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World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 4 Global View

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now

Continued; Part 4

World Team Follows Fiji’s Lead

World Team follows Fiji’s lead in the Pacific Island Region as we journey through Eco resorts, transforming islands. Recent catastrophic events have put the spotlight on the vulnerability of islands to the forces of climate change and the world is taking notice. As World Team Now’s increasing focus is on islands and we write about their transformation and simultaneously work to chart a future, this blog becomes more relevant. Many islands are now facing a dynamic similar to what Fiji and other islands have already gone through— in the recent past, for example, four hurricanes have hit island regions in the United States territories and beyond. To re-develop these islands, in the same way, invites a repetition of earlier flaws in infrastructure development, especially considering the increased risks due to climate change. Instead, there is an opportunity in the midst of the crises to make different choices about how to restructure, a chance to evolve and learn from the past. In the process of restoration, Fiji’s leading Eco approach is of value to observe, including their different choices about energy ownership. The use and allowance of community renewable energy microgrids, and how to collectively give aid to one another is worth consideration. Together, let’s look at some islands resorts of Fiji.

Please read the first paragraphs in Part 1 for the context of this blog within the series.

Koro Sun Resort

Birds Eye Point of View of Koro Sun Resort  Vanua Levu, Fiji © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

 

Floating Bures © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

Koro Sun Resort’s 160-acre sanctuary on the island of Vanua Levu is a sprawling property that covers a campus of acres prominent in its attention to horticulture and landscape design that integrates with cutting-edge architecture. The various sections of the resort’s premises are incredibly diverse and are like worlds of their own. There are the rainforest lodge and spa, as well as the first Fijian floating Bures that allow guests to stay on the lagoon, literally sleeping on the ocean. In the floating ocean Edgewater Bures, ocean architect Joe Nelson’s design allows guests to dive from their deck into the water, like from an anchored yacht.  The lessons learned from TC Winston are giving Joe Nelson a powerful advantage in design, architecture, and how to build with the ocean, for islands.  He is a leading pioneer for renewable energy on islands.  The renewable energy path, and allow an island advantage.

The various sections of the resort’s premises are like worlds of their own, and incredibly diverse. There are the rainforest lodge and spa, a pristine waterfall lake, an underwater pearl farm, and the extraordinary reefs and nearby tiny islands.

 

Verdant Lawn © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

A walk to the other end of the resort brings you through exquisite ponds with floating lotus flowers that are reminiscent of Claude Monet’s garden paintings and landscapes, and the trees, plants, and flowers create a utopian environment that stretches the imagination. One of the luxuries Koro Sun offers is the coveted private outdoor shower, enclosed and surrounded by tropical flowering plants, and with over 50 guest rooms and villas, Koro Sun Resort is the ideal environment for large groups on retreat.

 

 

Water Lily Pond © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

Water Lily Pond © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

The all-natural eco foot massage, including native botanical scrub, is one of the coveted Koro Sun Rainforest Spa treatments that leaves guests feeling as though they are walking on water with flower essence surrounding them. The clear water lagoon is ideal for such ocean activities as kayaking and swimming, and the infinity pool that flows over the ocean has a tranquil scope of the vast ocean and reef systems beyond.

The Infinity pool, the ocean, and the sky are endless. © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa Nadi  & The Holiday Inn Suva

Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa© Photo By Suzanne Maxx

There are two staple places on each side of Fiji’s Viti Levu, en route to Eco Resorts while the traveler is adjusting to dramatic time zone shifts and jet lag coming from the USA, and these provide a solid ground to catch your breath before getting into the Eco Adventure.

The Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa in Nadi on Denarau Island is close to Fiji’s only international airport in Nadi. This destination resort goes beyond the usual franchise model into island luxury and delicacies that add creature comforts.At the Hilton, guests can have a massage by the ocean or the pool and choose from many treatments at their award-winning Pevonia concept spa.

Dinner at Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

Luxury villas and suites include a kitchen, BBQ on the ocean side deck, and a washer and dryer which saves money and makes long-term travel more sustainable.

The Hilton has various stores with healthy items, an island tropical gourmet Deli, and a full kitchen and laundry option in the condo that saves economically. The recycling program is a leader, as the recycling programs in Nadi are relatively new. There are some fabulous restaurants onsite at the Hilton destination resort that have locally sourced native-grown farm-to-table food, natively called; “Kana-Mai-Na-Were.”

The Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa in Nadi on Denarau Island © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

The Holiday Inn Suva Fiji is in the capital’s government and business hub. This Holiday Inn has a 24/7 business center, a lobby that remains the center of networking for the Suva area, and the buffet that offers a plethora of choices including Fijian favorites

Each of these places goes beyond the usual franchise business model into island luxury and delicacies that add creature comforts, including some eco-amenities like solar hot water heaters and recycling.

At both places, you can expect onsite fine dining, networking opportunities, solid Internet connection, and TV, along with otherworldly developed creature comforts that help to accommodate the transition into living the Fiji sustainability dream and then going back to the commercially developed world.

 

The Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa in Nadi on Denarau Island © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

 

Aviation and Transformation Taking Flight

Sunflower Aviation offers the Waya discovery sector trip where you fly over the heart-shaped island Tavarua, a surfing paradise. Photo by Sunflower Airways

Of all Fiji’s treasures, the most valuable may be the welcoming character and the loving nature of the Fijian people and culture, and even industries, such as Fiji Airlines, welcome visitors in a big way.

