Another year has come and gone, and yet, this world is still years away from taking the action required to protect the Pacific Islands from climate change.
2013 should have been the year in which countries began to signal a stronger commitment to reducing emissions.
But instead, some of the worlds most powerful nations- including Japan, Canada and our Pacific neighbor, Australia, used the United Nations meeting as a chance to declare that they are going minimize their action on climate change - not increase it.
These powerful nations are basically signing over our cultural death warrants. Their behavior over the last year is a clear indication that they are NOT concerned about the future of the Pacific Islands.
Their main concern and area of interest lay in propping up the fossil fuel industry.
The Pacific Islands cannot sit by and let this continue.
The islands are already witnessing the effects of climate change. A majority of the Pacific Islands depend on subsistence agriculture, but with more intense tropical cyclones, flash floods and droughts, our food production systems are increasingly vulnerable. Coastal systems and ecosystems are already adversely affected, with erosion and significant land loss in places like the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Tokelau and Kiribati already setting in. Coral reefs and water resources are also now at risk. Scientists have warned that if the world doesn’t change track now, we face losing much more.
This is why we have to make 2014 the year that the people of the Pacific Islands stand up for ourselves.
We need to stand up against climate change, we need to stand up against the fossil fuel industry, we need to stand up against the countries that don’t care about the future of our islands, and most importantly, we NEED to stand up together.
The Pacific is a region where diversity proudly exists. And through that diversity there is also a proud unity - we are united in our sense of "Warriorship" and the innate duty to protect our land, ocean and identity.
To exist as Warriors of the Pacific
It is time to call upon the people of the land and the sea to become Warriors of the Pacific, regardless of their profession, gender, age, location or creed.
In 2014, we will launch a campaign that will allow Pacific Islanders to be positioned within a unified narrative of cultural revival and strength, as Warriors of the Pacific, prepared to rise up to protect their land, ocean and identity.
Let us remember 2014 as the year we rose together to protect our Islands, and wove a story so powerful, that it will be retold for generations to come.
This year make a powerful New Years resolution - pledge to STAND UP FOR THE PACIFIC