Siosinamele Lui is the Climate Traditional Knowledge Officer based at Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. She has spent a decade working for the Samoa Meteorological Service, in particular the Geoscience and Oceans observations before working at S.P.R.E.P. In this article she explains the role of traditional knowledge in Pacific meteorology, and how it aids a creating responses to climate change and natural disaster. Photo credit: S.P.R.E.P.
One of the beloved core leaders of the 350 Pacific climate movement, Koreti Tiumalu, has passed away after a long battle with cancer. This 350 Pacific video pays tribute to the Samoan sister who coordinated the Pacific chapter of 350.org. As a staunch defender of Indigenous land rights, climate change and water sanctity, Tiumalu was instrumental in the recent #RAISEAPADDLE trip of a group of Pacific Islander activists to the Canadian Tar Sands. In this video, Tiumalu organised a flotilla of paddlers to protest President Trudeau’s support of the fossil fuel industry and stand in solidarity with the local Aboriginal populations. Photo credit: 350.org
Anama Solofa represents the growing number of Pacific Island women making waves in both our oceans and in policy spaces dedicated to championing the sustainable and equitable use of this precious natural resource under threat. A Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship program recipient, Anama is studying for her Master’s degree in Marine Policy. Having worked at Samoa’s Ministry of Fisheries in and at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.), she is a fierce advocate for ocean conservation. Solofa also knows first-hand the difficulties in working in policy, a male-dominated field, in addition to the inter-generational issues that young women working in the field face. Photo credit: Samoa Observer
Dr. Tuifasa’a Aimosa is an oceanographer and Dean of the Faculty of Science at the National University of Samoa. Her academic research primarily explores ocean acidification and its impacts on marine life. She credits her interest in science to excellent teachers, even as she often found herself in her post-grad years as the only female student from the Pacific Islands studying marine science and oceanography. Dr. Tuifuisa’a is cognizant of the fact that hers is a male-dominated field, using her role as Dean to mentor young female students in the field, and hopes for more support networks for female scientists.Photo credit: Samoa Observer
Fealofani Bruun is making history as captain of a Gaualofa, a traditional Samoan double-hull voyaging canoe. She trains crew members and steers the canoe, whose voyages have not been seen in Samoa for over 100 years. For Samoans, the traditional voyaging canoe holds a lot of knowledge about not only navigation, the ocean and the stars, but also traditional Samoan culture and values. For Fealofani, this cultural revival has opened her up to the ways in which equality and equity are embedded within the ‘canoe culture’, as well as how to use traditional Samoan knowledge to protect the oceans in the face of climate change. She calls for the recruitment of more young girls and women to the fight. Photo credit: Charles Netzler
Brianna, a young woman from Samoa, become a founding member of the grassroots climate change movement 350 at the age of 11. At the age of 14, she became pacific youth ambassador and attended the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil. At the age of 16, she became the youngest winner of Commonwealth Youth Award specifically in climate change. At 17, she became the Youth Ambassador of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme. She now speaks from her youth perspective in various environmental summits and conferences.
Samoan-American poet Terisa Tinei Siagatonu presented this brilliant poem about the intersectionality between climate justice, identity and colonialism from at the COP21 climate talks. She is part of Spoken Word for the World, an arts-based collective aimed at centering Indigenous female voices in the fight against climate change. Photo credit: Fast for Climate
Samoan-American Terisa Siagatonu has brought her stunning poem “Layers” to Paris COP21 to communicate the connections between environmental racism, social justice and climate change. She is part of the Spoken Word for the World crew, an arts-based collective aimed at centering Indigenous female voices in the fight against climate change. Photo credit: New Internationalist