Pacific leaders meet to share and inspire

Leaders from the Pacific region joined together in the third consecutive Green Growth Leaders’ Coalition (GGLC) Retreat in Pacific Harbour from April 19-22. The Retreat was hosted and facilitated by IUCN Oceania, with the support of the Australian Government through its Pacific Leadership Program (PLP).  

Group photo

Participants included Prime Ministers, government ministers, political leaders, community and church leaders, and heads of Pacific regional organizations who were invited based on their leadership experience and ability to effect change within their communities and countries within the next five years.  

They were welcomed by Fiji’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, who also participated in discussions throughout the week-long Retreat.  

IUCN Oceania Regional Director and Retreat facilitator, Taholo Kami, explained that the GGLC provided an important and protected space for Pacific Island regional leaders to come together and talanoa.

“The Green Growth Leaders’ Coalition aims to provide leaders with a safe, reflective and inspirational space to discuss common challenges, seek collective advice, share strategies for change and connect with others in leadership roles in the region,” Mr Kami said.

“The retreat provided leaders with an opportunity to share experiences, build friendships, strengthen networks and make linkages that will positively impact their leadership roles.”

Regional themes and topics at the Retreat, including climate change, health and fisheries provided a starting point for leaders and guest speakers to contextualize their respective leadership journeys.

These discussions were enriched by the facilitated talanoa sessions that followed directly after each topic. 

The talanoa sessions allowed for further informal discussions on improving leadership mechanisms to respond to opportunities and challenges in the respective thematic areas.

Guest speakers included Fiji’s Minister for Health, Jone Usamate, and IUCN’s Senior Advisor for Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Management in Pacific Island Countries, Leanne Fernandes.

The GGLC Retreat is an annual event, which was pioneered in 2014 here in Fiji. Dates for next year’s Retreat are yet to be determined

For further information about the GGLC in general or specifically on the GGLC Retreat, please contact IUCN’s Andrew Foran on [email protected] or on 7739084. 

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