Vanuatu is made up of 83 islands and is home to over 250,000 people. Since 2005, it has seen extreme weather events including tsunamis, cyclones and earthquakes. Climate Change impacts are evident, as the community has to constantly find ways to adapt to the ever-changing seasons for planting and harvesting our crops. The rapidly acidifying ocean makes us cautious of which seafood to eat, while building sea walls become a necessity to prevent the rising sea level from flooding our gardens or houses and drastically degrading what used to be the coastline.
The damage to our livelihood and the loss of it all is clear and unquestionable. While certain countries are burning fossil fuels for their economy, producing and manufacturing in factories, less developed countries are struggling from these impacts on our side of the world.
We plant trees to absorb the carbon dioxide in the air. Is that enough? We integrate local practices into adaptation measures. Can developed countries slow down? We advocate to protect our environment so that our future generations have that same freedom. Is the message loud and clear? We are trying everything we can.
My Pacific brother and sister countries, we share a precious connection to our resources – land and sea. They define who we are and take us back to our roots. While some of you are knee-deep already, others are on the verge of losing it all.
Although we are damaged and suffer loss beyond measure, out of the seven billion people on this planet, we have to start acting and taking ownership of this one place we all call home. Climate Justice is what we want. Everyone’s concern is what we need. Together we can protect our homes here on Earth. Without this planet, we would cease to exist. Is it worth it?
By: Litiana Carlo Kalsrap, Youth Leader, Vanuatu