Caption: Dolly Talbott, spokeswoman of the Gomeroi Elders.
350.org Pacific, along with its local groups across the region, have taken a powerful stand against the largest coal mine currently in development in Australia.
The Maules Creek Coal Project will see Whitehaven Coal, the mining company; destroy much of the Leard Forest in order to dig up 13 million tons of coal per year over the next 30 years.
The Leard Forest sits on land that has been home to the traditional people of Gomeroi Country.
Not only will they be destroying the natural habitat of hundreds of species of animals and plants, the Maules Creek Coal Project will see to it, that Whitehaven Coal destroys burial and other sacred sites of the Gomeroi People, who call this land home.
In a move of empathy, 350 Pacific has stated that it must, and it will, stand in solidarity with the Gomeroi People.
?We feel sadness for the people of Gomeroi, we can see how they have been treated with such disrespect and disregard. For them mining destroys their ties to their culture and traditions. For us the burning of the coal being mined, serves the same threat,? stated Mrs. Koreti Tiumalu,?350.org?Pacific Coordinator.
?We must send a message to Whitehaven that the Maules Creek Coal Project MUST STOP,? she added.
As it stands, digging up and burning all the coal, oil and gas that the fossil fuel industry has planned will release five times more carbon dioxide than climate change scientists say is safe for our Pacific Islands and the world.
To keep the Pacific Islands above water, coal needs to stay in the ground.
?To keep our islands safe, we must stand with the Gomeroi people and the hundreds of Australians, standing to protect what is sacred in this world, the environment and those that inhabit it,? concluded Tiumalu
350 Pacific has started a?petition?that states that as Pacific Islanders, we stand in solidarity with the Gomeroi traditional owners, in their fight against Whitehaven Coal and their Maules Creek Coal Project.