The National, Wednesday 29th August, 2012
AN expedition around the Pacific by a group of people will be launched in Lorengau, Manus, today.
The Climate Challenger voyage will be attempted using a traditional outrigger sailing canoe under the theme “voyaging around the Pacific connecting culture, conservation and climate change”.
The launch will be held at Lorengau’s NBC beachfront, with a clean-up exercise in the small island town after the celebrations.
The 45ft mv Climate Challenger will sail to outer islands of Manus to receive their final blessings from their families as well as seek spiritual guidance.
“We will travel to Pere tomorrow and then to Baluan on Friday for our final initiation to receive our last blessings from chiefs, our aunties, families and pay our respect to the founder of our faith for spiritually guidance,” Challenger captain and team leader Manuai Matawai said.
The nine-member crew of local navigators, dancers, musicians and skilled-Manusians will journey across the Pacific to;
l Advocate and raise awareness on the impacts of climate change, the impacts this is having on Pacific island countries and local ways of addressing this;
l Reconnect Pacific islanders to important cultural practices such as traditional navigation
l Use drama, video, social media and contemporary music to raise awareness and demonstrate the links between culture and the environment (conservation).
l To share climate change adaptation practices through demonstration of dry stone walling, mangrove planting, herbal medication and advocate on clean ocean through clean-up of beaches and water fronts.
l To connect the Lost Titan Tribe on Yap Island.
l Build sustainable financing for this work.
The crew comprises of seven young men from Pere Island including Matawai and two from Baluan Island.
Countries intended to visit will be Solomon Islands, Kiribati (Tarawa), Marshall (Majuro/Namdrik), Pohnpei, Puluwat, Sorol, Yap, Palau then to Aua/Wuvulu, Nigoherm (Manus) then to Manus.