Sailing around the world to create greater awareness for peace and the effects of climate change
A cruise liner with a special mission has made a call at the Grand Harbour after having first called at Malta almost 40 years ago. Its central mission is that of peace and a greater awareness of climate change and includes youths from islands which have already experienced the reality of such change. The liner ‘Peace Boat’ is run by a Japanese NGO.
As part of its environmental mission, youths who had experienced first-hand knowledge of the crisis of change and the way this has made an impact on their lives, recounted their experiences as residents in St Lucia, Montserrat and Palau.
The activist Jevanic Henry said “With climate change, the signs are showing that hurricanes are becoming more and more intense and we’ve seen that all over the years how it affected our economies negatively. In every couple of years, we have to rebuild, rebuild and rebuild damage to infrastructure.”
Activist Ashneil Jeffers said “The baseline of temperatures in the Caribbean has been rising and because of that we have more health-related issues. Things like cancer and other diseases as well as mosquito diseases etc because of the rising temperatures.”
The activist Elsei Tellei said “We have seen pattern changes where we’re getting really strong natural disasters, typhoons coming to our island, destroying our infrastructure and droughts.”
There are 1,000 passengers on the ship who have been hearing of these experiences through the youths, as explained by the liner’s International Director, Nina Matsumoto.
Nina said “People on-board Peace Boat a lot of them probably don’t even know where these countries even are and the realities of climate change often times hit hardest developing nations and small island states, and so having these people who are activists in their own right in their own countries, come and tell their stories and their reality in their own states.”
The ship, which began its journey in Japan, is expected to have sailed around the world over a period of three-and-a-half months.