“Young women are on the frontline on climate change. Their voices must be heard, especially for disaster preparedness” says Taimalelagi Ramona Tugaga of the YWCA of Samoa as the young women’s steering committee of the Shifting the Power Coalition prepares to host the regional training of trainers and regional consultation of the Pacific Young Women Responding to Climate Change project from November 24 – 26 across national hubs in Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, PNG and Vanuatu.
50 diverse young women from rural communities and young women-led and national disability networks will be participating in the training.
The project, supported by the DFAT funded Australia Pacific Climate Partnership (APCP), is developing a network of young women leaders to influence national and regional climate change policy and programmes:
“Our communities are facing huge challengers like relocation and trying to find places to plant pandanus. They are moving further out to sea and spending longer hours trying to catch fish. Our communities are now finding ways and learning to cope with the differences in weather patterns and disasters” says Lucille Chute a steering committee member from Fiji.
According to Vanessa Heleta, the Executive Director of the Tonga based Talitha Project the impact of climate change is being experienced through the lack of water and sanitation, displacement, migration as well as driving conflict over resources. It is also causing anxiety and distress.
In August, the virtual project inception workshop brought together 25 young women by the 7 implementation partners from Fiji, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and ActionAid Australia.
The Project aims to empower young women with leadership skills, technical information and provide access to decision making processes and networks so they can help transform problems caused by the climate crisis. The young women leaders with contribute to climate security solutions by being weather ready and climate smart.
The training programme will commence with APCP providing sessions on what it means to be “Climate Smart and Disaster Ready”, how to access and use weather and climate information to improve resilience. Participants from each country hub will also visit their National Meteorological office to see how National Meteorological Services (NMS) work and better understand the key weather and climate services and products produced.
These visits will ensure the young women are better informed about climate change science being produced in their own country and develop relationships with the NMS staff.