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Meet The Torres Strait and Pacific Islander Women Fighting For An Equal Say In Climate Action

Introducing 'The Burning Issue' — a four-part video series created in partnership with L'Oreal Australia to spotlight how women are disproportionately impacted by climate change, but also at the forefront of the fight against it.
The most detrimental impacts of climate change are being felt by those who emit the least carbon. Unfortunately, this is a reality for people living in the Pacific and Torres Strait Islands. The United Nations noted that climate change was the "single greatest existential threat facing the Blue Pacific" during COP 27 in November this year, reiterating that the only way to curb disaster in the region is by keeping the global average temperature rise below 1.5°C.
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On top of this, within these communities, women will often disproportionately bear the weight of the climate crisis, which happened when Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu in 2015. During this time, women were cut out of the relief programs, having to rely on male relatives or spouses to receive resources and much-needed aid. 
“I found it very hard to access resources because people I had to go through were men," says Flora Vano, a Ni-Vanuatuan woman, local community leader and Action Aid representative who we meet in episode three of The Burning Issue.
In the video below, we see how Flora works tirelessly to connect women with their own communities and allow them to open dialogue with governments to question their climate actions.
“Climate change and feminism are no different from where I am sitting,” says Flora.
She discusses Australia's responsibility to work in solidarity with the Pacific Islanders — a sentiment echoed by Tishiko King, a Kulkalaig woman from the Island of Masig, Kulkalgal Nation of Zenadth Kes, who discusses what can be done locally to help our "brothers and sisters" overseas.
You can revisit Episode One of The Burning Issue here, where we met the women spearheading the Northern Rivers flood recovery. In Episode Two, we followed Australia's next generation of climate activists who are leading the charge from the ground up.
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