For inter-island transportation, in addition to Fiji Airlines and Turtle Airways, there is the Pacific Flying School where skydiving and learning to fly a plane are options. Sunflower Aviation can support the exploration to find your special island in Fiji for an eco-adventure. Its owners, Tim Joyce and his wife Susan, who have more than 30 years aviation experience, own three other companies: Heli-Tours Fiji, Skydive Fiji, and Adventure Sailing, Fiji. Tim graciously took us under his wing, hosting, while in Fiji. He is sympathetic World Team’s vision and mission and is involved with humanitarian efforts using flight for aid. We are excited to have the opportunity to work with his company. Tim and his company’s shooting star was shining brightly from skydiving over the Fiji 7’s Olympic WIN!

Fiji’s Eco Resorts demonstrate more than the imaginative blending of ecology and economy, beyond the small islands’ welcoming expression Bula!  Fiji might lead a path to a green economy, in the execution of the long-term plan with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Green and Blue Bonds, and can potentially be a winning formula for an economic basis to live in better balance with nature.

Fiji is in an active leadership position to advance national-level goals that ideally would help meet the UN’s Global Goals, called the Sustainable Development Goals. Fiji needs more governments to support the climate initiative, but this is an all hands on deck time for our world and every sector‘s participation is needed to carve out not just a sustainably developed future, but a renewed and transformed future.

© Photo By Suzanne Maxx © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

In Bonn, Germany @COP23 Bonn, in November, negotiations continue on a set of rules for the Paris Agreement, which took effect last year.  Fiji is in charge of leading the organization of this UNFCC event. From the Government of Fiji Minister Inia Seruiratu shared about the campaign Unite4Climate.  The coming of age of the annual youth conference COY13 foreshadows UNFCC COP23in Bonn Germany. After COP23 Civil Society will gather in Suva, Fiji for action. Our World Team project plans to give more people the opportunity to participate, at this important time.

Inia Seruiratu, Uniting 4 Climate SDG Media Zone 21 Sept 2017

Inia Video 1  Uniting 4 Climate, SDG Media Zone (18-22 September 2017)
21 Sep 2017 –  Speakers: Mr. Inia Seruiratu, (Minister of Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Fiji (Climate Champion)), Ms. Ingrid Hoven, (Director-General, Global Issues—Sector Policies and Programmes at the Federal Ministry Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)), Mr. Francesco La Camera, (Director General of the Ministry of Environment, Italy)
Moderator: Mr. Max Edkins, (Climate Change Expert, World Bank)

Inia Seruiratu, , Global Climate Action Agenda (Climate Champions), SDG Media Zone 21 Sept 2017

Inia video 2 Global Climate Action Agenda (Climate Champions), SDG Media Zone (18-22 September 2017)
21 Sep 2017 –  Speakers: Mr. Inia Seruiratu, (Minister of Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Fiji (Climate Champion)), Mr. Feike Sijbesma, (World Bank Climate Champion)
Moderator: Mr. John Roome, Senior Director, Climate Change, World Bank.

 

Fiji’s Prime Minister Jorge Frank Bainimarama addressing the United Nations Climate Change Conference

“Our Presidency will keep the interests of all nations, including those that are low-lying and vulnerable, at the forefront of our negotiations,” said Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

Bainimarama said he will highlight the risks faced by low-lying countries in a warming world.

We considered that the developed future may look different to those people living cradle-to-cradle with natural systems, such as witnessed with the Pacific Islanders in Fiji (and Samoa—watch for our upcoming blog). The burden of the developed nations of the world that contributes to anthropogenic climate change (human-induced climate change), has a debt to pay to this region.  There is also a history of nuclear testing on another’s land and ocean region in the Pacific Islands, Our World Team project aims to do our part in balancing resources and demonstrating transformation.  We believe it is possible to have a more balanced world that promotes equality among all living in our common home.

Arrangement of local flowers © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

We were surprised to find such a welcome Home in Fiji! We discovered a path for our World Team project to live into our renewable vision in the Pacific Islands. With our eyes set on the year 2020, we can clearly see how our World Team project might unfold to support the future of our common home by demonstrating solutions. The solutions demonstrated in the World Team media platform and in their subsequent developing projects can be a tool not just for the United Nations in realizing the Global Goals by the target year of 2030, but for all people. How can humanity live in better balance with one another and our resources?

Our World Team project plans to demonstrate an inspirational answer with our island projects.  Yet it is not just for islands to answer. Through the transformation of the old, and demonstration of new and alternative systems we may better discover how humanity lives in balance with nature on this planet. In Fiji, World Team sees the opportunity to demonstrate a vision of transformation, one village or island at a time.  A possible vision for humanity’s future generations, and on earth through time.

This would not just be a chance to give back, but would also be a chance to learn from the indigenous approaches of the Pacific Islanders and create a way, with World Team, to affect and live out these interconnected 17 goals. We discovered that the prioritization of values, choosing to live close to nature, matches ours within the World Team project, and indeed it is through the people where change can happen powerfully. I can trace my Call to back beyond the World Team project, and beyond my early youth, but here is where my action that began when I was 10 years old, read more here.  It has been wonderful to watch the YOUNGO grow the youth movement to aid the social and environmental change, since back in Copenhagen at COP15.

Youth in the Lead: A conversation with the young people changing global policy, SDG Media Zone 19 Sept 2017

Youth in the Lead: A conversation with the young people changing global policy, SDG Media Zone (18-22 September 2017)19 Sep 2017 – Speakers: Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, (UN Envoy on Youth), Ms. Hon. Bogolo Kenewendo, (Member of Parliament of Botswana), Ms. Sebastian Kurz, (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Austria)

Youth in the Lead: A conversation with the young people changing global policy, SDG Media Zone 19 Sept 2017

Youth in the Lead: A conversation with the young people changing global policy, SDG Media Zone (18-22 September 2017) 19 Sep 2017 – Speakers: Riley Claremont, College of Charleston, Veronique Hutt, College of Charleston, Abby Grand, College of CharlestonModerator: Ms. Paulina Kubiak/DPI

As the youth both lead the way forward and simultaneously learn from the elders, so too might the Small Island States better prioritize a path forward for the developed world. Fiji raises hope for our common resources that we will all be inspired to play to transform the world and at least demonstrate the possibilities for large ocean island states. Fiji just might win a high quality of life with its immeasurable ecological and economic benefits for all people and our common home.

