A new platform to give world leaders a glimpse of the realities of climate-related issues in the Pacific has been launched at COP27 in Egypt.
Whatever comes out of the climate conference, as it heads into its second and final week, will have a significant impact on the way of life for Pacific peoples for years to come. This includes climate mobility for Pacific nations grappling with extreme climate-weather.
Pacific nations do not have the luxury of time, and preparations for relocation will soon begin, if not already. In order to hear the voices of its people before making policies that will impact generations, a platform called Frontline Truths aiming to tell Pacific stories was launched at COP27 on Friday local time.
350.org Asia Pacific communications manager Drue Slatter said movement and adaptation were rooted in the origins of Pacific people, but a new wave of movement brought about by the climate crisis was fast becoming a reality.
"The Frontline Truths platform is a collection of stories about climate mobility from around the Pacific. The stories collected in Frontline Truths are simply a collection of hopes, fears, lessons and the aspirations of our people when it comes to climate-induced movement or mobility.
"The reason it's so important, is because decisions are being made now, about the movement of our people, the documentation of our cultures and knowledge.
"Questions such as: what happens when people are forced to relocate? when entire cultures are moved? Do families stay together or are they separated? Does culture change depending on the land you're on?
"So, the importance of this platform is that any of these policies, frameworks, or decisions about the movement of our people, due to climate change, needs to be informed by the stories and the realities of people on the ground.
Far more than climate change
Pacific Climate Warriors group member Brianna Fruean said the platform expressed not only the physical challenges but the contributing impacts of the climate crisis.
"If you actually look into the stories, it doesn't just touch upon climate change but if you look between the lines, you could see some intersectionalities as well with the struggles of our people. For example, you would see some some nuances within our women's stories and see how climate change truly impacts the women of our region.
"So having these stories, uplifted them on a platform like Frontline Truths, where it becomes accessible to everyday people, and were able to actually take a step back from our busy lives and be reminded of what a huge crisis that is not only environmental, but is humanitarian, at its core."
Fruean said with negotiations happening at COP27 that would largely impact Pacific lives, this was the appropriate platform to launch Frontline Truths.
"It becomes a platform that lives on beyond COP, and it becomes a platform that an average person can access that won't be as intimidating as the documents that are drafted in negotiation rooms where they can connect on a human level to the stories, and maybe feel a little less intimidated to be a part of the climate conversations."