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"Our hopelessness is their power!" - Key takeaways from the Caritas Oceania Youth Forum

I've been fortunate enough to take part in the Laudato Si Youth Forum run by Caritas Oceania these past few days. Its been full of amazing and totally empowering stories, plenty of important climate convos and lots of calls to action.

I've been left so incredibly full of hope and love from my South Pacific brothers and sisters, with a strong sense that the future is good with our generation of activists, conservationists and leaders. Thought I'd share some key takeaways from this inspiring forum!


- we MUST find a way to use earth without abusing it

- it's not about focusing on what we DO take, but what we DON'T take

- as humans, we are not "lords" or "masters" over creation

- we must use our power for the good, our actions are shaping the living world

- empathy is crucial in the fight for climate action. we must FEEL what earth is going through, HEAR from real people how this is affecting their lives. EMPATHY = PASSION = ACTION

- connecting with animals is a universal way to feel a deeper closeness with the natural world, understanding our level of interconnectedness

- we gotta accept that there's things we can control, but there's also things we can't control

- our consumption, especially here in Australia, is a leading cause of environmental degradation. we need to ask ourselves "where did this come from?", "do we really need it?", "

- "people destroying the planet benefit from you not doing anything. our hopelessness is their power" - Okalani Mariner

- storytelling is so fundamental for advocating for climate justice (this is how knowledge is shared in the South Pacific)

- while 'climate change' can be a very taboo topic, talking about food security is a good way of sparking the climate convo as its universally something that affects us all

- climate justice CANNOT be addressed without addressing social justice (no justice issue can be addressed in isolation)

- climate change is sometimes ignored because its painful, but it simply cannot go unnoticed any longer...human lives are at risk

- we need to come together in solidarity for any chance at fighting these big, powerful companies + Governments

- water and land form the climate, they are interwined, we need both to survive and thrive

biggest issues for the south pacific

(this region is bearing the brunt of the climate crisis!)

- mining (big issues when locals are rammed off their own land)

- logging, deforestation

- contamination + pollution of our oceans and water sources

- sea level rise

- biodiversity loss

- deep sea mining

- increased rate of natural disasters (storms, landslides, droughts)

- lack of participation and care (this means cultures are actually losing the knowledge of how to care for their lands because their is no one to pass it down to)


- running community events that bring people together + start the conversation (beach or forest cleanups, tree planting events, eco-ed campaigns)

- building an alliance of activists and grassroots projects across Oceania

- dialogue (creating a space for meaningful conversations with the community)

- networking (sharing our experiences, listening to concerns of the most vulnerable, addressing world leaders at global conferences)

- receiving free eco-leader training + having my messages sent to COP27 through Climate Reality Project

- prioritise education, its the key to changing the world. if people understand the issues, they are able to come up with their own solutions

- Ecological conversions! getting people outdoors, running eco camps like "Korero o Te Orau" to help youth fall in love with the environment coz "we protect what we love" :)

- get the youth involved - they're the people who'll deal with a lifetime of climate crisis

Learn more about Caritas Oceania's by joining the youth alliance here

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