Solutions Hour – Voluntary Commitment & Announcements — SDG Media Zone, The Ocean Conference 8 June 2017

We are excited to have the opportunity to work in the Pacific Island Region, as we have begun to with Fiji. Islands are our Call, (Islands R’ US, the campaign has begun) and we are enthusiastic about what can be accomplished coming together with and for islands. With Fiji leading the United Nations COP23, and our incipient feet-on-the-ground actions in the upcoming period of time, we are embracing transformation.  As with all crisis, there is also the opportunity.

 

 

 

Summary of World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Posts

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads from the Pacific Islands Part 1 Turtle Island ©

By Suzanne Maxx © The Pacific Island Region seemed to call, and last year I went on an adventure to ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 2 Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Fiji Part 2 Travel to the Yasawa Islands to... Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort Leading the ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 3 JMC

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Continued; Part 3 Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort So too, our love for the ocean is ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 4 Global View

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Continued; Part 4 Koro Sun Resort Koro Sun Resort’s 160-acre sanctuary on the island ...
Read More

#Fiji #PacificIslands, #Jean-MichelCousteauResort, #ECOresorts, #WorldTeam, #SOS-IS #Uniting4Climate @Connect4Climate @COP23, #UN #SDG#14 #Jean-MichelCousteau, #FabienCousteau, 

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 3 JMC

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now

 

Continued; Part 3

World Team Follows Fiji’s Lead

World Team follows Fiji’s lead in the Pacific Island Region as we journey through Eco resorts, transforming islands. Recent catastrophic events have put the spotlight on the vulnerability of islands to the forces of climate change and the world is taking notice. As World Team Now’s increasing focus is on islands and we write about their transformation and simultaneously work to chart a future, this blog becomes more relevant. Many islands are now facing a dynamic similar to what Fiji and other islands have already gone through— in the recent past, for example, four hurricanes have hit island regions in the United States territories and beyond. To re-develop these islands, in the same way, invites a repetition of earlier flaws in infrastructure development, especially considering the increased risks due to climate change. Instead, there is an opportunity in the midst of the crises to make different choices about how to restructure, a chance to evolve and learn from the past. In the process of restoration, Fiji’s leading Eco approach is of value to observe, including their different choices about energy ownership. The use and allowance of community renewable energy microgrids, and how to collectively give aid to one another is worth consideration. Together, let’s look at some islands resorts of Fiji.

Please read the first paragraphs in Part 1 for the context of this blog within the series.

 

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

So too, our love for the ocean is individual and our work with the dolphins and floating in the ocean is a personal expression, eyes around the world have been opened to the world within the ocean, due to the gifts that Jacque Yves Cousteau passed forward. There are sweet memories of how Jacque Cousteau inspired us with his words and actions at the U.N. ‘s Earth Summit and Global Forum in Rio in 1992, three years into the journey of the World Team.

The grand reopening of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort (JMC), in Savusavu on the island of Vanua Levu, continues the legacy of ocean exploration that lives on for the whole Cousteau family, with educational programs and experiential activities related to everything that has to do with the ocean. Like sea glass that is tossed in the ocean’s current to become more luminescent and smooth over time, the resort’s transformation mirrors the fabulous recovery after the Category 5 cyclone, TC Winston. The JMC bears the Cousteau name, now an iconic brand for ocean exploration and education, thanks to Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the Marine Biologist, Diver and Explorer, being a true pioneer for the oceans and all species that make the ocean their home.

The ocean philosophy of the Cousteaus,  comes alive here at the resort, passing the love of the ocean forward to future generations. The Jacques Yves Cousteau  said, “People protect what they love.” This resort and its programs help continue the legacy of giving back experientially, as Jacques Cousteau’s philosophy is more than mere words; “When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.” The experiential educator Jacques Cousteau not only passed down his passion and love of the ocean to Jean-Michel Cousteau (his son) with his non-profit Ocean Futures Society, but his living legacy continues to inspire the next generation of The Cousteau Ocean Legacy. Each Cousteau family member contributes, with a diversity of personalities to express their love of the ocean.

“It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realize you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert” –Jacques Cousteau

Down to the next generation, to Aquanaut Fabien Cousteau, JMC’s  his grandson, who now carries exploration to new depths with the newly launched Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center. Fabien continues his stand for the ocean as he champions sharks, and most recently broke his Grandfather’s world record, staying underwater for 31 days. World Team Now applauds the  Cousteaus’ collective vision, for us each to use our lives, with the gifts we each have, to leave a legacy that embraces, each person, species and what can be contributed to the oceans and our common home.  Jean-Michel too has done that and passed it forward. World Team Now aligns with Fabien Cousteau’s approach to ocean education and gave him the “Pioneer for the Planet” award for what he is envisioning now.

Fabien Cousteau

Celine Cousteau, Jean Michel’s daughter, is also doing her part to expand the family legacy with Cause Films and preservation of species on the land and under the water. Her works range from indigenous tribes in the Amazon to exploring possibilities on Easter Island. The legacy of the whole family continues passing forward a wealth of knowledge that has wisdom for us all. The extended Cousteau inspires family’s efforts altogether support our message; that there is a place for everyone.

