Pacific Film Festival Targets Climate Change

19 September 2008 | News story

Suva – 17 September - The first ever Pacific Climate Change Film Festival is set to commence in Suva with an official launch on Monday 22 September followed by a two-day extravaganza of 17 films made by film-makers from 10 Pacific island nations. The Festival is the culmination of the Pacific Climate Change Film Project during which film-makers from a number of Pacific islands received training and guidance on developing films focused on climate change.

The films attempt to make sense of climate change and interpret scientific and technical information using Pacific-focused examples. The urgency to act is highlighted in all the films, which offer an alternative medium through which to build societal conscience in the Pacific and globally. 

“Climate change is perhaps the most pressing social, environmental and economic issue of our time,” says Taholo Kami, Director of the Oceania regional office for IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) in Suva. “The impacts of climate will be far-reaching, leaving no-one untouched, although there is little doubt that the poor and those living closest to nature will be affected first.”

Espen Ronneberg, Climate Change Advisor at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), says, “We hope films such as these will motivate citizens and governments alike to start taking climate change seriously and begin action to plan for and deal with climatic change in the region.”

“We have to be pre-emptive if we are to deal with change successfully,” he says. “Planning, risk reduction and risk management are key to the idea of successful adaptation.”

Ronneberg adds however, that adapting to climate change is only a part of the solution and that a global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (mainly carbon dioxide) is needed to slow down the rate of climate change and secure the planet’s future.

The 17 films, featuring anecdotes from around the region, will be screened on 23 and 24 September at the Fiji Institute of Technology’s Raiwai Campus in Suva Fiji.
 

The Pacific Climate Change Film Festival is being jointly hosted in Suva by IUCN and SPREP, with funding from the British High Commission, Suva.