An environmental activist and climate warrior from the Republic of the Marshall Islands spoke at the Bank of Guam forum this morning to share the struggles of the island nation against climate change.
As a small island developing nation in the Pacific, the Marshall Islands has been in the spotlight for its efforts to fight climate change — from the local to the global policy arena.
Selina Leem from the Marshall Islands recently worked as a Youth Representative at the Permanent Mission of the RMI to the United Nations in New York. Leem was born and raised in Majuro and credits her grandfather for her deep awareness of the increasing fate of her home through his stories about how the Marshalls would be flooded.
She moved to Germany at age 16 to finish high school, where she took on the role of climate change advocate for her country.
She says the Marshall Islands and other Pacific island nations are vulnerable to rising sea levels, displacement, and other impacts of climate change. Recognizing the need to take action, several years ago, more than 100 countries made a commitment at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris to limit warming to 1.5 degrees celsius and to take national action to address climate change.
Leem was the youngest delegate at the 2015 Climate Change Conference. During the closing remarks, then RMI Foreign Minister, the late Tony de Brum, gave her the opportunity to give the final statement on behalf of her country.