The Cousteau lineage comes with political will that is a timeless call for the oceans, and humanity’s role in living with what dominates our planet. Cousteau’s stand was successful in influencing two USA Presidents, of different political parties, both to see the value of the ocean and to take action to designate, first, a 1,200-mile chain of Northwest Hawaiian Islands a Marine National Monument, and now, through President Obama, a four-times-expanded protected area of the ocean. Even the adjacent area around the JMC in Fiji has now become a Marine preserve and the Cousteau team is working to create more marine protected areas that will hopefully remain for future generations.  Here is a chance to  Explore the Pacific Island Marine Sanctuaries with Jean-Michel Cousteau (his most recent book),

In Fiji and other areas of the tropical Pacific, many villages have established marine protected areas where, in order to ensure a healthy ecosystem, the local residents don’t allow fishing. Enforcing the ban on fishing depends on community support for protecting the reefs, which are part of the local culture and can provide economic benefits through tourism and spillover of fish to the areas where harvesting is allowed.

At the Jean-Michel Cousteau (JMC) Resort, there is an ocean experience or program for every age.  The JMC rides on the legend of passing the ocean wisdom of stewardship to all in the family, to explore, teach, research, and inspire others with ocean adventures, also in the luxury resort setting. Cousteau’s mastery in passing forward an underwater experience through television, film, and every source of presentation imaginable continues as the heart of the experiential education and woven through the resort experience.

While there, you can go for one of the extraordinary scuba dive adventures. More advanced divers can get their Dive Certification from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, some of the best scuba pros in the world. Leading ecological tourism, Jean-Michel Cousteau created L’Aventure, a flagship dive operation at the ocean side Fiji resort. A leading eco-advantage at the JMC is the resident marine biologist Johnny Singh, who does more than lead incredible scuba diving and snorkel adventures. In the evenings, he gives an educational slide show with topics that range from “Coral Reefs” to “Shark’s Biodiversity.” There are over a dozen dive sites to choose from, and one of the top ten dive locations in the world is Namena Island Reserve, an uninhabited protected area with a fish and bird sanctuary. On a Namena dive, there are fabulous opportunities to see larger species, including reef, white, and black tooth sharks, tuna, barracuda, and stingrays, plus hard and soft coral, which all add up to make this a world-class dive site.

The JMC leads with their numerous ocean programs, for youth and adults alike; diving adventures that now go beyond bringing back a wealth of information pass on stewardship of the ocean to inspire the next generation of aquanauts.

The region is full of beautiful tropical birds that are making a comeback. In the protected Namena Island Bird Sanctuary, you can spot the threatened Red-Footed Booby. These birds can dive up to almost 100 ft. to catch their ocean prey.

The Cousteau team is working to have more marine protected areas. Recently, the Nukubalavu Marine Reserve was formed for the next 20 years from a local initiative. Johnny Singh shared, “I’ve seen a lot of change in the last ten years, but I still see in October the southern Humpback and Sperm Whales which migrate from Australia—they are breeding and calving—and the Silver Spinner Dolphins can be found breaching year around.”  Johnny explained that since 2002, with the Marine Protected Areas, the community fights to restock the reefs and repopulate fish. The Ministry of Fisheries has helped the comeback and Dr. Richard Murphy from Ocean Futures Foundation has been another knowledgeable source for their program.

Marine Biologist Johnny Singh © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

The lessons learned help JMC build a sustainable destination resort with systems that bio mimic nature, and use nature for balance. They use natural plants for pesticide control, which is a leading approach among Eco Resorts. The wastewater filtration system is designed to create a biodiverse natural pond and wetlands environment for natural self-cleaning. The drinking water comes from the village and uses four stages of advanced filtration, and ultraviolet light for purification. The Medicine Walk continues the legacy of Niumaia Kavika, a famous medicine man who worked there to pass on a wealth of knowledge about the use of local plants for their healing and beneficial properties.

Plants are key and the Mangrove Reforestation program works with the seeding and tagging to restore the ecosystems and prevent further coastal erosion. The Coral and Giant Clam Farms are two initiatives that support eco goals too. The coral fragments are collected, regrown, and replanted on reefs. The Giant Clam Farm protects the growing years of the clam in the ocean by re-planting them in protected areas to husband their aging. Giant clams live beyond 100 years, can weigh over 500 lbs. and are overharvested—being a sought-after delicacy has made them increasingly scarce.

There is a lot to take away from this Eco Resort about life’s systems, with age-appropriate experiential learning, which lives throughout all the fun ocean programs of the Cousteau family. The resort makes interactive marine biology accessible to all people of all ages, with programs for Adults, Bula, Teens, and 6–12-years groups. A Mama is customarily assigned to every child guest under the age of five years, for free, and families are well catered to beyond what they learn. At the JMC, all can be pampered, and learn about the ocean.

Organic Garden at JMC Resort © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

One thing that helps make JMC unique is Navia Navia, a private island that offers guests exclusivity and privacy, and can be rented for various amounts of time in order to spend sacred alone time in paradise with the one you love. The food at Cousteau is something to write home about. Fifteen years and growing, the organic gardens offer fresh local island vegetables, tropical fruit, edible flowers, and herbs growing on the two acres that are surrounded by island flowers and play areas. Both Fijian style farm- and sea-to-table make for pure culinary heaven, with a global influence. The organic garden is a rarity among resorts in the Fiji Islands, which gives JMC a healthy-body ecology lead.  The culinary options are exquisite and scrumptious, with some of the best Asia-fused Pacific fare influenced by the talented Executive Chef, Raymond Lee. Chef Lee supervises the traditional Fijian “Lovo” feast celebrated every week at the resort, with delicacies cooked in the fire pit by hot embers covered with banana leaves. Lee offers a Junior Chef program where youths can harvest the plants for meals and learn about the cradle-to-cradle systems, including composting. The garden and children’s play area is a lovely venue to spend time in and around, with programs to support the growth of all.

