Submitted by admin on Wed, 04/05/2017 - 04:28
April 5, 2017 by admin
Island and Ocean Ecosystems
By Iliesa Tora, Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Climate Change and Communications of Tonga (MEIDECC).

NUKU'ALOFA (MEIDECC): Art can be a great tool to pass on the messages about Whales and the need to protect them in our oceans here in Oceania, says the Pew Charitable Trusts in New Caledonia.

Presenting during a side show at the 'Whales in a changing Ocean' conference here at the Tanoa Dateline International Hotel in Nuku'alofa today, Ms Aline Schaffar of Pew said their current exhibition at the Tjibaou Gallery in Noumea reflects these important messages.

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                                                  Ms Aline Schaffar, Pew Charitable Trust, New Caledonia

"The exhibition goes in line with the fact that we are celebrating Year of the Whales and we had artists from New Caledonia and the region come over to Noumea for three weeks and work on getting the messages out in art form," she said.

"The artists were also able to watch the whales as it was the whale watching season."

The exhibition includes works of Tongan artist Reha Fifita, who is part of the talented Fifita Family – operators of the On the Spot Arts Initiative in Kolofo'ou.

Ms Fifita was invited as part of the group that visited Noumea last year.

A total of eight artists took part in the three-week work programme, with five from New Caledonia and three from the region.

Ms Schaffar presented photos of the art works, which was a variety of different art methods, using different materials but focusing on whales and the ocean.

The exhibition in Noumea will run until August before that is taken to other parts of New Caledonia.

Participants showed their interest in seeing how best such linkages with local artists in their respective countries can be funded and implemented to help spread the message about whale protection.

To learn more about the 'Whales and men to protect the oceans' exhibition please visit:

The project is supported by the Government of New Caledonia, the Government of New Zealand and Creative New Zealand, SPREP, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and Fonds Pacifique.

The exhibition was featured during the Whales in a Changing Ocean Conference at a special event held on the second day.

The Whales in a Changing Ocean Conference from 4 – 6 April, 2017 in Nuku'alofa, Tonga, is coordinated by the Government of Tonga, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Auckland Institute of Studies (AIS).

Sponsoring the event with the Government of Tonga, SPREP and AIS - is the Government of Australia; Government of New Zealand; Government of Sweden; the Okeanos Foundation; European Union through the Pacific Community and the INTEGRE project; Fonds Pacifique; Digicel; and Deep Blue Diving Tonga.

Uniting with conference coordinators and sponsors to partner for the Whales in a Changing Ocean Conference are the Animal Welfare Institute; Blue Climate Solutions; CET Law; Humane Society International; International Fund for Animal Welfare; Pattillo Ltd: South Pacific Tourism Organisation; South Pacific Whale Research Consortium; Tanoa International Dateline Hotel; Vava'u Environment Protection Association; and World Cetacean Alliance.

The Whales in a Changing Ocean Conference is held from 4 – 6 April at the Tanoa International Dateline Hotel in Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

For further information please visit: