The Pacific Voyage Media Team
21 October, Nagoya, Japan - The sound of the Cook Islands drum beats echoed around the Communication Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) side event when the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) showcased the Pacific Voyage at the CBD COP10 in Nagoya.
The crew of SPREP took participants through a 45 minute journey on the Pacific va’a (voyaging canoe) to highlight the uniqueness of the Pacific islands and the importance of CEPA’s role in advocating for better and sustainable use of island biodiversity.
Ms Seema Deo, SPREP’s Education and Social Communications Adviser, guided the va’a through the event and, along with crew member, Ms Nanette Woonton, were instrumental in the Pacific Biodiversity Challenge, an interactive fun game designed to get the audience know facts about the Pacific.
Ms Deo, in her presentation, highlighted the role of SPREP in the Pacific.
She said one of SPREP’s functions was to provide training and communication advice and support to Pacific island countries and territories. She also noted the use of interactive games, vibrant music and drama to raise awareness in the islands region.
|SPREP's Dr Posa Skelton wins the challenge!|
An example from the Cook Islands during the Year of Biodiversity was highlighted as an example. The Cook Islands Biodiversity Challenge, similar to the popular TV series “The Amazing Race” was developed as a communication tool that was something both enjoyable and encouraged team building.
She said at the same time they would learn about conserving the environment.
One enthusiastic voyager, Ambassador Amados Tolentino Jr, a former Ambassador to Papua New Guinea and the current Executive Governor for the International Council of Environmental Law, said the voyage felt like he had revisited the Pacific again.
|Ambassador Amados Tolentino Jr also wins a prize|
He said he was familiar with the Pacific but had not been there for a long time.
It was certainly a voyage worth experiencing as participants went out for the challenge around the Nagoya Conference Centre looking for clues and objects related to the Pacific.