Polynesia youth to attend climate change conference in Apia, Samoa

Aug 23, 2015

Youth participants from Tokelau during consultations pre conference in Apia. Photo credit: UNDP GEF-SGP

With the theme #MyClimateActionStory, the conference will be the first time for young people from Niue, Cook Islands, Tokelau and Samoa to come together for action-orientated dialogues and activities with the following three objectives:

•  To provide opportunity to discuss openly and analyze critically specific climate change-driven challenges experienced by young people;

•  To learn from other young people and identify opportunities to connect with their work;

•  To develop country and sub-regional action plans which will result in innovative and replicable solutions for youth, climate change and employment opportunities in the green economy.

This event will launch the South-South Youth Sub-regional Initiative on Climate Change, which will have an initial timeframe of 12 months from August 2015 to August 2016.

The initiative will reaffirm and support the Polynesia Against Climate Threats (P.A.C.T) Declaration signed on 16 July 2015, by the Polynesian leaders including the Prime Minister of Samoa, the Prime Minister of Cook Islands, the Ulu o Tokelau and the Premier of Niue.

A youth declaration on climate change, which will aim to facilitate cooperation with the Pacific leaders in actions against climate threats will be one of the outcomes of this conference.

Youth participants will also be joining the Pole to Paris campaign run together with other participating schools in Apia on the last day of the conference in support of the two young people that have chosen to take a message to COP21 by biking and running from the north and south poles respectively.

The conference is organized by UNDP GEF-Small Grants Programme in cooperation with Pole to Paris and supported by Australian Aid and Digicel Samoa.

Lizbeth Cullity, UN Resident Coordinator / UNDP Resident Representative at the UNDP Multi- Country Office had this to say – “Youth, through social media and networking such as 350.org and Pole to Paris, are at the forefront of raising visibility of our climate change threats.  What is less evident are the initiatives that many Pacific youth have led to raise awareness and actively engage with their communities to adapt and mitigate against the effects of climate change. This conference provides a fantastic opportunity for around 40 youth from Tokelau, Niue, Samoa and Cook Islands to collectively make their contribution and actions much more visible with the aim of inspiring other Pacific youth to do similarly. We urge Pacific leaders to continue supporting the voices and messages of youth in national, regional and international climate change negotiations.”

The press is invited to the opening and closing ceremonies of the South-South Youth Sub-regional Initiative on Climate Change. 

Contact information

Ofusina Ieremia  ofusina.ieremia@undp.org

Whelma Villar-Kennedy whelma.villar-kennedy@undp.org

Office landline: +685 21393

Mobile: +685 7521393 or 7204836

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