Delegation Drafting Team on Kioa
On October 19, ICAAD joined the group of powerful Pacific civil society advocates to sign the historic Kioa Climate Emergency Declaration. Unlike similar declarations, delegations gathered together in one of the communities on the frontlines of the climate emergency, Kioa Island. Ten miles from Rabi Island, where Banabans were forcibly relocated in 1945, Kioa was purchased by Tuvaluans from the island of Vaitipu in 1947. As opposed to holding high level dialogue overseas, the Declaration brought the conversation to the community: in the village hall, evacuation center, and into the very homes of Kioans.
Over three days of deliberation, ICAAD assisted in the drafting of the Declaration which features the demands most pressing for frontline communities in the Pacific, including:
- Greater action on mitigation, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to align to the 1.5 degrees celsius temperature goal, to ensure survival of small island communities
- Urgent action on adaptation, including financing and support for community-led initiatives
- Urgent progress on the issue of Loss & Damage (L&D) including new and additional financing
- Ensure the just, dignified and safe movement of peoples, in the context of climate change
- Guaranteed access to finance, and the creation of more equitable finance arrangements, beginning with a review of regional and international financial architectures, with input from civil society organizations and other stakeholders
- Ocean policies that are compatible with climate goals
- Achieving intergenerational equity, ensuring we leave a better world for our descendants, by canceling climate debt and committing to a debt-free future.
Delegates from displaced communities including Rabi, Kioa, Cogea, and the Torres Strait Islands spoke of displacement and the need for “migration with dignity to be protected by law and promoted in policy.” For ICAAD’s Right to Life with Dignity project, the Declaration brings a sense of urgency to expanding legal protections at the international level. With the Rabi delegation, ICAAD’s Erin Thomas presented on the project as well as the continued work on Rabi.
COP27 and the Power of Collective Action
The Kioa Climate Emergency Declaration will be taken to COP27 in Egypt this November, to bring the demands from the frontlines to the international platform. Lawrence Nikotemo, Kioa Council Chairman, shared: “We now realize that we are not alone in this fight. After 75 years of being in Kioa, our commitments and strengths continue to grow because we know what it feels like to start with nothing in the land we now call home. The journey was not easy but today we have seen the fruit of our commitments. Our tears of resilience have brought us this far, political will and strong collective actions are needed to reverse the climate crisis. We have faith in the work of young people taking our stories to COP. This is a historic day for our people.”
Erin Thomas speaking alongside the Rabi Delegation