Spa Bed © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

The JMC spa massage treatments follow suit, with all-natural and locally harvested coconut oil, gifted therapist hands, native Fijian plant essences, and the Bobo massage.

Eco is incorporated, along with luxury, in all the systems at the Cousteau Resort, in the Oceanside bungalow Bures that are replete with LED lights, solar on-demand hot water, and all the cushy comforts, such as a hammock and huge bath that are needed to thoroughly enjoy island life. Throughout the resort, efficiency is integrated with lighting motion sensors or timers on equipment, and the resort has a comprehensive recycling program.  Read more about the sustainability efforts here.

Wedding © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

The Cousteau Resort is an ideal place to get married. There are many romantic wedding packages to choose from in an extraordinary setting, and it becomes more economical combining the honeymoon and wedding together at the same venue, with many wonderful activities that can add to the beginning of a loving lifelong adventure, including local fishing, touring in a glass bottom boat, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, volleyball, tennis, kayaking, eco-touring, medicine walking, and Fijian storytelling.

The JMC and the local village Nukubalavu balance the tourism industry that supports the local economy by employing villagers, and by having the charity Savusavu Foundation for the village support one another. In Nukubalavu we found; family.  Most of the village of Nukubalavu is the driving workforce at the Jean-Michael Cousteau Resort. Guests staying at JMC get to visit the village and see the culture and extraordinary dance. One family from the village of Nukubalavu was instrumental in World Team’s entire journey with Fiji (soon we will share more about the extraordinary people that helped make the journey to Fiji next, but a special shout out to Iowane Ritova and Andrea Fono).  I was welcomed to stay in the village and shared a Fijian feast of native delights.  I learned of the village’s needs, for water, sanitation, renewable energy, and saw the opportunity for a future project for World Team Now. I met with the local Ratu in the village and shared Kava. We are thankful to the villagers, especially Iowane Rivota who has become a World Team member and has been active in supporting and sharing  WTN’s efforts in Fiji.  World Team Now gained another partner in the Village of Nukubalavu in our UN Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Sustainable Solutions Oceans Opportunities on Small Island States (SOS-IS).

A hermit crab race is a regular fundraiser event for the Savusavu Foundation striving to give back to the community through various efforts, including raising funds to help build a kindergarten teamwork is needed as all of the villages hard hit by TC Winston can still use support.

The staff at the JMC that keeps the native Fiji Bula genuine comes primarily from the nearby villages of Nukubalavu who live out the Fijian legend of consideration and love of others and bend over backward to make sure every child, adult, and mangrove, is respected and cared for in this Fijian island experience.

A population of 200 village staff work at the JMC. General Manager Bart Simpson explained, “Half of the villagers had lost their homes in the two tidal waves from TC Winston.” A local villager was running for higher ground as fast as he could and confessed, “By God, I think I’m going to die, my house is following me,” because it was being carried by sea 10 meters away from him.

The Cousteau architectural philosophy includes a lineage of interest to build with the ocean, which is the challenge these islands face at this time. To resist the temptation of a rock wall, and move up away from the sea to reclaim land is a challenge. Once the land is underwater there is a question about boundaries. Adjacent Boundaries of National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) is indeed a United Nations conversation about a sustainable future in a process for large ocean states like Fiji.  There is a sustainable energy vision for the 25 Bures on the 17 acres at JMC, and future generations of staff, their kids or grandchildren, continue the legacy. “The Ocean is reclaiming land every year” explained Bart Simpson, the Resort’s Manager, who has noticed a change in the eight years since he arrived. Bart said, “Moving towards ecology affected by climate change and sea level rise, we have been losing land in a short timeline… True to traditional Fijian culture, the JMC strives to be sustainable, and multi-cultural.” The Cousteau family’s commitment to the ocean is to demonstrate innovative solutions, educate, and be stewards for all the species that find a home in the ocean.

Savusavu art © Photo By Suzanne Maxx

The Savusavu local arts and handicraft section of the Farmer’s Market share the locals’ use of natural resources, with unique handmade gifts that are sold by village artists, farmers who sell produce, and performing musicians. J. Hunter Pearls provides a rare opportunity to find that precious rarity of a pearl in its raw natural environment because the Savusavu Bay’s underwater oyster farm offers not just the oyster and the pearl, but also ocean wisdom.  There are many gifts to take away from this region, but the value of a family’s legacy is immeasurable, as are the experiential souvenirs tattooed on the heart when learning to thrive with and in the ocean. This is ingrained in the Cousteau Resort experience and is a timeless present.

It is hard to leave the JMC without feeling like you are leaving home, a place where all belong.

Summary of World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Posts

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads from the Pacific Islands Part 1 Turtle Island ©

By Suzanne Maxx © The Pacific Island Region seemed to call, and last year I went on an adventure to ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 2 Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Fiji Part 2 Travel to the Yasawa Islands to... Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort Leading the ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 3 JMC

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Continued; Part 3 Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort So too, our love for the ocean is ...
Read More

World Team Follows as Fiji Leads in the Pacific Island Region Part 4 Global View

By Suzanne Maxx ©World Team Now Continued; Part 4 Koro Sun Resort Koro Sun Resort’s 160-acre sanctuary on the island ...
Read More

#Fiji #PacificIslands, #Jean-MichelCousteauResort, #ECOresorts, #WorldTeam, #SOS-IS #Uniting4Climate @Connect4Climate @COP23, #UN #SDG#14 #Jean-MichelCousteau, #FabienCousteau, 

The Climate Movement’s Moment ©

By Suzanne Maxx

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Outside COP21 with the flags of the United Nations.

