Kya Raina Lal: Oceania Uniting

COY10 & COP20 proved to be a very lonely time for the singular Pacific youth in attendance last year, me. However something must be in the water in Paris. COY11 has proved a magnet for Pacific youth who have descended on Paris in droves.  Youth from Tahiti, Hawaii, Wallis & Fatuna, and myself from Fiji are all present. Bringing our numbers to almost 50 strong. With many more on their way. Many of us have travelled significant distances to be here and to add our voices to the call for #Climatejustice. We represent some of the world’s most vulnerable communities to the impacts of Climate Change.

However, COY11 & COP21 isn’t just about Climate Change for us. It’s also about connections. Making new connections, and restrengthening old connections, between our islands, communities and peoples. Our connections to one another and the support mechanism that this creates is one of most traditional ways Pacific people’s have survived in times of immense change. 

Here at COY11 & COP21, we have been extremely fortunate to have been warmly embraced by many of the youth here. Especially by those from Australia and New Zealand. All this ‘aloha’ as my friends from the Maui Youth Delegation would say, prompted a large and loud Oceania catchup. Resulted in numerous instruments appearing out of nowhere, many songs, lots of dancing and 1.5 memorable ‘haka’s’ from #PacificCoy Tahitian contingent. For the first time in a very long time the halls of COY where filled with the sounds, songs, rhythms, and aloha of the Pacific. This is Oceania uniting #standupforthepacific

All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences, and do not reflect those of the Institute.