Empowering advocacy on Climate Justice with the Makefu Falekaho-Atua women

Picture of Makefu Falekaho-Atua women taken by Felo Kulatea

A Climate Justice Advocacy project consultation and training session with the Makefu Falekaho-Atua Women took place at Scenic Matavai Resort in Tamakautoga last Saturday. 

Project coordinator for the Makefu Falekaho-Atua Women Jamal Talagi-Veidreyaki told BCN news that the Climate Justice and Advocacy project was initiated and supported by the Makefu Village Council in 2020 and was successfully implemented with the funding support from the United Nations (UN) Women. 

According to Jamal, the Makefu Falekaho-Atua Women project is based on “A Gendered Approach to Understanding the Impacts of Climate Change and Gender Based Violence in Niue” in collaboration and great support with the Makefu Village Council.

Jamal told BCN news that the session last Saturday first began with a meditation and mindfulness session with Alana Tukuniu of Maulu spa. Followed by presentations from researcher and project focal coordinator Jamal Talagi-Veidreyaki on various climate topics including climate science, negotiation, mobility and mental well-being with content provided and supported by Academics Associate Professor Dr. Jemaima Tiatia-Seath and Erin Thomas of Auckland University and Dr. Patrick Fong of Eco-Pacific.

“The overall objective is to empower advocacy on climate justice, but also to understand the impacts of climate change, not only the physical impact but also the social and health impact, particularly on our mental wellbeing and relationships”, says Jamal.

Mental wellbeing is still something that is not well understood in our communities in the context of climate change, says Jamal. 

“It is important for our communities to understand this because of the impact on relationships and effective planning to address sensitive and often complicated matters such as Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).”

BCN news asked Jamal for her outlook of the workshop held over the weekend with the Makefu Falekaho-Atua women. 

“I thought it was very positive overall. Often information on the climate Change Nexus is not well understood by communities. It was important to inform them, in this case our women, to enable them to understand climate justice to help them articulate their needs on the ground in regards to the impacts of climate change.”

“As small island countries we don’t have the resources to equip us to quickly adapt to the impacts of climate change, our communities need to advocate for their needs”, says Jamal. 

Jamal says that “there are aspects of the project to engage with women groups in the west coast communities and capacity building for the women.”

The Climate Justice Advocacy project would like to acknowledge the people for all the support and contribution to the content of the training.

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