17 October, 2023 Suva, Fiji : The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is proud to announce the three winners of the #MyBluePacific2050 Social Media Campaign. These young people will travel to the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PIFLM52) in the Cook Islands as Social Media Youth Correspondents.
Pacific Youth embraced the power of storytelling in the social media video competition that invited them to share their vision for the Blue Pacific region in 2050.
PIF Secretary General Henry Puna commended the quality of the entries from participating youth.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed watching all the entries and thank those who took part in this call, for sharing their views on what matters most for the world. The digital world is one our Pacific Youth already lead, and this initiative resonates in its own way with the protect, promote, and prosper values of this year’s Forum theme, making every single entry a winning one!”
Entries were received from across the Pacific region covering all the three sub regions, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.
As the Forum’s social media Youth Correspondents at the PIFLM52 from 6 to 10 November, the winners will provide context to the priorities of young people in line with the 2050 Strategy.
The judging panel comprised PIF Secretary General Henry Puna; Joshua Baker, Cook Islands Government Communications; Claret Chong Gum; Millicent Barty; USP Students Association President Lepani Naqarase and Tarita Bartley, SPC Social Inclusion Officer.
The winners are:
Micronesia: Gerdi Raimon, Kiribati.
Gerdi is 25 years old and a garbologist for the Kiribati Ministry of Environment. “I believe in today’s generation; we are change makers of today and tomorrow. To a bluer Pacific Continent, we are small islands, but we’ve got great potential. My vision for 2050 is for us to live, prosper and thrive in a place, in a community, that is resilient to the impacts of climate change.”
Melanesia: Pita Loloma, Fiji
Pita is 29 years old and interning with the Pacific Community (SPC) Aquaculture Division after graduating from Fiji National University. “My vision for our Blue Continent is the preservation and restoration of our marine resources that we are relying on for food, economic opportunities and that hold such an important place in our culture.”
Polynesia: Ciccone Hakaraia-Turner, New Zealand
Ciccone is 20 years old and a Business student at the Auckland University of Technology. “I believe it’s important to make sure we’re doing our part to look after Papatūānuku (Mother Earth) so our tamariki (children) and mokopuna (grandchildren) can also feel the beauty that we all have felt growing up.
The #MyBluePacific2023 Social Media Campaign was an online campaign that ran for two months. Youth Ambassadors from across the Pacific also shared their visions and promoted the competition, these were Nicole Yamase, Federated States of Micronesia; George William, Vanuatu; Luther Berg, Cook Islands; Moemoana Schwenke, Samoa; Millicent Barty, Solomon Islands; Ioane Hawaii, Tuvalu; and Claret Chong Gum, Republic of Marshall Islands.