“We are part of the group that contributes less than one percent to the carbon emissions yet we are the ones to face the drastic impacts – so help us save not only our land, but also our culture,” say Pacific youth who used dance and performance to capture attention today at COP15.
Luana Bosanquet-Heays and Rikana Toroma of the Cook Islands performed a traditional dance to the Cook Islands song 'moemoea', meaning 'to sleep'. Their performance was a symbolic call on world leaders to wake up and take action to stop climate change.
Climate change not only threatens the existence of the small islands in the Pacific, it also threatens their diverse culture unique to them. With the hope of standing up to the threats of climate change and its impact on the vulnerable Pacific Islands, the two Cook Islands teens are part of Project Survival Pacific, a youth team who are in Copenhagen this week to campaign for their future as well as that of the generations to follow. In one of the exhibitions, they told of their fears for a Pacific future through story telling. Youth from Papua New Guinea, FSM, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Fiji gave different accounts of how their countries were being faced with new challenges as a result of climate change. Their message: that land is not only an asset to them but also their identity and now the need is to save it. "The Pacific is at the forefront of climate change and it is imperative to get a positive outcome from the COP15 here in Denmark,” says Luana Bosanquet-Heays.
Climate Pasifika Media