“Pacific Island youths should have a vision to stand up and act on issues that affect island biodiversity.”
The comment was made by 22 year old Tongan voyager, Taviti Fisi’italia.
Tongan voyager, Taviti Fisi’italia
Mr Fisi’italia is among a strong international youth forum, Go 4 BioDiv, keen to have their voices heard at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya.
At a side event marked by quizzes, fun games and presentations on their natural heritage, this group of young people from all over the world stated strongly that each unique biodiversity is interconnected. They stated that we belong in a global community and that its time we start taking care of our natural heritage together.
For Mr Fisi’italia, the issue of climate change destroying their island biodiversity is very important and real.
He said Tonga’s historical lapita pottery sites situated on every coastline in every island that make up Tonga may not exist anymore because of rising sea levels.
“This site not has archaeological value, it is also valuable biodiversity to the island communities,” he said adding that Pacific Islanders should have a vision to stand up and act, not to wait for others to tell us what to do.
Mr Fisi’italia is an environment coordinator for the Tongan Youth Congress for the outer islands. Some of the environmental campaigns that he has been coordinating; are once every month they pick rubbishes along Tonga’s mainland coastlines and replant trees and mangroves to protect villages from threats caused by the sea. He is also an active member of the 350.org.
The Youth Forum Go4BioDiv, which takes place parallel to CBD COP10, is aimed at raising awareness about the inter-dependence of biological and cultural diversity and inter-generational responsibilities for the conservation of our global treasures. It offers young participants the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and exchange views on natural World Heritage sites as the emblematic and visible flag-ship of nature conservation and the effects climate change has on these sites.