In 2006, in response to the Elders’ request for action against climate change, Ursula Rakova created the non-governmental organization Tulele Peisa, which means “Sailing in the wind on our own.” Ursula then became Executive Director of the organization, as well as an innovator in the field of law for environmental land defenders. Her work includes the first successful lawsuit in the country where traditional landowners saw their rights recognized in counterpoint to the action of logging companies. More recently she has campaigned for access to education and in the launch of Bougainville Cocoa Net Limited, an organization that helps individuals increase their income. Photo credit: Tulele Peisa
In this video, artist Taloi Havini from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea speaks about growing up in Bougainville during the 1988-1998 conflict between Papua New Guinea and Bougainville. She explains how the war was triggered by outside interest in copper mining, and tells stories about how the women of Bougainville engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience to protect their traditional, matrilineal lands from mining. Her artwork explores the ongoing repercussions, human and environmental, of the conflict. Photo credit: Taloi Havini
Barrick Gold, the Canadian mining giant and the world’s largest gold producer, is infamous for human rights abuses and ecocide. Nearly 120 sexual assault survivors from Papua New Guinea have taken their case to the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, demanding justice for the sexual and domestic violence that they and many more have faced over the years at the hands of mine security personnel working at Barrick Gold’s Porgera mine.
Ursula Rakova is the director of Tulele Peisa, the Carteret Islands relocation program in Bougainville. Pais Taehu is the coalition chairman of the Atolls Temarai. The two set out on an Australian speaking tour to raise awareness for the plight of their people, the world’s first climate refugees. Despite their efforts in helping their communities relocate, the international community has failed them. The seas will not stop wreaking havoc on their homeland and shorelines, so according to Rakova, the relocation process needs to be accelerated. Photo credit: Tulele Peisa
Ursula Rakova, founder of Tulele Peisa, an NGO that assists Carteret Islands climate refugees with relocation, shares her insights on the push factors causing the islanders to move. She also describes the effects of sea surges and storms on their livelihoods. Photo credit: 350.org
Ursula Rakova, founder of Tulele Peisa, recalls her experience of the biggest king tide on the Carteret Islands and its devastating impacts on the surrounding environment, including food gardens. Photo credit: 350.org
Martha was born and raised in the Carteret Islands. Growing up, conditions on the island were stable. Now, the Carteret of her childhood is no more. Many of the islands are submerged under water and she worries for the future of her grandchildren. Her only hope is relocation. Photo credit: 350.org
The Barrick Gold Corporation, a Canadian-based gold mining company, agreed to pay compensation to a group of local Enga women and girls, some as young as 14, after they spoke out about rape and assault by police and security staff at the company's mines in Papua New Guinea. EarthRights International defending the women in United States court and secured reparations, while supporting women to make their stories public. Photo credits: Borja Sanchez-Trillo/ Getty Images
In the Carteret Islands, women are traditional inheritors of the land. As her island’s shorelines were eroding and the crops disappearing fast, woman leader Ursula Rakova had to act promptly to save her land, people and cultural identity. She founded Tulele Peisa, and with a grant from Global Greengrants she was able to develop a staged relocation program for the Carteret people. Photo credit: Global Greengrants Fund
As rising sea levels threaten livelihoods on the island of Manus, local women have taken matters into their own hands and formed the Women in Conservation (WIC) group to fight for the environment and food security. Their activities, including mangrove rehabilitation and backyard/atoll farming, help women cope with the effects of climate change on food production. Image credit: Climate & Community
An Indigenous member of the Carteret Islands in the Southwestern Pacific, Ursula Rakova works as the Executive Director of Tulele Peisa ("Sailing the waves on our own") in Papua New Guinea, relocating the entire island community of the Carterets to the nearby mainland of Bougainville because of the severe impacts of climate change. Following the call of her Elders, Ursula is telling the world what is happening to her island and her community because of climate change. Photo credit: Climate Wise Women
The women-led organisation Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) draws attention to the illegal land-grabbing for logging by the private sector in Papua New Guineau and advocates for strong public pressure to bring justice for landowners and communities.
Sea surges are submerging the Carteret Islands and destroying their agricultural products, but most importantly forcing the inhabitants to relocate to mainland Bougainville. Ursula Rakova tells her story of survival and the establishment of her organization Tulele Peisa, which facilitates the relocation process for her people whilst preserving their cultural identity. Photo credit: Oxfam New Zealand