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Pasifika Voice Uses App To Be Heard In Global Ocean Debate

An innovative Pacific-designed digital platform is offering users 2km square virtual Ocean sanctuaries to help boost awareness of the crisis state of Earth’s oceans from people with countless generations of wisdom to share.

Moana Pasifika has been created by a collective of Pasifika story tellers as a hub for users to learn more about Marine Protected Areas and connect with individuals and groups wanting to do something to Save Our Seas. Moana Pasifika virtual sanctuaries are real GPS mapped locations. Each sanctuary can be viewed on a map as well as in virtual reality - acting as global portals to communicate, share and protect.

It's also a mainstream platform for Pasifika voices to be heard in the global climate change and Ocean degradation conversation especially concerning the Pacific Ocean - Moana Pasifika.

Moana Pasifika Chief Executive Stan Wolfgramm says the app is part of a drive to ensure Pasifika voices are heard in the global discussions concerning the crisis state of the Pacific Ocean.

“Our ancestors were the world's greatest navigators and mariners who were the first to sail out of sight of land. They navigated by the stars and became the indigenous people of the world's largest Ocean.

But today a search for ‘Save the Pacific Ocean’ will include at best two per cent Pacific voices.

“World leaders gathered for the most significant climate talks at COP26, but Pasifika voices were few, with our concerns hardly heard. We need to claim a seat at the decision making table to contribute to solutions. We have more than 5,000 years of knowledge, science, values, and commitment passed on by our ancestors - coupled with our day-to-day lived experiences.

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“While others seem to come and go depending on the ‘cause du jour’ there is no group more committed to preserve our Oceans than the people of the Pacific”.

The Moana Pasifika collective comprises artists, scientists, chefs, sports people, traditional carvers, and academics the likes of master Maori carver Wikuki Kingi, world renowned chef Robert Oliver, cetacean science expert Nan Hauser, Hollywood composer Igelese Ete, ex All Black great Va'aiga Tuigamala, Hawaiian epistemologist Dr Manulani Meyer and more.

It represents concerns of Pasifika communities that span across the seas from Palau in Micronesia to Fiji, Hawaii, Rapanui, Aotearoa and more.

“More than anyone else Pasifika people are now at the brunt of climate change and a dying Ocean. At stake are not only their homes but also the cultural identity of their future generations,” says Wolfgramm.

Prior to the Covid outbreak, planning and design was underway for Moana Pasifika to be a touring exhibition the likes of Van Gogh Alive. Its aim was to share with audiences around the world the inspirational Indigenous story of the Pacific Ocean. Wolfgramm was at the MET in New York discussing support when the pandemic struck.

“A travelling international event quickly became the last thing anyone wanted to hear about. But the cause was too important to let go of. So, Moana Pasifika went digital to reach audiences around the world via a synced mobile application and website,” he says.

Moana Pasifika not only engages users with real active Ocean Icons, shares their news and has a blue commerce shop for only Ocean friendly goods, but it also promotes Ocean Buddy events and even Ocean dates if you're romantically minded.

“Where Facebook talks about everything, Moana Pasifika talks about everything, to do with the Ocean.”

“It’s free to download and use online at or from the Apple app store under Moana Pasifika or Google app store under Mowana Pasifika.”

Ironically, people searching the app on the Google app store will have to look for Mowana with a W, Wolfgramm reveals.

“Unfortunately, our indigenous word for the ocean, Moana, has been placed under copyright here and it’s no longer ours to use” he says.

“Perhaps that’s another story or, maybe it’s part of the same issue? We hope people will join us to explore this and more of the complex issues around the protection of our precious taonga – our oceans”

Kia Mania.

The app is free to download on:


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