 Day Street, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Speakers: Sharan Burrow, Andrew Hewett, Reverend Tafue Lusama, Ian Dunlop and Ben McNeil

The speakers

Pelenise Alofa Pilitati - Chairperson Church Education Director's Association in Kiribati (CEDAK), Managing Director, Kauaoki Foundation Enterprise, Kiribati

Pelenise says that climate change is about survival for the people of Kiribati. "The future of Kiribati is in our hands - we work very hard each year to support and help students to be successsful. But what is the future of our children when our country is being threatened by global warming?"

Reverend Tafue Lusama - Chairperson Tuvula Climate Action Network, Program Secretary Church of Tuvalu Dept Peace and Justice, Pastor, Christian Church of Tuvalu.

Tuvalu has already seen significant internal relocation of citizens as a result of climate change and could be the first nation in the world to disappear because of rising sea levels. Reverend Tafue is a compelling advocate for action on climate change.

Marstella Jack - Former Attorney General, Federated States of Micronesia

Marstella has recently returned from the United Nations Intersessional meeting on climate change that took place in Bonn. She is acutely aware of why these global negotiations are so important for Pacific nations.

How you can help

source: http://www.oxfam.org.au/campaigns/climate-change/take-action/pacific-speakers-tour/

We hope that these series of community forums will generate enough public support and media interests, leading up to the Pacific Islands Heads of Government Meeting in Cairns (Australia) in August, 2009.

Please forward this to your friends and networks.
Thank you for your support