Climate change was a highlight during the research topic presentation by contestants in yesterday’s public judging of the South Pacific Pageant at Albert Park in Suva, Fiji.
Out of the 12 queens vying for the Pacific Pageant crown, seven queens including American Samoa, hosts Fiji Islands, Samoa, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Tonga and Aetaroa had questions relating to the extreme climate changes affecting the world.
The contestants who were judged on clarity of speech, elegance, knowledge of question, research, presentation and expression of topic shared questions ranging from social to economical and financial changes but it was climate change that dominated the judging.
The queens voiced the views and concern over climate change and called on the people in the Pacific to stand up and do what they could in minimising the effect.
Kiribati queen Taumuri Tetuai said the extreme climate change could not be avoidable but people in the Pacific had the power to slow it down and lessen the impact to the Pacifika.
“We can’t change it, but we can do our part in making sure the effect is minimised,” she said.
Tuisisaleia Pomole recalled her experience when the September 29 tsunami hit Samoa. She said she was at home preparing her daughter for school when the tsunami hit.
“Despite how prepared a country is hit by a natural disaster such as the tsunami, you can’t help but panic. Everything is rushed, there is no time to sit and think and run drills,” she said.
American Samoa queen Lorisa Matautia, Miss Tuvalu Akelita Pasega, Miss Tonga Paea Williams and Miss Aetaroa Parataunu Randall called on the Pacific people put in their individual efforts and practise planting more mangroves, stop the usage of plastic bags, reduce the usage of fuel by walking more, car pooling, switching off unneeded electricity and called on the education systems to provide more awareness programmes into schools.
“One voice may not be heard but all of us put together as a collective voice we can move mountains,” Fiji queen, Mere Nailatikau said.
“We should practise what we preach because it us here in the Pacific that will be hit first and worst when climate change is drastic. We must then take it upon ourselves to do what we are asking the world to do,” she added.