My name is Wilfred and I’m a member of the 350 Pacific team. As part of 350’s Earth Month Spotlight series I would like to share with you the story of our recent Solar Scholars Training in Suva, Fiji.
Here’s how it started:
In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan taught the Philippines and the world that we must prioritize energy access during and after climate disasters.
For a decade since, the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) – a Philippines-based international NGO advocating for climate resilience – has trained over 400 Solar Scholars to share knowledge and solutions between frontline communities in Asia and the Pacific. This led to the creation of our three-day Solar Scholars training program in partnership with the Pacific Climate Warriors on the assembly and maintenance of basic PV solar power systems.
During the training, we learned the basics of solar energy and how to assemble basic solar power systems that can be used in community activities or disaster situations. Together, we assembled a 300-watt solar photovoltaic (PV) community charging system.
Not only that, but we shared our experiences of devastating climate impacts and our stories of resilience in the face of these disasters. Watch the video below to see how we united across oceans in the fight for a safe and liveable future.
Why it matters:
The severe climate impacts outlined by the IPCC report are a lived reality for the Pacific: this is not new to us. This training is just the beginning of a series of collaborative efforts to share knowledge on climate resilience and ensure the safety and sustainability of our most vulnerable communities – not just for the Pacific, but across the world.
Frontline communities — like us in the Pacific — aren’t sitting back and waiting to be overrun by climate catastrophe. We continue to build solutions and resilience to these impacts through innovation, leadership at high-level climate negotiations, and centuries of Indigenous knowledge.
It is time to show the world that true climate leadership is moving away from fossil fuels, embracing community-led renewable energy, and ensuring the dignity of our people in a fair and just world.
Thank you for taking the time to hear about our climate resilience training, and happy Earth Month!