Mindfood Sunday 12 Jul 2009
“I get really upset over situations that are morally unjust. Pacific Islanders have hardly contributed to climate change, and yet are bearing the brunt of the problem, ” said Ms Castle-Hughes.
The New Zealand actress, who rose to fame at the age of eleven as the lead character Paikea in the film `Whale Rider’, said she has always had a strong interest in the Pacific. Growing up, Ms Castle-Hughes’ mother was keen for her to learn about the region.
Ms Castle-Hughes is joining the Greenpeace ship, Esperanza, as it visits Rarotonga and Aitutaki to highlight the impacts of climate change. She has already participated in a well attended open boat day, and met with the Cook Islands prime minister and other dignitaries.
Aitutaki is one of many small islands in the Pacific already bearing the brunt of climate change. Impacts include rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, changing weather patterns, and threats to food security due to ocean acidification and salination of soil.
Warmer temperatures are also bleaching Aitutaki’s coral reefs, a prime tourist attraction. Castle-Hughes will meet with tourism officials in Aitutaki to discuss what needs to be done to ensure climate impacts don’t destroy this crucial industry.
“The cavalier attitude of the Australian Government in blocking international moves towards climate justice will deny our Pacific neighbours their livelihoods, homes and cultures. Developed nations need to chose between propping up massive international polluters or supporting our Pacific neighbours,” said Greenpeace Climate Campaigner Trish Harrup.
Earlier this year the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), which includes 19 Pacific island countries, called on industrialised nations as a group to commit to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40% over the next decade.
KIWI READERS . plese sign on to encourge our govt to do the right thing re climate change http://www.signon.org.nz/join-me/7778677c