The song ‘Beyond 2015’ composed, sung and performed in Kiribati, aims to tell the world through song and picture of the urgent need that Kiribati and world has to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goals replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ended with countries like Kiribati getting nowhere near achieving them.
In 2015, the countries of the world adopted this new set of goals to end poverty, and protect the planet. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.
These Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 goals for the whole world to achieve by 2030. Some say that we need to achieve them by 2025. Urging the importance of the goals, Ban Ki-moon, former United Nations Secretary-General, said: "We don’t have plan B because there is no planet B."
All of the SDGs are crucial for the planet and for Kiribati. Here are two examples that have particular relevance to Kiribati.
SDG Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all."
In watching the video of the song look out for the following
- Actions the I-Kiribati (people of Kiribati) are taking to achieve sustainable development and combat the effects of climate change
- The strong community and family bonds that enable I-Kiribati to be so resilient in the face of so many challenges
- The various different challenges that climate change is bringing and the challenges that it is exacerbating
Pelenise Alofa – a hero for our time
Pelenise Alofa who wrote the song ‘Beyond 2015’ is President of Kiribati Climate Action Network (KiriCAN). She is an experienced international advocate for the human rights of Australia’s island neighbours and was invited to speak at the High Level Segment of the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council Meeting in Geneva in 2015.
In addressing the Council, Pelenise said ‘All human rights are affected by Climate Change in the Pacific especially our right to life, livelihood, security, health, education, land, nationality, and employment.’
The Kiribati Climate Action Network (KiriCAN), is comprised of many youth and women’s groups in Kiribati. KiriCAN was originally organized by the Pacific Calling Partnership PCP based in Sydney, and they continue to be working partners today.
KiriCAN Youth have participated by doing Water Harvesting Awareness (rain water tanks and well management) programs and they visit outer islands to conduct Climate Change Awareness.
KiriCAN is determined to do their best to ensure that Kiribati achieves the SDGs. The Pacific Calling Partnership will play a role in their support. Contact the Pacific Calling Partnership if you wish to help too or to know more. www.erc.org.au/pcp
More Youtube links
- Pelenise addresses Pasifika festival in NZ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRtgEJD8PGw
- Washington University student fellow Janice Cantieri examines the impact of rising sea levels and climate change on life in Kiribati, the first nation facing displacement due to global warming. http://pulitzercenter.org/projects/kiribati-tarawa-micronesia-gilbert-islands-climate-change-migration
Questions to reflect on
Question 1: What can a small nation like Kiribati do to combat climate change?
Question 2: What do you think might be the reasons KiriCAN finds value in working in partnership with an Australian organisation like PCP? What responsibility does Australia have to our low-lying island neighbours?
Question 3: If you were to give a talk on Water harvesting on a low lying Pacific Island what are the main points you would cover?
Question 4: What responsibilities does Australia to our low lying island neighbours in the Pacific?
Activity 1: The Kiribati people, government and development NGOs are working to improve sanitation methods yet Kiribati still has the highest infant mortality rate in the Pacific. From viewing the song ‘Beyond 2015’ and your own research describe some initiatives the people of Kiribati are taking to improve sanitation and water quality
Activity 2: The effects of climate change undermine many advances Kiribati and other low-lying island nations try to make to achieve the SDGs. Describe which climate change effects undermine SDG Goal 1: No Poverty. Describe some of the initiatives to combat poverty that you saw in the film.
Activity 3: Choose one of the human rights that Pelenise told the UN Human Rights Council are threatened by climate change and describe how climate change affects that right in island nations like Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands.
Activity 4: Prepare a short explanation of the importance of water in Kiribati. Explain how climate change has affected water supplies.
Activity 5: It is the responsibility of our governments, our organizations and our leaders to work to achieve the SDGs in Australia and in neighbouring island nations like Kiribati and Tuvalu. The ordinary person and the ordinary school student also have a role to play but what can it be? List 3-5 possible actions that the school community can do at home, at school and in the community to advance the following five SDGs.
Possible actions to help achieve Goal 1: No Poverty
|In the community
Possible actions to help achieve Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Possible actions to help achieve Goal 7: Affordable and Clean energy
|In the community
Possible actions to help achieve Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
|In the community
Possible actions to help achieve Goal 13: Climate Action
|In the community