Environment, News, Pacific

Pacific environment focus of symposium

HPF’s Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi joined a panel of speakers, who are passionate and committed to helping Pacific people combat climate change, at the Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) Pacific Week Symposium on Environment and Sustainability at Auckland Hospital yesterday. (Monday, October 7).

Mr Tu’itahi whose speech was entitled Moana Ola, Fonua Ola, Healthy People, Healthy Environment discussed how Pacific Indigenous knowledge could contribute to addressing the political, socio-economic and ecological determinants of our health and wellbeing.

He looked at the Pacific Conceptual Frameworks of Moana Ola and Fonua Ola, planetary wellbeing and indigenous knowledge and what we can do together to tackle the global challenges that humanity now faces.

Other speakers who are doing some amazing work for Pacific Island communities were:

  • Phil Somerville, EatLessPlastic, CEO shared his research, learnings and insights on plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean and environmental impact on Pacific communities.
  • Mary Curnow, Director Fundraising and Business Development, Volunteer Service Abroad who spoke on “Volunteers, Climate Change & Health: Building capacity across the Pacific”. 
  • Kevin Hague, CEO, Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc. addressed “Hope in the Face of Calamity: charting a positive course through climate change and the 6th mass extinction”.

The ADHB’s sustainability work extends beyond the Auckland catchment working the Pacific Island health teams to help prepare for climate change for the vulnerable communities in the Pacific region.  Pacific Island nations account for emitting less than 1% of greenhouse gases but are among the most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, especially sea level rise.