Sunday, 13 December 2009

Your voices @ COP15 Project Survival

Geoffrey Smith, FijiTV, Climate Pacific media
Sunday 13 December 2009, COPENHAGEN-- Over the past week a handful of Pacific youth have had the unique opportunity to have their voices heard at COP15. This has been largely possible the pioneering efforts of a small but growing youth group based out of Australia. Realising after COP14 last year that the voice of our Pacific youth was obviously absent, in May this year a select group from the Pacific was handpicked to represent their respective communities as the world began planning for COP15. Born in Fiji and now living out of Australia, youth activist Shobazdeep Kand is articulate, full of energy, and represents a wave of hope for visionary Pacific leaders. He explains why the voice of our Pacific youth is critical at an important climate change summit such as COP15.

TRANSCRIPT: Project Survival Pacific was started at last years COP14 and we noted that there was a lack of representation from the Pacific and the Pacific voice really needed to be heard. And that voice included the youth voice. So the Australians went back to Australia and we set up in May of this year an organisation in which I'm now part of called Project Survival Pacific and our aim is to really to try and build a pacific youth network of environmentally concerned youth who can come to things like this and lobby their governments and talk to western governments like Australia and New Zealand in the region to tell them why it is important for them, their communities and their future that we act on climate change. So here at Copenhagen we have 10 Pacific youth, two from Fiji and several from other countries and what they're trying to do this week is to meet with their governments and we met with Peni Wong yesterday to lobby her on behalf of the Pacific and also try and get into the media and get the Pacific voice out. Because we find that youth from the western world like Australia and New Zealand, have these opportunities to come and talk to their leaders but the voices of the Pacific Islanders is not there. So the next phase of our project is to go back home and send the delegates here to try and support them in building those organisations back home.--ENDS

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