News & Politics
Ep. 233 “From the Front Line on Climate Change - Micronesia”
Ep. 233 “From the Front Line on Climate Change - Micronesia” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance from Alan Grossman) airs 1/15/16.
This episode presents voices from across Micronesia on climate change —— from the Global Climate March organized here in Guam to the participation of several from our region in the historic COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, November 30-December 12. For the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, a legally binding and universal agreement on climate was achieved. Although the Paris deal was stronger than many countries had hoped for just months previously, it fell short of the desires of many islands and vulnerable nations on the front line of climate change.
In the first half, we begin to the west in Micronesia with a clip of the official presentation at COP21 by Palau president Tommy Remengesau, Jr., a globally recognized leader in nature conservation and environmental sustainability, who emphasizes the importance of adaptation and partnerships (uploaded to YouTube by Bloomberg Philanthropies).
We then turn to Guam and the performance of the poem “Island Haze” by John ‘Meta’ Sarmiento, a Tiyan High School teacher and spoken word artist (uploaded to Youtube by Spoken Word for the World). In the interview which follows, he talks about his selection by the Global Call for Climate Change and his experience in Paris with other poets and activists. [For previous interviews with Sarmiento, go to Ep. 5 (2/19/10) “Re-claiming the Future of Guahan: A New Generation” and Ep. 151 (6/14/12) “Guam Filipinos in Support of Chamorro Self-Determination: The Twenty-Something Halo-Halo Generation”.]
This is followed by an interview with Joni Kerr, one of the key organizers for the Guam march on November 28, part of a global action organized on the eve of the Paris summit. Kerr is a science teacher at Guam Community College (GCC) and faculty advisor for the EcoWarriors, a student environmental organization.
In the second half, we hear from those to the east in Micronesia, in the Marshall Islands, where the youth are also becoming involved in advocacy for environmental and climate justice. We present a YouTube clip of several young members of the Marshall Islands delegation to COP21— Alson Kelen, Al Alik, Milan Loeak and Broderick Menke, who talk about the changes they have witnessed over the past ten years and what it means to be on the front line.
This is followed by a Democracy Now clip of Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner at a fossil fuel divestment rally at COP21 where she performs the poem, “Tell Them”. Kathy is a writer, journalist, educator, environmental activist, and spoken word artist who has become a prominent global figure in the struggle of the people of the Marshall Islands for environmental and climate justice. [For previous interviews with Jetnil-Kijiner, go to: Ep. 177 (2/28/14) “Nuclear Remembrance Day- Remember, Recommit, Resist” and Ep. 203 (10/10/14) “Marshallese Poet Speaks To World Leaders at U.N. Climate Summit”.
We conclude with a Youtube clip of Selina Leem, an 18 year old Marshall Islander, who speaks about her anxieties and hope for the future of her nation during the closing plenary of COP21. She is introduced by the Marshall Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tony deBrum.
Suggestions for future topics and guests, or requests to be removed or added to this list, may be sent to email@example.com or call 671-734-8930.
Thank you for listening to and supporting public radio --- and for promoting Beyond the Fence, locally and abroad.
It is Free