For two weeks in November the world will come together to accelerate plans to avoid the irreversible impacts of climate change at COP26. Climate change presents one of the greatest existential challenges we must confront. After the Paris Agreement, countries committed to develop national plans that would further the goals of the Agreement and convene every five years to ensure its progress. Unfortunately, we can’t rely on sovereign states to achieve the lofty goals necessary to avoid the worst elements of climate change. Each individual and organization must take responsibility for stemming the tide of climate change, and protecting those who are and will be most impacted.
Here are a few ways we are seeking to elevate the voices of and to create systems to protect those most vulnerable to the current and future impacts of climate change:
Virtual Convening Series
This month, we were awarded $16,000 from the U.S. Consulate in New Zealand for the Right to Life with Dignity Climate Justice project. The grant will help us continue our virtual convening series with climate activists and share out the work next year. To date, we have hosted 14 virtual convenings with over 30 local and Indigenous climate advocates. Next year, we plan to host another 20 virtual convenings to connect with at least 50 additional climate advocates.
Roundtable Event with Robin Bronen
On November 5th, the Right to Life with Dignity Team will be consulting with Robin Bronen, a human rights lawyer working with displaced Alaskan Native communities. The roundtable event will cover some of the key outstanding questions the team has as we continue developing the legal standard and modeling pieces.
Banaba Project Underway
The Banaba Local Government and Civil Society Working Group has kicked off their series of community dialogue sessions around colonial displacement, statelessness, and the right to life with dignity. The team on Rabi Island will be gathering community members across each of the four villages as well as Village Chairpersons, the Rabi Council of Leaders, and Banaban elders. This work will be supported with pro bono legal research coordinated by the ICAAD team to better understand the legal ramifications of the displacement of Banabans from Banaba to Rabi Island in Fiji.
Climate Relocation and Human Rights in the Pacific Virtual Panel
The Team will be hosting a panel event with the U.S. Consulate in New Zealand and the Young Pacific Leaders Network on November 8th from 7-8:30pm (EST). The event will cover the latest developments in the Right to Life with Dignity project and insights from climate advocates we have been working with, including Rae Bainteiti who is leading the Banaba project. Watch via Zoom or join at an in-person watch party at any of the U.S. Embassies in the Pacific. Register here.