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The MUA voyage is a story of 4 boats from 4 different departure ports from the Pacific islands to one final destination to deliver a message about their concern on climate change!
They are not just any boats! They are Vakas – the traditional ships of the pacific islands! The daring adventure began with the first vaka Marumaru which set sail from Cook Islands on the 23rd September to Samoa where it joined with the second vaka Gaualofa. Then both the vakas set sail to Fiji where a third traditional ship Uto Ni Yalo was waiting for them to set sail to Vanuatu and on to Brisbane then down the eastern coastline towards Sydney. The fourth ship Haunui left Auckland, New Zealand, to sail across and meet the three other vakas on their way to Sydney down the Australian coastline.
All the four vakas finally anchored in Sydney harbour at 9 am local time on 12 November 2014, just on time for the inauguration of the 6th World Parks Congress. They were welcomed with great fan fare by a large public and officials from different countries.
This is not just an ordinary voyage. Their drums are the voices of their People. Their sails are flags of hope. Their vakas (canoes) are symbols of their communities who have lived as one with nature and over the centuries have forged an important relationship with the endless ocean surrounding them. The ocean is their livelihood, culture and identity!
Today, their very survival is at stake because their existence is threatened by overexploitation of the sea, destruction of coral reefs and mangrove forests, rising sea levels and ocean acidification. So the vakas have been sailing from island to island to create awareness and carry a special message to the 6th World Parks Congress, organized by IUCN. It is a Pacific Promise, a global call for action, it is the MUA message:
The president of Palau gave an interview stressing the importance of this voyage and the message behind it :
You can track their voyage towards Sydney on their website: http://www.muavoyage.com/voyage-to-sydney/track-the-voyage/