LE BOURGET, FRANCE.   Fortunately here at COP21 there is no longer the question of if climate change is happening, check out this slide show.  It now is a question of how quickly we all can act to meet the challenge, and when we will have strong global policy. COP21 was supposed to end yesterday, but true to the history and form of the complexity of these agreements, it is still in process.

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Photo of Suzanne Maxx by Albert Boulanger for World Team Now at Climate Generations Area

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) holds annual meetings of the delegates Conference of the Parties (COP) and each year it grows older, left without a process to manage the world’s actions, climate change’s impact on our world increases.  COP has come of age at 21 here in Paris, now it is truly like a 21 year old— legal but not yet quite responsible— perhaps an appropriate metaphor for the upcoming results of the much-anticipated Paris Convention/Accord.

The bottom-up approach to each country choosing what they are capable of contributing seems to be working with the “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) all countries submissions are public here. COP21 had a jump start, and with the delivery of so many INDCs, COP21 was set on a fast track to global transformation, which lit the fire of possibility to “dream the impossible dream.”

On the opening day of the COP21 when the family photo of world leaders was taken, and Mission Innovation was announced, all eyes saw the possibility of transformational global policy. Clean Energy Innovation R & D will be doubled by 20 major economies with the help of the private sector.  Billionaire Bill Gates at the helm of an impressive Breakthrough Energy Coalition that reads like a “who’s who” of game changers helps Mission Innovation.With so many world leaders in Paris for the beginning of

With so many world leaders in Paris for the beginning of COP21 the stage of this conference was set to change the game. In 2015, there were multiple preparatory conferences all producing a draft of the policy. The regular meetings increased the chance that all could agree here in Paris, and we would have global environmental policy.  Historically, the leaders would arrive at the end of the COPs after a few weeks where their representatives would try to negotiate a deal.  This year’s COP was different, not just because all world leaders agreed to come at the beginning of the COP, having worked out what they are able to contribute on their own, but were standing for the success of finally attaining climate policy. To have these world leaders in the same place after the vulnerable attacks here in Paris demonstrates a commitment to the statement: “There is no darkness that can overcome the light.”

Photo Credit: Photo by Yann Arthus-Bertrand / Spectra

A Message of Freedom and 100% Renewable Energy from Paris. Eiffel Tower Peace Symbol © Yann Arthus-Bertrand  / Spectral Q

The people, NGOs, and corporations also set up a powerful approaches to action, including a massive march planned for the Global Climate Movement. However, many Paris events were canceled, including the climate marches after the terrorist attacks, and subsequent state of emergency.  Fortunately, the Global Climate Movement adapted with action around the world. We used our bodies as a font in the Eiffel Tower aerial art piece,  that 300  of us or so took part in, led by artist John Quigley and Dancing without Boarders,  This event miraculously prevailed and has become the iconic image of COP21, gracing the cover of many  publications. Other powerful events in Paris for this COP21 time frame were pulled off successfully augmenting the action over at Le Bourget’s COP21 conferences like “Earth to Paris,” and the “Energy for Tomorrow Conference’’ hosted by the International New York Times.  The Green Zone public “Climate Generation Area” allowed all people to be involved in the action, and there were some solid panels like “Energy Matters,” sponsored by the International Energy Agency.

Global Emissions Target of 1.5 degrees Celsius is what’s needed by at least 2020— it was needed yesterday — so ideally with a pre-2020 five year review and calibration. The target date may end up being 2050; this is one of the points of conflict in the negotiation.  Will this be a realistic target that sets us on a trajectory that honors what we know to be true about climate change, and how it affects not only human health, but also the balance of all species on earth? The other sensitive point is: when will the energy transition occur?  We would like to see 100% renewable energy by at least 2050. A firm date of when to phase out of fossil fuel is at the root of this controversial debate.  The majority of countries now agree that 100% cut of fossil fuel will happen, but by when— is the question.

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Courtesy of Climate Generations Area COP21

The forests and oceans breathe for our planet— they are more than our lungs.  Together they are teeming with the bio-diversity— the flora, fauna, and all necessary for our human species. survival.  We are waiting for the text of the final document to have language about the commitment to zero de-forestation globally.  Our oceans need protection from acidification, and warming temperatures—this is imperative to take into account, and have specific measurable results in mind, along with global emission targets.  We need to have goals for our oceans, islands, and responsibly embrace policy that is accountable for not only our air, but also the land, waters, and people. Global policy that allows all people to belong to the earth is needed, especially when whole nations, island states like Tuvalu are being annihilated by our collective use of resources. Justice is needed to balance the poor Small Islands and Least Developed Countries who are most affected by the results of climate change, with richer nations sourcing the problem.

Fossil Fuel subsidies are going to be phased out globally— much to both the dismay and celebration of many people and industries.  Why subsidize the most profitable global industry anyway?  Old paradigms can be hard for some to let go, yet our future depends on embracing this renewable energy transition, and also how fast we can move on a large scale. More than a trillion dollars a year— just think of how quickly we could change the energy game with those same subsidies going to renewable energy or into the Green Climate Fund. The 100 billion annual contribution to the Green Climate Fund would become a reality.

Naturally, it will be better to have an ambitious framework with a big enough vision for growth and change.  There needs to be checks and balances in place — most likely discussed in more detail next year at Morocco COP22.  An independent agency will need to be formed organically to both check and enforce agreed upon targets, much like the International Atomic Energy Agency reports to the Security Council.

