Join the journey to Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Fiji on the Rainbow Warrior
Meet the most powerful activists and social justice warriors in the world
by Shiva Gounden
3 July 2023
Halo, Talofa and Bula Vinaka This is how we welcome people into our Pasifika families in the beautiful islands of Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Fiji and it will be the welcome that will be provided to the Rainbow Warrior when she lands on the shores of the Pacific Islands next week.
© Greenpeace / Geoff Reid
The Rainbow Warrior will continue its journey to the Pacific — this time, in support of a groundbreaking Pasifika led legal campaign, taking climate harm to the world’s highest court, the International Court of Justice.
Join our campaign for an 8-week inspiring journey where you’ll meet and connect with the most powerful activists and social justice warriors in the world.
We will be collaborating with the most resilient human beings with connections to cultures deeply rooted in respect, trust and love spanning thousands of years. You can also follow our voyage through our interactive map below.
The beautiful Pacific nations are made up of over 7,500 islands across one quarter of the Earth in the largest ocean in the world. Our Pasifika ancestors were some of the greatest navigators using nothing but stars, planets and constellations. It was and is all about being one with everything around us and our connection with the Moana or Wasawasa – the ocean.
Greenpeace has a long and proud history of working alongside local communities to protect the oceans, lands, and people of the Pacific.
We will be travelling to Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Fiji to celebrate beautiful cultural traditions and document human rights stories from the impacts of climate change. These accounts will be included as part of the legal case at the International Court of Justice.
Stop One: Cairns
The Pacific Campaign Launch. ‘Mura Kalmel Sipa’: Together we stand.
In Cairns, the Rainbow Warrior welcomes First Nations leaders from the Guda Maluyligal in the Torres Strait, Uncle Paul and Uncle Pabai – plaintiffs in the Australian Climate Case who have taken the Australian government to court for failing to protect their island homes from climate change.
Uncle Paul and Uncle Pabai alongside other inspiring Australian climate litigants like Anjali Sharma will travel on the Rainbow Warrior to the Pacific in a show of solidarity with communities around the world taking action into their own hands after decades of government failure to act on climate change.
Stop Two: Port Vila, Vanuatu
“We can change the world if we change the law”.
Vanuatu is the most climate-vulnerable nation in the world and is also one of the most ambitious countries in tackling climate change.
Greenpeace is bringing climate litigants from around the world together in Port Vila, from Bonaire in the Caribbean to the Philippines and Australia in support of a historic legal climate campaign.
Born in Vanuatu, this ground-breaking legal campaign is taking climate justice to the world’s highest court – The International Court of Justice – in a case to protect the human rights of those most impacted by climate change and see legal consequences for big polluters.
Stop Three: Erromango, Vanuatu
Bearing witness to loss and damage
Erromango, a culturally rich island in Vanuatu, experienced severe damage from multiple cyclones, including a rare and devastating ‘double cyclone event’ this year.
Greenpeace will join the Erromango community to celebrate beautiful cultural traditions and document human rights stories of the impacts of climate change, encompassing the rights to life, health, food, water, sanitation, housing, self-determination, culture, and development.
These accounts will be included as part of the International Court of Justice submission process.
Stop Four: Funafuti, Tuvalu
Leadership and Solutions from the frontlines of the climate crisis
Tuvalu is an atoll nation with a population of approximately 11,000. Tuvalu’s land rarely exceeds 3m above sea level, making it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels.
Tuvalu also became famous as the first country in the world to create a digital replica of itself on the metaverse to preserve its culture in the face of climate loss.
Greenpeace will engage with climate leaders and highlight the resilience of Pacific communities who are at the forefront of addressing the climate crisis.
Greenpeace will offer action training on the Rainbow Warrior ship for local activists.
Stop Five: Suva, Fiji
Co-powering with communities in the region
Bula! Fiji holds significant diplomatic and economic ties with Australia. It faces severe impacts from intense cyclones, hurricanes, floods, droughts, and extreme temperatures, affecting both its GDP and community resilience.
The Rainbow Warrior’s return to the Pacific Islands is an opportunity to strengthen relationships with civil society, non-governmental organisations, and allies in the region. Greenpeace’s focus is to collaborate with communities, amplify the visions of climate justice activists, and foster discussion, talanoa, action, and friendship.
Suva, home to the University of the South Pacific, witnessed the birth of this groundbreaking legal campaign bringing climate change to the highest court in the world. To bring this full circle, Greenpeace will co-host a University open day with Pacific Island Students Fighting Climate Change (PISFCC), who played a vital role in the ICJAO campaign.
Stop Six: Kioa and Rabi, Fiji
Fiji, grappling with climate migration challenges of its own, is home to Kioa and Rabi islands, each with distinct narratives of relocated communities due to the impacts of climate change.
The Kioa community’s journey, initiated after World War II from Tuvalu’s Vaitupu Island, serves as a global inspiration.
Greenpeace will join leaders, civil society groups, climate impacted individuals, and climate organisations from across the Pacific on Kioa Island for discussions as part of the ongoing Kioa Climate Declaration.
This grassroots regional initiative places Pacific demands at the forefront of conversations surrounding Loss & Damage. The commitment to a Loss & Damage mechanism at COP27 ensures that funds from the most polluting countries are directed towards supporting developing nations disproportionately affected by the climate crisis.
Following this, the Rainbow Warrior will journey to neighbouring Rabi Island to commemorate World Indigenous People’s Day and stand in solidarity through a candlelit vigil, supporting global climate litigants making submissions to the International Court of Justice.
Stop Seven: Suva, Fiji
Rainbow Warrior says Sota Tale to the Pacific
Sota Tale, bye for now, to our Pacific friends, allies and leaders whose strength and leadership have inspired us so much during our Pacific tour.
This journey is an opportunity to strengthen relationships and collaborate with communities, amplifying the visions of climate justice activists, and foster discussion, talanoa, action, and friendship.
We will weave together stories from Pacific Island communities and share with the world the unique threats to culture that are being faced, but also the need for collective response on the journey towards climate justice.
Culture and cultural connection for our Pasifika people is what unites us. It’s what makes us different. It’s what defines us, it’s what breathes life or wairua (the spirit of the soul) into us. Our culture is our identity, our culture is our mana, our culture is a significant part of the tapa (fabric) of our lives.
It is about fighting for what is right and creating space for people who are at the front lines of the climate crisis with the most progressive of solutions.
I look forward to bringing you along on this journey merging the cultural pulse of the Pacific with the cultural pulse of Greenpeace itself. Forging a united path across islands and oceans. This journey is about listening, it’s about heart to heart healing. It’s about learning, growing and sharing solidarity with each other.
I started this blog with something that is severely threatened by climate change and something that we hold close to our beings – our languages stemming from our beautiful Vanua and fenua (land). I will end this email with the same. There is only one language when it comes to fighting for what is right – the language of the soul.
Tankyu Tumas, Fakafetai Lasi, Vinaka Vakalevu