05th Nov 2017.
In the streets of Bonn City yesterday, DIVA for Equality Management Collective member Maria Nailevu from Fiji, and activists from Pacific Partnerships on Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (PPGCCSD), Pacific Climate Action Network (PICAN), Pacific Climate Warriors and the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) marched alongside 25,000 other climate justice activists from every region of the world.
They demand Climate Justice & call with determination and for an urgent, safe and just transition away from coal and fossil fuels, and toward low carbon economies!
Social movements are united in the cause to demand that Members States gathering in Bonn Germany for the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) urgently act to save the planet, making the changes both inter-governmentally, regionally and at national levels.
Maria reflected on her role in spaces like COP23, and trying to balance working on global advocacy with her personal passion for grassroots climate justice work with Pacific women in urban poor, rural and remote communities of Fiji and the Pacific, “Sometimes it is hard to be so far from home, and we are already tired from the local work. But we come because of how important it is to be at these high level platforms and amplify the direct voices of grassroots, indigenous and other marginalised people, communities and their issues. Their immense contributions as communities are always overlooked and unacknowledged. As much as direct representation is important, it’s also key that we are able to learn and share analysis and strategies with other women from the global South and take it for our own organising.”
Jenny Giva of PICAN who was part of the March, reflected that the “… march is important for the Pacific because it shows solidarity with those who are on the frontlines. And it gives us another platform to share our stories and share our messages of fighting for our survival”.
Amasai Jeke of Rainbow Pride Foundation and the Urgent Action Hub for Climate Justice, said, “As a young Transwoman from the global south I believe the global space is an important space to actually sit with policy makers and tell them our real life experience and also how important it is for us as small island development states to work in solidarity. We must hold this big countries accountable for their actions as what they do affects us in small islands and atolls….when doing this work it is also important that we take care of the body that is actually doing this work, and make sure we are not worn out.”
DIVA for Equality affirm that public social movement marches matter because they mark the public space. They show our claim as human rights holders. They show a commitment to witness, and to hold against any regression by Government, and to demand more until all are free, and the world is safe and just for all. The struggle is long. So is our commitment.
DIVA for Equality @ COP23
The team : Noelene Nabulivou, Maria Nailevu, Lagi Seru, Shirley Tagi (Non-travelling), Viva Tatawaqa (Non-travelling), Seriema Damuni (Non-travelling)
*Over 30 Pacific women climate activists (and numbers still being confirmed) are travelling to COP23 as part of diverse youth, LGBTI and women-led civil society groups and social movements, on Government delegations and with regional institutions.