A group of young leaders from Kiribati and Tuvalu are participating in the Kiribati-Australia-Tuvalu Exchange Program (KATEP) which runs from 24 April to Sunday 14 May.
While in Sydney, Participants will meet with Australian politicians, union representatives, schools and community groups to encourage them to support strong, effective and urgent action to address climate change.
Participants have visited Newcastle to see first-hand a mix of renewable and traditional energy suppliersincluding: Centennial Coal, a coal loader and port; the CSIRO Energy Centre with its solar field and energy research hub, the Awaba Waste Management Facility and Eraring Power Station.
The Pacific Calling Partnership launchedKATEP in 2014 to develop the advocacy skills of emerging young leaders in Kiribati and Tuvalu.
Kiribati and Tuvalu face serious threats from climate change: rising sea levels, drought, coastal erosion, contamination of underground water and an increase inwater borne diseases such as dengue fever.
KATEP is coordinated by the Pacific Calling Partnership with the Edmund Rice Centre, the Kiribati Climate Action Network (KiriCAN) and the Tuvalu Climate Action Network (TuCAN).
Aso Ioapo is from Funafuti, Tuvalu. He is the Program Officer for Peace and Justice with the Congregational Church of Tuvalu: “Climate change is a justice issue so it is within my portfolio. This is a great opportunity to learn more about advocacy and to share my experiences of climate change as someone who grew up in the Pacific Islands.”
Erietera Aram is from Tarawa, Kiribati. He is a volunteer coordinator for the International Coastal Cleanup in Tarawa, Kiribati and has a certificate in Ocean Resources Management. He hopes theKATEP program will help him to do more for “this country I love so much.”
Saineta Sioni is from Funafuti, Tuvalu and studying computer science. In 2016 Saineta was an intern with the Tuvaluan government’s Climate Change Policy and Disaster Coordination Unit so she has an intimate understanding of climate change damage inflicted on her small nation by cyclones.
Mangila Kilifi is from Kiribati. She is in the second year of study for a Bachelor of Commerce in Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of the South Pacific in South Tarawa and wants to improve her “skills and knowledge and develop the experience and confidence for advocacy and leadership.”
This year's KATEP participants are available for interview.
Media contact: Dominc Ofner 0407 678 564