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Youth to Be the Voices of the Pacific at UN Meet

Youth to Be the Voices of the Pacific at United Nations Meet

Three Pacific youth will be heading to the United Nations COP16 Climate Change Negotiations in Cancun, Mexico to represent the voice of the Pacific people from 26th of November to the 10th of December.

Krishneil Narayan and Romita Dutt from Fiji and Luana Bosanquet-Heays from Cook Islands are part of the Project Survival Pacific (PSP) Delegation who will be calling on our world leaders and politicians convening at this important United Nations meeting to take fair, ambitious steps in immediately addressing the impacts of climate change.

The 16th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be the meeting where the world will negotiate its path and commitment
s to one another around climate change. “I believe climate change is about more than environmental effects; it is a threat to human rights, particularly for us in the Pacific who contribute little to global emissions, yet are feeling its consequences first and hardest”, says Cook Islander Luana Bosanquet-Heays, who also attended the COP15 meeting last year.

Last year in Copenhagen, the Pacific was put in the international spotlight with our leaders speaking up about the injustices that are resulting from climate change. As there were no deals struck, global leaders need another reminder that climate change is happening and it’s affecting us now in Small Island and developing states.

“We are going to COP16 this year to help give Pacific Islands a voice. The Pacific people deserve to be heard at such important meetings that decide on which sustainability pathway the world should take. Last year proved that the presence of young, passionate, energetic Pacific Islanders was an asset to the conference. We again hope to provide both a strong and vocal presence of Pacific youth at the conference and support the understaffed Pacific Islands Government negotiators” says Krishneil Narayan, one of Fiji’s well known environmental youth leader.

These UN meetings are not only attended by Government negotiators but also by delegates from non-government and not-for-profit organizations the world over, including a large variety of international youth delegations like Project Survival Pacific. The conference provides a unique opportunity for Pacific Islanders to form new friendships and connections which help to make Pacific climate action projects more powerful in the future.

“It is a great opportunity to raise our concerns as all major economic superpowers will be getting together again to work on climate change. As a Pacific Islander, I am hoping that the outcome of this year's COP16 will be positive and our leaders to step up to take action in favor of us Pacific Islanders, many of whom are being compelled to leave their homes and livelihoods”, said 18 year old Romita Dutt from Fiji.

Project Survival Pacific is an Australian and Pacific youth led project formed for the purpose of increasing the capacity of Pacific delegations to have their say at international negotiations and to increase the voice of the Pacific on climate change.

ENDS

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