PVS Crew Participate in Ocean Protection Summit and Sign Joint Oceans Declaration with French Polynesia

In addition to cultural protocol, crew training and canoe preparations, the crews of Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia participated in ocean conservation events during the Blue Climate Summit while in Tahiti last week. Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) president Nainoa Thompson and crew leadership also joined French Polynesia President Edouard Fritch this afternoon for the signing of a Joint Declaration For The Oceans at the President’s Palace in Papeete.

In the joint-declaration, PVS and the government of French Polynesia committed to elevating the voices of island people and Polynesia, making an urgent call for the sustainable management and protection of the oceans, and advancing the importance of culture and ancestral knowledge to educate and empower future generations to become responsible navigators for a healthy, thriving Island Earth. Last week’s Blue Climate Summit was held to accelerate ocean-related solutions to climate change and provide Pacific Islanders an international forum to spearhead action on ocean and climate issues. Co-hosted by the Government of French Polynesia, the event gathered more than 200 scientists, innovators, policymakers, community leaders, and environmental and youth activists.

The Summit commenced in Papeete at the Presidential Palace on Sunday, May 15, with a welcome address from President Fritch followed by remarks by Thompson and other governmental and environmental leaders including Cook Island Prime Minister Mark Brown and Oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle.

Thompson and crew members participated in conversations with ocean advocates and youth ambassadors to discuss how they could work together to advance island values and ancestral knowledge to educate and empower the next generation to become responsible stewards of the oceans and the earth.

On Wednesday, May 18, participants of the Blue Climate Summit bore witness to a ceremony at the sacred navigation marae of Taputapuātea where Pwo navigators Thompson and Jack Thatcher of Aotearoa (New Zealand) spoke about the Moananuiakea Voyage and their commitment as voyagers to be a voice for the protection of the oceans.

Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia have been in Tahiti for more than two weeks since arriving in Papeete to a celebratory welcome on Saturday, May 7, 2022. The canoes are scheduled to begin the voyage back to Hawaiʻi tomorrow morning and are expected to reach Hilo by mid-June.

To follow the journey to Tahiti, please visit the voyaging dashboard at www.WaaHonua.com.

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