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Wind energy captured by these faux trees –outside COP21 Paris–sustainable device for biodiversity

The long term key will be the enforceable, critical language added, and systems put in place to realize the outcome of the global goals. It will take time to work out the logistics of how we live into these objectives collectively.  That is why this is a convention with the goals to have a framework to build out over time, so it reflects the truth of what we are collectively committed to achieving. Transparent, enforceable global policy with mechanisms, systems, and a structure that we all— all nations and all people— can live into after COP21.  This will take more time than allotted at COP21— that is why this is a process.  This process can direct global markets, as well as steer the re-prioritization of our collective values— this is where change can take root. Here is a copy of the yesterday’s draft doc, and some of the key sticking points . It may take years to realize the “how,” but at this point, what is important is that we agree to common global goals and objectives that will set us in a direction to live into our future.

“Key” Pres. Obama’s Veto of KeyStone XL Pipeline- ECO Legacy

Today, in defense for our environment and for all of us people on the planet, President Obama has exercised his USA Presidential power to veto the Keystone XL Pipeline, an important step in the movement towards an  “ECO” Presidential Legacy, powered by us people.

It’s disturbing that, at a time when all hands need to be on deck for humanity to live in balance with our resources on this planet, the USA Congress has forced President Obama to exercise his presidential power now,  instead of doing their job to create public policy, and laws that help govern our society and builds a vital nation better structuring  and organizing our quality of life. This 3rd veto is no surprise, as President Obama declared in his State of the Union Address, to veto this bill and others, that were not truly in the best interest for us all.

Tar sands in Alberta Canada

 

At this point, most of us understand why the Keystone Pipeline is not the “Key”. The tar sands (or oil sands) toxicity benefits no one, and at this point sadly we all know the words to this song, “Profit over People and Planet,” which is the cornerstone, or key stone, behind many who prioritize this now in our world.  Tar sands confront public health, at a time when we already have too many challenges with clean air to breath globally.  Keystone XL usurps the citizens’ human rights as property owners of Nebraska, South Dakota and other states that the pipeline goes through.  It questions their freedom, forcing them to sacrifice their own home, and farm land— for what? To transport oil from Canada through the USA for Mexico, or China –when all these regions, including the USA, can get our own clean renewable energy from natural sources?  Sounds reasonable?  It risks the quality of our water, earth, air, and presents the risks of contamination.

Is this an evolution of the US Constitution? Why is it even being considered at this moment and how could this be the “key”?  Who would this benefit?  Well, others have spent a great deal of time breaking down the motivation, and who benefits.  It is all very simple—some call it “cash whipping” it serves individual Congress members, many who were each paid over $200,000 to vote “yes,” and this “wolf in the sheep’s clothing” good sounding “Citizen’s United Bill” that has polluted one of the best pieces of public policy ever written; the USA Constitution.  Thanks to Citizen’s United which allows corporations to have equal rights with citizens and finance, monstrosities, like Keystone XL, to become a possibility, instead of a crime.  Tar sands projects at this time on our planet need to be illegal because they threaten the public health, of our species and all on our planet. But it also argues important legal issues about freedom at such a time— discerning people’s state’s, national, and planet interests. This moment in time affords the opportunity to redefine our priorities, and with the class action cases against Keystone XL Pipeline being argued at a state level in court, this indeed may be an opportunity to define how the United States unite and if they are a UNITED States of America.

At this time on the planet, will we get beyond “EGO”— can’t we move towards “ECO”—  ecology and economy.  At a time when we all need not only more sources of alternative renewable energy deployed, but resiliency, and sustainability with flow of energy.  The grid is taxed with more demand often than it can supply.  We need to be passing legislature that indeed incentivizes renewable energy sources, distributed energy architecture, and teaming-up on microgrids.  We need policy to incentivize net zero buildings and creative renewable energy systems, and energy storage, at a large scale.  We need more electric vehicles on the road charging to renewable energy sources, with complementary energy storage systems.  We need to crack that large scale energy storage nut, and incentivize not a pipeline transporting energy from one country to another through our country, but onsite energy systems that are reliable, resilient, and onsite electricity generation locations, homegrown energy from our natural resources, stored for backup when needed.

Why are we not trying to put bills on the table to work through our own energy challenges?  Bipartisan bills that have a chance of getting passed with the intent being to benefit the public— after all, are not politicians supposed to be public servants? It is a sad use of power that is spent stalling for time, until the power can move in another direction.  It all is a strategic, historical power play that at the end will only demonstrate how all systems, including the political system, could better serve us people and our planet.  The Keystone XL Pipeline will prove to be the pipe dream of this time, dreamt from the fallible EGO of Trans Canada bought through and approved by Congress, but fortunately it gives all people the opportunity to see the light, and the possibility of ECO.

“The pen is mightier than the sword”
—Edward Bulwer-Lytton  1839

Watch out world— 2015 plans to be a year of action, as mentioned prior, with the climax being President Obama as one of the leaders towards powerful global policy that stands for our people and planet over profit in Paris at UNFCC’s COP21.  Think it’s impossible?  Well we’ve seen a draft of what is on the table for global “ECO” policy, and there are better possibilities, even surprising ones, and if we all continue to team-up for the good of our planet we will create a global movement, and this isn’t a pipe dream or pipe line for any agenda accept our future.

Political System of the United States with its checks and balances

Thankful that the Unites States Constitution triune structure of checks and balances exists, but  it is confronting that it’s limits are being tested, and begs to question why it isn’t functioning more as a trinity— especially at this moment in humanity’s story on our planet earth.

