The secrets to climate change resilience is all around us, but often they go unrecognised, and so are not used.
This was one of the messages relayed to delegates at the Pacific Resilience Meeting currently underway at the University of the South Pacific in Suva.
The i-Taukei Affairs Board’s Principal Administrator for Language, Simione Sevudredre used the example of the i-Taukei phrase, “Tu na inima luvu na waqa” which translates as “the boat sank despite having bailers,” to illustrate his point.
He says Pacific Islanders should be exploring the past to respond to climate change.
“It is about time we look back, reconnect and work towards utilising our traditional cultural practices because the resources are there, but we do not use it. It is right there in front of us, but it is not being used,” Sevudredre said.
Red Cross humanitarian Sylvia Elias, from the Federated States of Micronesia, told delegates that Pacific Islanders need to take action rather than just sitting back and pitying future generations.
“We should be focussed on doing what we can do now, work on the things that we can change. I do not want to feel sorry for my nieces and nephews and the future generations if I am not doing anything about it,” Elias said.
She said too much time has been wasted by people complaining about things that could not be changed, and that they should be focussed on what is needed now and can be done.
For her, there are only three ingredients in the recipe for resilience; integrity, commitment and action.
“Working without integrity is working without meaning.
The Pacific Resilience Meeting concludes on Friday and has brought together people from across the region to discuss climate change and disaster resilience.