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Climate Leadership in the Pacific

The Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) was established by the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education in 2006 in recognition of the negative impacts climate change was having on the peoples of Kiribati, Tuvalu and islands of the Torres Strait.

The PCP is committed to listening to what Pacific Islanders are saying about imminent threats to their way of life and helping to promote this important message in Australia and internationally. Its purpose is to help empower Pacific Islander individuals and communities through leadership training and mentoring, community awareness raising, and advocacy.

In all its work, the Pacific Calling Partnership strives to:

  • Listen to the experiences of Pacific Islander communities regarding climate change.

  • Work in partnership with Pacific Islander communities to advocate for effective solutions to climate change and build resilience in the face of the challenges that climate change is creating.

  • Provide opportunities for Pacific Islanders to tell their stories and help others understand the impacts of climate change on their homelands.

In April, the PCP launched the 2021 Australian Pasifika Climate Leadership Program. The program was designed specifically designed for members of the Pacific Islander community residing in Western Sydney. In April, 13 participants started the program with two days of intense training. After the two days, they chose an advocacy project to progress over the following six weeks and presented their project to fellow learners and supporters prior to graduating and celebrating Pacific style on 19 June 2021.

Participants of the Leadership Program

The participants were mentored by the PCP to produce their diverse and inspiring advocacy projects. Six of the participants chose to write letters to NSW and Federal MPs.

One writer, Tosy, was particularly impacted by the experience. “To my surprise, the resources are already there in me without knowing it. All I need to talk about is my experience: my island, my hope, my fears, what I have seen and experienced that has affected Kiribati people from climate change.” said Tosy.

One participant, Lucy, wrote a book of original Pasifika-inspired poetry that highlighted climate change-related issues. Participants Maneapa and Ralph produced and sold T-Shirts that initiate and inspire conversations related to climate action.

Other outcomes made by participants included:

  • Smita undertaking a social media campaign

  • Gordon doing an interview with ABC Pacific Beat

  • Ross engaging 12 Pacific Islander families in a self-designed household “green” audit

  • Oiner, Greg, Epenesa and Makerita working together to prepare a speech and traditional dance to be delivered to Pacific Island communities, especially at Samoan events, as well as to politicians or other people of influence

Learn more about the work of the PCP here. You can also read the full summary of outcomes from the 2021 Australian Pasifika Climate Leadership Program here. Edmund Rice Community Services is proud to include the work of the Pacific Calling Partnership in making a sustainable change with communities.


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