President Obama will likely wait until the ruling from Nebraska’s state supreme court to finalize the rejection of the pipeline outright, which is the final step to closure.  A Nebraska county judge issued a temporary injunction to stop TransCanada from using eminent domain to force landowners to sell their property rights for the pipeline. As a result, TransCanada agreed not to use eminent domain anywhere in Nebraska until the state’s Supreme Court finally settles the legal struggle over Keystone’s route across the state, which if we have anything to do with all of this, it will be a moot point anyway.

For President Obama’s ECO legacy it began with the ARRA with renewable energy options, then granting EPA the power to defend public health as a national security issue and enforce environmental clean air policy. Fast forward to September 2014, nearly half a million of us people rallied for action on climate change in NYC; we were there at the UN General Assembly when President Obama shared with a small group of leaders at an Open Government Forum, that he had just discussed a historic climate deal with China to cut greenhouse gas emissions and in November it came to pass; in December, more than one million comments were submitted in support of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan; in January, historical protections for the Arctic Refuge were announced; and now President Obama has vetoed Congress’s bill to force the approval of the Keystone pipeline, now it is time to reject Trans Canada’s plans for Keystone XL Pipeline outright will you please add your name to tell President Obama to just outright reject the Keystone XL Pipeline? Please sign here.

It is time to make sure; “We the People”–have an ECO legacy, a time to re-organize, and prioritize by bringing the temptation of this folly to public presenting the clarity of choices driven by EGO vs. ECO. Best left in the words of Sir Walter Scott’s poem, “Breathes there the Man” 

 

The #People’sClimate March -WheelProgress

WTN Statue-of-Liberty-ClimateMarch0748-PCM_SocialMedia600x600_LibertySolar_WorldTeamLogo

NEW YORK, NY USA–Join our World Team Now (WTN) September 21st; we will be rolling out on our skates, taking it to the streets in the #People’sClimate March in New York! Our goal is to show our leaders that the people are demanding climate action. Be part of the change and sign up here.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlJIymycYTA

There will be many events happening around the world,  striving to enroll everyone. This action coincides with Ban Ki-moon’s UN Climate Summit 2014, opening the next day headquartered at the United Nations.  The action is part of the launch of  Climate Week in New York, which is meant to shine the light of awareness on the all-important United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21 from November 30 to December 11th 2015 in Paris.

UN Climate Summit in September 2014, New York.

UN Climate Summit in September 2014, New York.

In addition to raising public awareness on  climate change,  it is our hope that we will all (especially our leaders), finally agree on needed global policy for humanity at large and our environment of our one home; earth.

We all know the “chicken and egg” cliché, which still seems to be stopping Climate Action. Ideally global leaders are indeed public servants, and do what is best and just for us people.  We, the people, have been asking for global environmental policy, and prior excuses from leaders proclaim it is not the will of the people.  After all, in the USA alone 43%  of our country does not believe that human behavior is a factor in the change of our climate, called anthropogenic climate change, according to the March 2014 Gallup Poll.  So if a leader needs to represent the “majority of the people,” they need to act with a known constituency of support; thus the #ClimateMarch, to raise public awareness and to demonstrate that we, the people, are indeed asking for climate action.

At World Team Now, we are usually about renewable energy demonstration projects— in our work, in our homes, and changing ourselves— looking at how we individually and collectively use our energy. Energy that is not just demonstrated by solar, wind, heat pump geothermal, tidal energy or use of LED lights— not just the technologies deployed in our buildings— but an awareness.  We want to build our constituency that understands that the decisions we make affect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the earth where we grow our food, our oceans, and the intricate biodiversity of all species.

WheelProgress

WheelProgress

We are the people standing and working for global climate justice in policy, locally and globally, in action changing; our buildings to net zero, our vehicles to electric and rolling forward on wheels and making real progress, we call #WheelProgress.  We roll forward a future based on teamwork and community and will demonstrate that in the Climate March by the way we actually move forward, on INLINE  or ROLLER SKATES, or if you use a wheelchair! We are already making #WheelProgress with renewable solutions not just for movement or transportation, but in demonstration projects— now let’s get ratified accountable global policy. Let’s all roll it along much faster for real progress.

WTN is part of the global TckTckTck campaign, where along with 350.org and another 500+ non-profit organizations are strategizing our environmental movement to work together.  One of the leaders in this capacity has been Bill McKibben, with his growing 350.org alliance, now working for the People’s Climate March.  They are the genesis around this Climate March, and WTN once again couldn’t help but join but to support teamwork to show that the people in the USA do want to see political action with policy to protect our challenged climate, that is actually changing.  We do play a role in the change, and it’s time to build our movement.

"O" World Team Now skaters for 350,  Brooklyn, NY USAWorld Team Now calls on our global roller skate family to engage our community around the world that will be in NYC and will join to roller skate for renewable energy, at the People’s Climate March. We will demonstrate by our own renewable energy, leg power– we can build on our movement to go faster! We will use our own human energy to naturally propel our movement and play to transform our world.   We will show our love for roller skating as a way to demonstrate to the world we have the power to choose how to use our resources, and keep them in balance with all species on this planet.  With wheels on our feet, we demonstrate it’s time to roll fast forward to the future we want to see. We invite all to be part of World Team Now, in the People’s Climate March, please join us on your feet, wheelchair, or roller skates.

Register here: http://peoplesclimate.org/march/?r=WorldTeamNow

If you skate, or are on wheels, please join us for the Wheel Progress & Skaters Hub on Facebook as well— it looks like we will have both groups rolling this out and hopefully together.

If you want to gain more motivation for this needed movement, see Disruption.

If you need transportation or want to be a bus or train captain, click here.

If you need housing for your stay in NYC, click here.

Let’s choose to join the action for our planet.  Take action now, and show that we, the people, do care about our future, please do join us!

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