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The Edit, Episode #3: A Conversation About Climate Change, COP23, and the Future of the Pacific Islands

On the latest episode of Pacific Standard's podcast about how our stories are made, staff writer Kate Wheeling discusses her reporting from Fiji.
Melanesian children float on a bamboo pontoon by Wicked Walu Island on the resort-studded Coral Coast of Fiji, November 11th, 2003. Since the Bali bombings 12 October 2002 tourism has overtaken sugar cane as the South Pacific archipelago's primary source of foreign revenue.

This past November, Fiji presided over the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which met for its 23rd annual Conference of the Parties. However, on account of the country's capital city, Suva, being too small to host the conference, the UNFCCC moved COP23 to Bonn, Germany, the seat of the U.N. climate secretariat.

The conference, which drew an audience of 25,000 negotiators and climate-watchers, was led by Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who advocated for deeper cuts to carbon emissions and infrastructural support for vulnerable island nations, like Fiji, in the face of rising ocean levels to the international community.

Pacific Standard staff writer Kate Wheeling recently returned from a reporting trip to Fiji, where she spoke with local communities about the actual on-the-ground effects global environmental policy will have on the island nation, and those like it.

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