Wednesday, 20 June 2012

A big day for the Pacific, 19 June 2012

By Kathleen Leewai, SPREP

From Fiji to Papua New Guinea to Samoa then on to Rio! Ms. Kathleen Leewai, the Publications and Communications Intern at SPREP is attending her first international environment conference - the Rio+20, this has been made possible with support from PACMAS, SPREP and Conservation International Pacific Island Program. Born and raised in Fiji, Kathleen has lived in Papua New Guinea, Australia and now in Samoa at SPREP where she works as the Publications and Communications Intern. This is Kathleens first time outside of the Pacific region, read about her experiences!

19 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro - Day 9 in Rio was a bustling day full of activity especially for the Pacific Media Team from SPREP. The Pacific Side Event held today was one of the major reasons we came to Rio, along with giving Pacific issues the proper exposure through our stories.

With five Pacific leaders presenting, the event aimed to highlight the challenges faced in the Pacific such as climate change and oceans issues, as well as showcasing the innovations and progress in the areas of renewable energy and the Micronesia Challenge.

We prepared materials for the event to distribute to the leaders and other Pacific Islands delegates at the event, and these included green bags, brochures, and USB drives loaded with publications and videos showcasing the environmental work being done in the Pacific region.

I felt so proud seeing our people represented at this global event, truly showing that we are a real part of this world with real challenges and problems and not just islands of sunshine and beaches. I feel fortunate to have been a part of this event as well, considering the sheer scope of the negotiations and the implications the outcomes from this could be on our region.

Of course, with the side event completed our job here is not done. We are here till the conference proper, which is when the world leaders endorse the final outcomes document, committing themselves to agreements sought throughout the two weeks for the future of our world.

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