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“Trouble in Paradise” – Images of the Pacific climate crisis

“Trouble in Paradise” – Images of the Pacific climate crisis

Ten year old Epineri Lata takes a dip in the ocean to escape the intense heat on the island of Kia in Fiji. In the background is the visible evidence of cyclone damage to the island.

An exhibition called “Trouble in Paradise” will be held at New Zealand’s National Library to shine a spotlight on climate change in Pacific region.

“Trouble in Paradise”, which will display the 60 winning images of a competition that was run by the UK Government in order to document the effects on the Pacific climate crisis, will be called “Trouble in Paradise”.

Ten year old Epineri Lata takes a dip in the ocean to escape the intense heat on the island of Kia in Fiji. In the background is the visible evidence of cyclone damage to the island.

Epineri Lata, a ten-year-old girl, takes a dip into the ocean to escape the heat on the island Kia in Fiji. The visible evidence of cyclone damage on the island is visible in the background.
Photo: Justin Naisua

Joachim sitting under a coconut palm that is highly likely to be washed away before he is eight.

Joachim is pictured sitting under a coconut palm, which is highly likely to be washed away by his eighteenth birthday.
Photo: Joseph Haga

Visitors will see images of bleached corals from Fiji and houses that have been submerged in water in Samoa. This will give them a first-hand view of the effects climate change has had on their communities and livelihoods.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to view illustrated works from Alexander Turnbull Library rare book collection that feature animal and plant species found in the South Pacific.

“Trouble in Paradise” opened on November 4, to coincide with COP26 (the UN climate change conference held in Glasgow, Scotland). Many see it as the last chance for the world to address the urgent threat from climate change.

The British High Commissioner to New Zealand Laura Clarke stated that the exhibition will be confronting but also shows why urgent action must be taken to combat climate change and help those at the frontline adapt.

UK High Commissioner in New Zealand Laura Clarke.

Laura Clarke, UK High Commissioner to New Zealand
Photo: Supplied

She says that “Pacific Island communities are already dealing with the consequences of a crisis they did almost nothing to cause, with climate changes posing an existential risk to their future.”

“This exhibition will give visitors a firsthand look at what is a very serious emergency, one that is happening right in New Zealand’s backyard.

“That’s why COP26 in Glasgow is so crucial, allowing the UK and world leaders to come together to discuss urgent climate change action.

“These talented photographers show us the stakes for New Zealand’s closest neighbors, and why it is time to act now.”

Kate Uvia, a storyteller from Papua New Guinea, captured a photograph of young people in Western Province, an area that is the second most deprived.

Uvia stated that it will be the young who will bear the brunt the effects of climate change.

“I think of my kids, I hug and sleep with my children at night.

“These kids may be woken up by their parents at midnight to be told to run to higher ground.

Uvia said that they won’t have nice beachfronts where they can go out to the sand with their friends and run around.

Kokopo beach, Papua New Guinea.

Kokopo beach, Papua New Guinea.
Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

See Also

National Library Director Content Services Rachel Esson

Rachel Esson, National Library Director Content Services
Photo: Supplied/National Library

“We are proud of how the Alexander Turnbull Library’s Pacific and New Zealand collections support Pacific studies and research in New Zealand. They can also shine a light on pressing global problems such as climate.

These photos are winners from the UK’s Pacific Climate Photography Competition that ran in January of this year.

More than 300 submissions were received from Pacific residents in the categories of Marine and Land, People, Youth (under-21) and Junior (12 and under).

Images from the Cook Islands, Fiji and Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea as well as Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are displayed.

The blue starfish is extremely sensitive to changes in water temperature, oxygen levels and acidity; all key indicators in the health of our marine environment.

The blue starfish is extremely sensitive and sensitive to changes of water temperature, oxygen levels, and acidity. These are key indicators for the health of our marine environment.
Photo: Dan Shipp

Trouble in Paradise works in partnership with the British High Commission Wellington (British Council NZ)

The exhibition will end at the National Library of New Zealand (Wellington) on 30 April 2022.


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