By Brianna Fruean
I grew up on old stories of life in Samoa as told by my grandfather. He narrated beautiful stories of fishing adventures he and his brother would go on in our family village, Faleula.
Fishing was a part of his life as a Samoan, and something he would later share with my father and uncles. My grandfather’s love for the ocean and what it provides was something my father passed onto me. Sunday mornings at the fish market was our ritual.
Years ago, as a little girl I would love the abundance of variety and colour that the Pacific Ocean had to provide. The display of the ocean as if it was plucked straight from Tagaloa’s hook to be displayed before my very eyes. As I grew older I started to see a change in that variety, a change in colour and a change in sea life.
Climate change and its effect are becoming clearer in the eyes of those living in Pacific. The stress of the rising ocean temperatures is killing our sea life and it is seen in our fish stock. Changes in weather patterns are affecting our plantations and threatening our food security.
Our farmers can’t be certain of their yields anymore, not knowing if there is a flood or drought around the corner. Sea level rising has turned our beautiful ocean that we were taught by our ancestors to love, into something we should now fear. There are lava fields in Savaii rapidly being engulfed by the sea.
In Fagamalo to date, approximately 50 meters of the coastline have been eroded by cyclones and subsequent strong wave surges. Our islands are in the eye of the storm.
Climate change is our reality, it is happening now and it is happening fast. The climate crisis is something we can’t stay quiet about. It threatens our very livelihoods and is very much our business!
I am passionate about raising my voice and fighting for climate justice because one day when I have children of my own, I don't want to just tell them stories, I want to show them the paradise that my grandfather spoke of.
Join Brianna & the 350 Pacific Climate Warriors and #HaveYourSei - click on link below