On Tuesday, Torres Strait Islander organisers of the Our Islands, Our Home campaign delivered a sweet invitation – in the form of a novelty, special edition Ben and Jerry’s ice cream pint – to Warren Entsch, calling for him to come to the Torres Strait to witness the impacts of climate change firsthand.
Waniki Maluwapi, a Zenadh Kes and Papuan storyteller and community organiser with the Our Islands Our Home campaign, delivered the ice cream personally to Warren Entsch at his electorate office in Cairns. The invitation came as the global spotlight focuses on the Morrison Government’s climate policies at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow.
The pint carried a message calling on him to accept an invitation to travel to Warraber Island to meet with Kabay Tamu and local community members, who are facing climate impacts including king tides, erosion, inundation and coral bleaching. Kabay Tamu is one of 8 Torres Strait Islanders who have made a human rights complaint to the UN against the Australian Government, and are calling for stronger action to address the climate crisis.
According to Waniki Maluwapi, “The Torres Strait is on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Rising sea levels, king tides, erosion, inundation and coral bleaching are threatening the homes and cultures of Torres Strait Islander people. We want to encourage Warren to meet with the Torres Strait Islander community.”
According to Kabay Tamu: “Warraber is a tight knit community. We sit together, we eat together, we dance together, we sing together, and we fight together. Climate change is affecting us every day, and we are fighting to ensure our kids can continue to practice our culture and always have a place to call home.
“The Government must do more on climate change, and that’s why I’m inviting Warren Entsch to come and see the impacts of climate change being experienced on a daily basis on Warraber, and listen to the community’s demand for climate solutions.”
According to Steph Curley, Activism Manager for Ben & Jerry’s, “This is a delicious and chunky pint, packed with a serious message for Warren Entsch: please accept Kabay Tamu’s invitation to travel to Warraber to listen to Torres Strait Islanders who are calling for climate justice”.
A folder of high quality photos of the action is available here for download.
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About Our Islands Our Home:
Our Islands Our Home is a campaign led by Torres Strait Islanders to protect their island homes.
Torres Strait Islanders are on the frontline of the climate crisis, and urgent action is needed to ensure they can remain on their Islands. Right now, king tides, erosion, inundation and coral bleaching are threatening the homes and cultures of Torres Strait Islander people, while the Australian Government refuses to address the climate crisis.
As part of this, eight claimants from Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait Islands) also known as the #TorresStrait8 have brought a human rights complaint against the Australian Federal Government to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations over the Government’s inaction on climate change.
For more information: https://ourislandsourhome.com.au/