tropical pacific islands

How Tropical Pacific Islands Can Save the Arctic and the World

From the mountains of Colorado to the tropical hills of Fiji, the message of the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) is travelling around the world. In July,’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Darcy Belanger, represented MAPS at the Climate Action Pacific Partnership Conference (CAPP) in Suva, Fiji.

Tropical small island nations, recognizing the urgency of protecting the melting polar ice in order to safeguard their homes, have been leaders in championing the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. Samoa was the first nation to sign the MAPS Treaty. James Michel, former president of Seychelles, has also endorsed MAPS.

At the conference, Fijian Prime Minister and COP23 President Frank Bainimarama stressed the importance of Pacific islands demonstrating unified and bold leadership on the global stage.

β€œThe opportunity to demonstrate this leadership is upon us. It is an opportunity we cannot let go to waste.”

β€œThe ultimate test will be the ambition and effectiveness of our NDCs, which must be made stronger – much stronger – before the Paris Agreement starts in 2020. The Talanoa Dialogue at COP24 in Katowice [in December] is a critical moment where political leaders should send a strong signal of their commitment to raising ambition.”

β€œThis will require political courage and nothing short of visionary leadership. This leadership may be lacking elsewhere, but it must be active and energetic here. As Pacific island leaders, we must now show the way forward,” he said.

Among the many presentations by countries at CAPP, Solomon Islands shared a compelling and heartbreaking story about the five islands it has already lost due to rising sea levels, before outlining some of the steps it is taking to address the threat.

The polar ice protects the world’s weather systems, making possible the food and water we need to survive. But it is melting rapidly, leading to serious danger of food and water shortages and sea level rise in the years to come. MAPS is a simple and effective solution to protect the Arctic sea ice and compel a global shift to renewable energy.

Over a whirlwind two-day visit, bookended by marathon journeys from his home in Denver to Fiji and back, Darcy made connections for MAPS, including speaking with President Bainimarama, President Sopoaga of Tuvalu, and several other delegations and organizations. β€œWe couldn’t do it without help from people around the world who believe in the better future that MAPS represents,” Darcy says. Like everyone at, Darcy is a volunteer.

Upcoming for is Yogis Unite, in which yogis around the world join the call for a healthy world through MAPS, as well as a strong presence at the UN General Assembly in September 2018.

Arctic is a not-for-profit dedicated to a healthy world. Its first order
of business is the realization of MAPS: the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary,
an effective step to cool our planet and keep our oceans alive.