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Friday, December 22, 2017

Indigenous Pacific Conservationists to Follow on Twitter in 2018

This was a hard blog to write. It started with a tweet and a realization that there aren't a lot of people using Twitter in the Pacific.
I thought it would be an easy exercise to find indigenous people who work in Pacific conservation on Twitter. I can easily list off two dozen who have been on my payroll. And I've also met people at countless workshops and meetings I've attended in the region. Plus I have a huge family! Surely, they are all on Twitter, right?

That would be a negative, ghost rider. It's shocking how few conservation professionals in the Pacific are on Twitter. This isn't to say that folks in the islands aren't conducting science communication; Most of the people I know in the Pacific are on Facebook, and many are on Instagram. But the communities they work in don't share information the way we do here in Washington, DC. But without Twitter, they're not using what I consider to be the most popular social network with funding and granting communities, as well as the big academic and NGO institutions in more developed countries. The topic of why this is could be an entire blog unto itself, so I'll just stop there and get on with it.

So I decided to make a list. I hope that this is just a preliminary list, because I could use your help identifying more people.

I do have a few caveats. I will only list people who are currently active on Twitter. So people who have one tweet in the last three months don't make the list. Neither do people who syndicate their Facebook or Instagram feeds to Twitter. I want to link to people that are active on Twitter. And this is meant to be a list of people from the Pacific who are working on conservation in the Pacific. But not everyone is a strict conservationist, a few are politicians who have championed environmental causes. And they don't have to necessarily be indigenous (there's a Jamaican Hawaiian Jewish American from the Marianas on the list). And they don't have to be currently in the Pacific, as long as they are still working on conservation or in school. I also recognize that there are a whole lot of expatriot conservation practitioners in the region, and many of them are on Twitter. This is not that list. I'm trying to make a distinction here with people who are from the region (apologies, I hope you understand).

So here we go, in no particular order, the list of Indigenous Pacific Conservationists to Follow on Twitter in 2018:

Hilda C. Heine, Marshall Islands. President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. First female leader in the Pacific. Passionate about education, women's rights and the climate change fight.
Olai Uludong, Palau. Palau Ambassador to the United Nations. She was a big champion of the 2016 IUCN Motion to protect 30% of the ocean.
Sangeeta Mangubhai, Fiji. Fijian coral reef ecologist working on conservation & sustainable development in the Pacific. Director @wcsfiji Love my country, nature, culture, island life
Narrissa Spies, Hawaii. Native Hawaiian scientist. A lover of the ocean and all things chocolate.
Frank Bainimarama, Fiji. The office of Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of @FijiRepublic and President of @COP23
Austin Shelton, Guam. Marine biologist @UOGTriton restoring watersheds to revive #coralreefs | Associate Director @UOGSeaGrant | Director @UOGCIS | Edu+Outreach+Diversity @GuamEPSCoR
Kate Brown, New Zealand. Perspectives and views on islands - sustainable island communities sometimes island people (eg my kids!). Originally NZer but now based in US.
Peter Thomson, Fiji. UNSG's Special Envoy for the Ocean - dedicated to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.
Anita Hofschneider, Saipan. Journalist @CivilBeat: anita@civilbeat.org Former @AP reporter @WSJ intern @Harvard alum. RTs ≠ endorsements. 9924 5713 435E 7CDB 43D8 D603 0D7B 97E5 E751 CB97
Anna Oposa, Philippines. Impatient optimist. Goal digger. Chief Mermaid, @SavePHSeas.
Shelley Campbell, New Zealand. CEO Cancer Society Waikato/Bay. Love of our oceans & respect for environment. Blake Leader getting up each day knowing leadership is about what you do.
Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Marshall Islands. Marshallese poet, spoken word artist
Eric Tong, Hawaii. Kanaka aloha ‘āina || PhD candidate, Oceanography UHMānoa || Indigenous seas | PopGen | Kumukahiki | Moku o Lo‘e Castaway #PonoScienceIsPossible #DecolonizeSTEM
Steven Johnson, Saipan. Oregon State University | PhD Geography @OSUCEOAS | Social-Ecological Systems | Coral reefs | Trail Running | Music | Memes
Arthur Sokimi, Fiji. Pacific Islander. Global citizen. Husband. International Relations student at the University of Sydney
Gregorio Camacho Kilili Sablan, Saipan. US Delegate for the CNMI

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