On the road to Paris #COP21 Isso Nihmei Climate Warrior Republic of Vanuatu


Where are you from, who are you representing, and why are you passionate about climate change in the Pacific?

Climate Change means struggle to my people in my country, Vanuatu and the rest of the pacific islands. I must admit that we are still recovering from the wounds left after Cyclone Pam six months ago and this why I am so passionate to support climate action for the pacific and the rest of the world. I am representing here the voices of the indigenous people from the republic of Vanuatu who spends every day of their life struggling to survive from serious consequences from the negative impacts of climate change.

What are you expecting from the climate change negotiations in Paris year?

I have high hope for a legally binding agreement and positive outcome from industrialize countries to reduce emission. 2 degrees of warming may not be enough for big countries but it means sinking most of our islands and we cannot allow this to happen and this is why going to Paris is a chance to make sure my expectation is successful and bring back a good message for my people.

How do you think people can best support the Pacific and our fight against climate change?

We need people from all around the world who believe that climate change is the biggest threat to our livelihood, food security and marine life. It is the people’s power of coming together and says less to talk negotiation, full action on climate change and demand bold political actions to address the climate crisis. Industrialize countries needs to commit to the type of future that we deserves for a sustainable and renewable economy. I am sure our homes and islands in the South Pacific will be safe from the devastation of climate change if people continue to commit and stand in solidarity to support our fight to make a change in this negotiation in Paris.

Any final words of encouragement and inspiration you would like to share, with pacific peoples facing the frontline impacts of climate change?

People around the world are inspired by your stories. Keep telling and sharing your story, they are listening and will hear your stories. Nelson Mandela once said ‘It is music that makes him at peace with the world’. Keep singing your songs of the realities of climate change. Your songs will be played in the other side of the world and they will love it and find you and once they find you they will help you.

Author: Te Wharepora Hou

Te Wharepora Hou is a collective of wāhine who are mainly Tāmaki Makaurau based, but we have strong participation from wāhine based elsewhere in Aotearoa and the world. We have come together to ensure a stronger voice for wāhine and are concerned primarily with the wellbeing of whānau, hapū, iwi and all that pertains to Papatūānuku and the sustenance of our people.

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