Can global, institutional conferences create meaningful spaces for authentic storytelling and listening? Or, even in light of initiatives like Fiji’s Talanoa space at COP23, is it still the grassroots work of protest and activism that generates the critical consciousness needed to create effective action on climate change?
This year is an important one for climate negotiations in the South Pacific. Fiji is presiding over the 23rd United Nations climate change conference, which starts this week. Fiji’s presidency means there is – at least on paper – a particularly strong focus at COP23 on highlighting the impacts of climate change for small islands and developing states (SIDS). But don’t expect to see the conference taking place in Fiji, or on the global frontlines of climate change.