There are few places more remote or expensive to get to than the Republic of the Marshall Islands. As a nation of atolls in the central Pacific ocean, there's little ground between the population of 68,000 and the ocean. Like Kiribait and Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change impacts – such as drought, water scarcity, increased intensity of cyclones and of course sea-level rise. sites/all/files/were_small_but_we_matter_-_rmi_11.jpg

Recently, the RMI government has taken some bold moves internationally to put pressure on other countries to reduce emissions. Earlier this year in coalition with other Micronesian nations, they placed a landmark court case against the Czech Republic for its plans to expand an existing coal power plant. In what is the first example of cross-border climate litigation, Micronesian governments are claiming that as one of Europe's largest sources of emissions, the power plant will contribute to global warming and put the livelihood of nations like the Marshall Islands at risk.

As momentum builds against the great tyranny of the proposed Tar Sands pipeline from Canada to the United States, 350 organisers in the Marshall Islands are also building momentum. Last week, 30 young Marshallese came together over two days to learn about climate change, and to get planning for Moving Planet. The momentum that has swung out of the workshop has been amazing to hear and watch from a distance. Two 350 volunteers from the United States who had travelled to the Marshall Islands to help organise the workshop – Katie Ullman and Drew Cornaghie – describe the plans for Moving Planet:

"On the last afternoon, the group voted for a final plan for Moving Planet. The Consensus was to organize a Walk-a-Thon from one end of Majuro to the other while holding signs urging the emission reductions to a 350ppm future. At the end of the march there would be a barbecue and tree planting. Since the workshop, a planning committee has formed to oversee recruitment, sponsorships, government involvement and media coverage (we’re thinking birds-eye shots of hundreds of Marshallese walking down a tiny thin atoll!)."

While Katie and Drew are soon to head back to the US, the planning committee, led by Helpy Mote and Milner Okney are getting busy putting the plans into action. Their organising is wonderfully important because as with other Pacific Island nations, the Marshall Islands are strong supporters of the 350ppm target. But the government cannot stand for such an ambitious target alone – they need to see and hear the support of their own people. But as well as that, they need to know that they have the support of people around the world in rising up to the task of ambitious emission reductions toward a 350ppm future. We have 8 weeks left to Moving Planet – that means 8 weeks left to make that support as visible and vocal as possible.

As the picture tells, they may be small, but they matter.   

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