Bid to ignite new generation of climate leaders

YOUTH-centred activist network Pacific Island Represent is to host a series of workshops across the region to upskill and ignite young islanders to achieve climate justice and protect their futures against the worsening climate crisis.

The Greenpeace-backed group will host two free training sessions across Fiji and Vanuatu in early June alongside the global ‘Break Free’ movement, which supports communities pushing governments to break free from fossil fuels.

“PI Rep already has a growing following in the Pacific through social media. It offers a refreshing form of activism for us here in the Pacific,” said Greenpeace Head of Pacific Net, Matisse Walkden-Brown.

“Last year, two of our leaders, Samu Kuridrani and Alisi Nacewa went to COP23 and projected beautiful Pacific faces onto a German coal-fired plant, interviewed world leaders, and were witnesses in a Norwegian court case trying to stop the expansion of the oil industry.

“We don’t speak with political jargon, we keep it real and we turn the pressure up. Now PI Rep wants to continue sharing and gathering knowledge, not only to amplify the work already happening, but to encourage a new generation of Pacific activists to hold world and corporate leaders to account and fight for the best climate outcomes for our region and beyond.”

The workshops are open to anyone who expresses an interest in attending and will focus on the building blocks of how to run a successful campaign.

“Speaking truth to power can be daunting for people in the Pacific due to our humble nature,” Pacific Island Represent activist Samu Kuridrani said.

“But it is possible to strike a great balance and stay within the respectful boundaries of our cultures while also being comfortable taking centre stage, asking questions and seeking honesty. With the support of PI Rep, I was able to travel to Europe and try to provide an authentic Pacific voice within the global climate discussions that ultimately, make decisions about my life, your life, our children’s lives.

“PI Rep helped give me the tools to report back to my people, in ways that make sense. I now want to help other young people become leaders, so they can do the same for their communities. I am looking forward to meeting many new inspiring friends at the PI REP trainings in early June.”