By Carolyn Kitione, a journalism student from USP
Pacific Nature Conference Closing Bulletin 2013, Suva Fiji - In an effort to engage more young people to get interested in environmental issues, the Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International used culture and showcased traditional chants and dances.
About 50 people gathered at the Japan-Pacific ICT Auditorium at the University of the South Pacific for a special night to witness the power of traditional chants and dances organised by FSPI during the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas.
The production with the theme 'May it not be just a memory' had lead performers from the Conservatorium of Music, a music and creative dance school in Suva, who dazzled the crowd with heart-pumping traditional dance and chants.
Programme coordinator Mr. George Nacewa said the whole production was targeted specifically at youths, who he said needed to acknowledge the messages in their oral histories and that it was relevant in the Pacific.
"Most of the people here tonight are young people and it's always good to portray culture.
"Even if it's generations old, it's still fresh and young people can relate to it," he said.
Backed by the Oceania Dance Group and singer Ilisavani Cava, the production exposed talents, portraying the contributions their ancestors had made to protect their land and the sacredness of their environment.
Carolyn Kitione is a member of the Media Team providing coverage of the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas from 2 to 6 December in Suva, Fiji. This is a partnership between the Fiji National University (FNU), University of the South Pacific (USP), SPREP and Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) whereby a team of 10 journalism students are mentored by senior reporters as they cover the conference. This activity is funded by the Pacific Assistance Media Scheme (PACMAS).