United Nations
Pacific Women Defend the Commons, Pacific Communities Defend the Commons
by Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality, Fiji (Civil society organization)
Since 2014, a valuable developing set of local women led work in Fiji and the Pacific called Women Defend the Commons, Communities Defend the Commons including DIVA for Equality, Pacific Partnerships on Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (PPGCCSD), PICAN, the Urgent Action Hub, Soqosoqo Vakamarama, Catholic Women's League and many others coming onboard every month.

This set of work is focused on making clearer the links between urgent action on ocean, air and land as the Commons, and with feminists, women and girls of diversities and all ages in urban poor, rural and remote areas of Fiji and the Pacific, as activists and advocates for change.

We work directly with women from urban poor, rural and remote locations to ask what are their core concerns, analysis and strategies for social, economic and ecological justice, including related to protection and restoration of ocean health, and on oceans governance.

We have already worked as women from Suva, Lami, Western side of Viti Levu, Levuka, Savusavu, Taveuni in Fiji, with women in Solomon islands and Tuvalu as part of longer work as PPGCCSD, and soon with women in Republic of Marshall Islands through the RMI Women's Conference, and WUTMI. More women are coming onboard every week to share their views, in consultations, and online.

We are just about to start our fully fledged campaign that links the Ocean Conference with COP23 and COP24, and hope to ensure this link is clearer for all stakeholders over time.

We call, for instance, to keep all coal in the ground now, and to make urgent and just transitions to a low carbon economy as stated already in the Suva Declaration on Climate Change, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

We affirm that the defence of the Commons, of our air, oceans and land, is for our survival as Pacific peoples, and indeed all humans.

Many of the memes and videos from this campaign are already circulating at the Oceans Conference, but will be increasing online as we head into COP23 and beyond from July 2017. Please affirm, amplify and join as you can.

The hashtags for this programme are #WomenDefendCommons and #CommunitiesDefendCommons

Clearly, we cannot have a healthy ocean and global Commons without gender equality, universal human rights and social, economic and environmental justice.

We thank the first Oceans Conference and the UN for the opportunity to share on this ongoing, wide and urgent work in Fiji and the Pacific small island states for social, economic and ecological justice, for all.

#StandWithThePacific #SaveOurOcean #COP23 #WomenDefendCommons #Women4ClimateJustice

DIVA for Equality Contact:
noelenen@gmail.com (To contact DIVA and PPGCCSD)
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Manure management
  • Coastal clean-ups
  • Plastics product bans or restrictions
  • Plastics recovery/recycling/reuse
  • Reduce invasive aquatic species introduction
  • Management of ship-based pollution and/or port waste management
OTHER POLLUTANTS (please specify)
  • Industrial effluent pre-treatment
  • Other (please specify): Marine noise pollution
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
  • Other (please specify): Women led approaches to defending the Commons, including sustainability of air, oceans, waterways and land.
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Terrestrial carbon sinks
  • Carbon capture and sequestration
  • CO2 emission reductions (energy efficiency, renewable energy, etc.)
  • Adaptation to more acidic ocean conditions
  • Other (please specify): Women and community led knowledge and technology to address ocean acidification
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
  • Reduction and elimination fishing practices and gear that destroy/degrade marine habitat
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
  • Other (please specify): Communities and women led fishers and rights to oceans protection and management
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • No take marine protected area
  • Marine protected area with partial protection
  • Multiple use marine protected area
  • Locally or community managed marine areas
  • Other (please specify): Women as decisionmakers in marine management, fisheries and aquaculture
By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
Type of commitment
  • Removal or reduction of harmful fisheries subsidies
  • information relating to harmful subsidies
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
  • Economic benefits from sustainable tourism
  • Economic benefits from sustainable aquaculture/mariculture
  • Economic benefits from marine renewable energy
  • Other : Pacific women, fisheries, aquaculture, food sovereignty and security, and human rights to food and water
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
  • Other (please specify): Community led research and analysis, using women-led and community led approaches
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
  • Community empowerment for fisheries management
  • Other (please specify): Rights of artisinal fisherpeople, including women and costal communities; Also focus on impact of distance fisheries on coastal/national fisheries
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Activities to raise awareness of the comprehensive legal and policy framework for the sustainable development of oceans and seas, in particular UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments and promote their effective im
  • Ratification, accession and acceptance of UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments
  • Activities to develop the capacity of States towards broader participation in and effective implementation of UNCLOS and its implementing Agreements
  • Strengthening ocean governance, for example through the development of a national ocean policy or regional ocean policy
  • Development of necessary infrastructure and/or enforcement capabilities to comply with international law, as reflected in UNCLOS and as complemented by other ocean-related instruments
  • Other (please specify): Ensuring strong women and civil society participation in UNCLOS and other oceans governance processes; Also clearer framework links between UNCLOS and UNFCCC, etc.
Dec 2018
Consultations in urban poor, rural and remote locations to directly hear from, and amplify into intergovernmental spaces over 2016-2018, the voices and views and strategies of Pacific island women and girls, and grassroots communities
Dec 2018
To ensure a strong gender justice and universal human rights message is incorporated into all oceans, climate change and sustainable development related meetings
Dec 2018
To ensure key messages on keeping coal in the ground, on economic transformation to address inequalities within and between countries
Dec 2018
To be strongly present in the climate change process with messages on air, oceans and climagte change, from a gender and human rights frame.
Financing (in USD)
20,000 USD
In-kind contribution
DIVA for Equality and all partners
In-kind contribution
DIVA for Equality, Secretariat for programme
Staff / Technical expertise
Feminist and women's movement, including many allies inside Government and development agencies, as well as directly from community led groups.
Basic information
Time-frame: January 2016 - December 2018
Na i Soqososoqo Vakamarama i Taukei (CSO, Indigenous Women); Catholic Women's League (CSO, Faith based); DIVA for Equality (Feminist, Grassroots, LBTI); Pacific Partnerships on Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (PPGCCSD/ Regional PSIDS Coalition of Government allies, Women's Ministers and other High level allies and civil service workers, civil society and social movements - Over 55 in the coalition), Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN), and others.
Ocean Basins
  • Global
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Public of the Pacific, special attention to women from poor urban, rural and remote communities, and wider. We also work with wider women led social movements working for gender justice, human rights, social justice, sustainable development, climate just
Contact information
Noelene Nabulivou, Political Adviser, noelenen@gmail.com, (679) 9089006
Suva, Fiji
Other SDGs
United Nations