Our Ocean, Our Identity: Fijian history on display at UN Oceans Conference

Thirty images from Fiji’s National Archives highlighting our historical and cultural links to our ocean are now on display at the UN HQ during this week’s UN Oceans Conference.

The images were collected last week by Fiji’s delegation to the UN Oceans Conference before they departed for New York.

‘Our oceans are a big part of our identity and these archival photographs convey that and tells us stories which affirm that the Ocean is a large part of our identity,’ says Peter Emberson, Director of the Multilateral and Oceans Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

‘We have recently come to realize that there are these jewels, this wealth of information that is available in our National Archives, and we are not doing enough to celebrate our cultural heritage.’

As world leaders, governments, institutions, non-government organisations, civil society organisations and other stakeholders gather to agree on a “Call for Action” to support the conservation of the world’s oceans, seas and marine resources, the Fiji delegation joins the world in calling for the remembrance and pride in the pristine history of our planet’s ocean.

‘If we look to these photographs of our past as pointers to appreciate how pristine our environment was back then. To recognize that there’s something that they were doing back then which can point us in the right direction,’ Emberson says.

Nurturing our knowledge preserves invaluable glimpses into our past, reflecting our progress, and highlighting what possible steps we might take to take better care of our oceans.

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