Thursday, 13 December 2012

Action for the Pacific

The final day of Power Shift was all about action. How the participants could bring together all they’d learnt over the last few days along with their ideas, passion, motivation and experience to foster action in their respective regions to address climate change.

The morning plenary provided a platform for an inspirational presentation from young New Zealand local Councillor; Jinty McTavish and an update from the NZ youth delegation to the UNFCCC climate change negotiations in Doha, Qatar. Jinty spoke about how local government can be useful in fostering a change; through the provision of new bike paths, changes in rubbish collection and planning issues. The presentation by Jinty highlighted how important the youth voice is in a government setting and how youth involvement brings with it real innovation and change.

Following the plenary, all the participants from the Pacific gathered together to discuss how to deliver a unified campaign across their geographically diverse region. The theme ‘100% possible to be heard’ was chosen and the vision was drafted and is currently being finalised.

The campaign will focus on highlighting the pacific voice to portray the very real effects of climate change that are being felt in the region. Driven by pacific islanders and youth in particular, the campaign aims to take advantage of existing strengths in the region. Plans include utilising the region’s strong cultural identity and traditions as well as mobilising the tourism industry.

The main message to come from day three and the conference as a whole was that there are many young people across the Pacific ready to stand up and speak, they are already acting on climate change within their own nations what they need is support from the rest of the world. It was extremely heartening to see the strength of the Pacific voice and the passion within the young people that attended, thanks for a fantastic three days Power Shift! 

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