Indigenous Climate-Affected Communities Using Film to Highlight Plight & Solutions

Local solutions on a sinking paradise, Carterets Islands, Papua New Guinea from UNUChannel on Vimeo.

We recently told readers about the world's first climate change refugees - the residents of Carteret Islands - who will soon see their small island home completely submerged by the rising sea's "king tides". Beginning in 2009, about two-thirds of the island's population will be relocated to a nearby Papua New Guinean island. However, as you can see from this video brief from the United Nation University's Our World 2.0 webzine, there's an update on the situation as islanders are finding interim ways to cope. But they are not the only indigenous community with a story to tell.From the video's description:

In December 2008, the low-lying Carterets Islands were badly damaged by king tides and violent storm surges. Nicholas Hakata, a local youth leader and community representative, explains that he and his family have been surviving on mainly fish and coconuts, and battling the swamp mosquitoes that have brought malaria.

With the local government's food aid ship coming once or twice a year, the relocation plans are equally as slow. Hungry and unwell, the islanders have set up a relocation team and have begun a series of urgent tasks to move families closer to security.

Beautifully shot by filmmaker Citt Williams, the other videos in the "Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Change" series provide unique and sorely needed perspectives on climate change, particularly from indigenous peoples. Initiated by the UNU and shown at the recent Indigenous Peoples Summit on Climate Change, the communities that appear on film were given a small hard drive with all the raw materials and a non-exclusive license to use them.

Williams comments on the oft-mentioned need to include indigenous perspectives in the climate change dialogue on her blog:

Today's disconnected industrial appetite, subsequent climate predictions, and first world "no consultation" mitigation strategies are already having a disastrous effect on our world's Indigenous peoples and their rights and responsibilities. We need to be very, very sensitive and respectful to what's really going on.

Film is a powerful medium and we hope to see the climate change dialogue become more inclusive, thanks to eye-opening reminders like these.

Our World 2.0 and Video Briefs
More on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change
Indigenous People's Climate Change Summit Giving "Unified Voice"
Climate Change to Cause "Cultural Genocide" for Australia's Aborigines
Indigenous Rights Crucial To Reducing Carbon Emissions from Deforestation
Indigenous Groups Document Environmental Destruction Using GPS and Google Earth
Logging, Palm Oil and Human Rights in Borneo: Malaysian Government Pushes Ahead By Ousting Indigenous Leaders
World's First Climate Change Refugees to Be Rescued in 2009
Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Assessment (UNU)