A total of 20 emerging youth artists, poets, and filmmakers from across the Blue Pacific have been recognised in creative competition documenting climate change and resilience.

Under the theme ‘Our Actions Now – Our Future, Our Resilience’, the youth-led competition attracted more than 75 entries across videos, poems, drawings and colouring categories.

Speaking during the award ceremony, drawing competition winner (6-10yrs) 9-year-old Aakarsheit Arvin Nath from Fiji, said he was very happy to be placed first in his category. “My message to everyone is to be part of the solution to address climate change,” he said.

The winner for the short video category, Humphrey Lalahu, 22, from Solomon Islands, shared his gratitude for the opportunity to showcase his short video on mangrove regeneration planting.

“I am very happy to be the winner of the short video entry category. As youths we should use our passion, talents and skills to help raise awareness about Climate Change and Disaster risk which are the biggest problem our generation is facing right now. We must act now, before we regret it.” Lalahu commented.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Henry Puna congratulated the winners on the creative range and quality of the entries received.

“Through this competition, we’ve been given an insight into your perspectives on the issues you have covered.

"We wanted to hear from and showcase our Pacific youth, and I want to thank each and every one of you for sharing your creative expressions on climate change and disasters, and your role in securing our resilient future.”

Special guest presenters announcing category winners at the live-streamed event echoed the sentiments of support for the diverse voices of Pacific youth and creative expression of their climate solutions.

In his remarks Australia High Commissioner to Fiji, HE. John Feakes congratulated the winners and emphasized that “younger generation are the key actors in bringing a resilient future. Young people today have a critical role in generating ideas and leading the actions that leads to the development of a resilient tomorrow.”

“I am really happy to see through this youth engagement, the voices of children and young people can be heard, and their artwork represent the strong will and resilience from the Pacific communities, said Mr. Gabor Sasvari, Programme Manager, Climate Change and Human Mobility, EU.

HE. George Edgar, British High Commissioner to Fiji said, “I’ve been very pleased to join the panel of judges for these competitions. It was a pleasure to see all the entries across the categories which shows fantastic range of talents, creativity, and passion about the issue that these entries portray. The short video entries bring out the reality of climate change means for the Pacific and what it means for young people in the region.”

The ‘Our Actions Now – Our Future, Our Resilience’ theme of the competition highlights the wish for a secure, resilient future, a key objective of the regional framework for climate change and disaster risk management in the Pacific.

The creative competition is an initiative of the Pacific Resilience Partnership (PRP) Youth Hub. It follows on from the 2019 Pacific Resilience Meeting (PRM) theme of Youth Futures in a Resilient Pacific and the 2021 PRM theme of Our people, Our journey: nurturing Pacific resilience from home.

The creative competition was a joint collaboration between the Pacific Resilience Partnership (PRP) Support Unit and the PRP Youth Hub, with funding support from the Australian Government, the European Union through the PACRES and the British High Commission in Suva.

Source: PIFS