IUCN and the Alliance Française du Suva played their part in celebrating Fiji’s National Environment Week by hosting an environmental film festival during the first week of June this year.
Individuals and families from around Suva gathered at the Alliance headquarters to watch a series of short films highlighting conservation challenges in the Pacific islands on the second day of the annually observed National Environment Week.
The films, which addressed climate change impacts in the islands, species conservation and food security, interspersed with animated cartoons and public announcements, kept the audience captivated for over an hour.
“Despite the serious nature of the issues being highlighted, the audience was left with a feeling of hope and perhaps a better understanding of the things that can be done to address these challenges,” said Pepe Clarke, co-organiser of the event and Legal Advisor for the IUCN Oceania Regional Office. “Discussions about our environment can often focus on the negative and it is important for people to appreciate that we can all play a part in turning things around. The films have been chosen for just this purpose.”
The evening also provided an opportunity for members of Suva’s public to mingle with staff of various locally-based conservation organisations and learn more about their work in Fiji and around the region.
Financial support for the event was provided by the British High Commission, Suva, Wildlife Conservation Society, Conservation International, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Birdlife International, IUCN and the Alliance Française. A range of other organisations endorsed the festival and provide in-kind support by donating films, setting up displays and information areas and attending the event. These included the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area Network (FLMMA), Institute of Applied Science at the University of the South Pacific, Secretariat of the Pacific Commission (SPC), Live and Learn Environmental Education, Foundation for the People’s of the South Pacific (FSPI), the Fiji National Trust, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti and Rivers Fiji.
The enthusiastic manner in which organisations cooperated in this event is heartening and shows the level of goodwill that exists between the various conservation groups in the country,” said Mr Clarke.
The environment film festival was the first of its kind to be hosted in Fiji and there are plans now to turn this into an annual activity.