On Oscar Night, Help Climate Refugees from the Remote Cateret Islands On Oscar Night, Help Climate Refugees from the Remote Cateret Islands
The Planet

On Oscar Night, Help Climate Refugees from the Remote Cateret Islands

by Ben Jervey

February 19, 2011

The filmmakers behind the moving, Oscar-nominated documentary Sun Come Up, are harnessing their Academy-driven buzz for good, and hoping to extend the positive impact of their film.

The film itself follows the plight of some of the world's first true climate refugees. Their homeland, the Cateret Islands, a remote chain in the South Pacific, is fast losing ground to rising sea levels. The families who have lived there for dozens of generations have made the agonizing decision to relocate their entire community. (Check out our interview with director Jennifer Redfearn from last year.)

The filmmakers are asking friends and supporters to turn their Oscar parties into "House Raisers" to raise money for the Cateret Islanders relocation program, and all donations will go directly to the construction of new homes.

Imagine one night, 50 parties in 50 different homes. Each home commits to raising at least $400 each, for a total of $20,000 for the Carteret Islanders by February 27th, the date of the Academy Awards!

(Click on the "share" link in the widget above to help spread the word.)

The filmmakers write:

The Carteret Islanders are taking matters into their own hands. They're negotiating for a new homeland in Bougainville, a mountainous island 50 miles across the ocean.

The Carteret Islanders have secured land in two locations on Bougainville, and in 2009 two families moved to their new communities. Eight more families plan to move in the next two months, but they need support to build new homes.

Small island communities like the Carteret Islands contribute the least to climate change—they have no factories, no airplanes, no cars and no electricity. Yet they are among the hardest hit. We must not let these communities bear the brunt of this problem alone. They have a right to survive, and a right to their culture. They have a right to a home.

Want to host a House Raiser? Fill out this form and you'll receive a House Raiser tool kit, which includes a DVD of the film.

Ben Jervey More Info

Ben is a writer and editor covering climate change, energy, and environment, and is currently the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor at GOOD Magazine and his work has appeared regularly in National Geographic News, Grist, DeSmogBlog, and OnEarth. He recently worked with the non-profit Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer. When living in New York City, he wrote a book, The Big Green Apple, on how to live a lower impact life in the city. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.
Some recent articles by Ben Jervey:
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On Oscar Night, Help Climate Refugees from the Remote Cateret Islands