The Aquarium of the Pacific has formed an official partnership with Conservation International to provide the lead role in public education and outreach for the Pacific Rising project. The mission of Pacific Rising is to ready Pacific Island nations to adapt and thrive—economically, environmentally, and culturally—in the face of climate change for many generations to come.
Pacific Rising, announced by Conservation International in December 2015, is intended to function much like the Marshall Plan that helped recover European economies after World War II. It would help develop technology, foster enterprise, and preserve culture to stop a refugee crisis and save the lives and culture of people living on low-lying Pacific islands, including Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Tokelau, and Tuvalu.
According to Conservation International, few global events in the foreseeable future will require greater moral or collective action than protecting Pacific Island societies from the substantial disruption they face from climate change and sea level rise. These non-industrialized nations had little to do with the climate crisis, yet they will be among the first to bear the costs.
The Aquarium of the Pacific will provide educational programming to its guests to draw awareness to this crisis facing Pacific Islanders. Initially these efforts will include a video about this topic shown on the flatscreens located throughout the Aquarium, programming at the annual Pacific Islander Festival on June 4 and 5, information on the Aquarium’s website, and information provided to visitors on the Aquarium floor by educational interpreters.