The Earth is one Home: Small Island States’ Contributions to the International Climate Justice Discourse

In recent times, small island nations with Indigenous peoples have brought historic cases before international courts and tribunals against the world’s major polluters. Driven by the dire ramifications of climate change, including the disappearance of island nations due to rising sea-levels, the smallest nations on earth are using the legitimacy of international law to advocate for accountability and justice. This panel will explore the significance of these unprecedented developments for global interdependence and climate justice at a time when the survival of humankind depends on a radical turn to moral and spiritual values.

  • Payam Akhavan

    Payam Akhavan is a Professor of International Law and Senior Fellow at Massey College at the University of Toronto. He is a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and formerly a UN Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague. In 2017, he delivered the bestselling CBC Massey Lectures “In Search of a Better World.”

  • Atieno Mboya

    Atieno Mboya is a Professor of International Environmental Law at Emory Law School in Atlanta. Her current research is in the area of oneness as a norm for climate change response. She has consulted on gender and the environment for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and has been a delegate to COP and Subsidiary Body (SB) events. She is a collaborator with the Bahá’í International Community’s Addis Ababa Office.

  • Naima Fifita

    Naima is a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi (Mānoa) where she studied environmental law with a focus on Pacific climate displacement and served as President of the Pacific Islander Legal Association. She also received certificates in Environmental Law and Native Hawaiian Rights. With familial roots in Tuvalu and family residing across the South Pacific, Naima is committed to collaborating with communities in the region to combat the effects of climate change with resilience and culturally appropriate restorative justice approaches. Her Pacific Islander and multicultural upbringing and world-embracing views have informed her work in environmental justice, legal research, education, and policy transformation. 

  • Willy Missack

    Willy Missack is a PhD candidate specializing in Nature-based solutions for Climate adaptation and well-being in Vanuatu. As a National Consultant for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, he aides the Vanuatu government in the development and execution of Global Environmental Facilities projects. Since 2017, he has been a key negotiator for Vanuatu on Loss and Damage issues at UNFCCC conferences. Additionally, as advisor and policy lead of the Vanuatu Climate Action Network, he supports and coordinates more than 70 organisations in Vanuatu working in climate change, environmental protection, and sustainable development.


48th Annual Conference

The views expressed in this recording are those of the presenters and do not necessarily represent the views of the Association for Bahá’í Studies, nor the authoritative explications of Bahá’í writings.