|L - R: Krishneil Narayan, Luana Bosanquet-Heays, Penelope Ward, Romita Datt|
30 November Cancun, Mexico - A team of four Pacific youths are here at the Cancun climate change talks to support the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS) in whatever way is needed, be it research or to administer and action task. The Project Youth Survival team have already let their voice be heard here in Cancun on day two of the negotiation talks, having met with the President of COP in Cancun they raised concerns about the 1.5 mandate for AOSIS and it not being reflected in the Copenhagen Accord.
The four youth are strong in their convictions and are looking forward to the two weeks ahead to help raise the Pacific voice. Two of the youth are from Fiji, one from Australia and one from the Cook Islands. Of these four – two of them were also at the 15th Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen last year (Fiji, Cook Islands).
Penelope Ward, Coordinator:
“We are the delegation sent by Project Survival Pacific which is about building representation and capacity in the pacific so every year we send a Pacific youth delegation to the COP. What hope to achieve is multi-fold, we have policy imperative which is supporting the Alliance Of Small Islands States (AOSIS) in their push for 1.5 degrees and on the flip side we are also here to build a movement and support of Pacific Island culture and show people visually what’s at stake and what there is to be celebrated about these beautiful places.”
Krishneil Narayan (Fiji – also attended COP 15 in Copenhagen):
“This year I’d like to see a more focus on the Pacific islanders especially this year, more focus on adaptation and adaptation funds to come through the 1.5 mandate, a lot of Pacific Island build up and have more representation in these negotiations”
Luana Bosanquet – Heays (Cook Islands – also attended COP 15 in Copenhagen):
“Was I discouraged by last year? Absolutely, I mean last year it was a bit overwhelming and we put our heart and soul into it and there was this real message being sent out that this was our last chance and when no deal came out of it you do feel discouraged as you have put all your heart and soul in it but as a Pacific youth we were able to create awareness and engage other people in the process.”
Romita Datt (Fiji):
“This year I would like to see is our world leaders give us more promising results and more focus on the Pacific as we have the most vulnerable islands, our homes and livelihoods will be affected so we would like to see leaders of the world stepping up and taking the role in saving the small island nations.”