World Ocean Day, June 8th, 2020 has a theme of ‘Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean’. Where many may regard this theme as referring to science and technology manipulating or managing marine resources, Moana Pasifika producer Stan Wolfgramm says ‘Our focuses is on the resource of human values; how augmented reality learning, traditional knowledge and storytelling can reignite innate values of sustainability and conservation in us all, and in this way bring to the forefront of all people’s consciousness a desire to make better daily choices to protect our oceans’.
Moana Pasifika is a collective platform for Pacific people’s voices to be heard in the global climate change conversation, specifically concerning the world’s largest ocean, the Pacific Ocean – Te Moana Nui a Kiva.
Wolfgramm says ‘Moana Pasifika’s primary initiative is to produce a major international containerized touring exhibition for museums, aquariums, conventions centers etc that tells the unique story of the Pacific Ocean from the Indigenous Pacific people’s perspective’.
But COVID19 sees Moana Pasifika pivot its Pacific Ocean awareness campaign to online and e-learning engagement. Today it takes the shape of an augmented reality game designed to entertain and educate kids or anyone and everyone interested in caring for the Ocean. Its unique indigenous Pacific Ocean story is guided by a young Pasifika boy named Mana Moana Toa or Mana Ocean Guardian.
‘Our aim is to reinforce the value of Pasifika youth voices in shaping the future of the Pacific Ocean. That they can help others to enjoy and understand our ocean’s Pasifika story. That united in action we can together sustain and conserve the Pacific Ocean and our planets future’ says Stan.
To ensure Moana Pasifika’s distribution, its download and use will be free thanks to the support of Wolfgramm’s New Zealand and Cook Islands based company Drum Productions, the Pacific Cooperation Foundation and the US Embassy NZ. Together they will promote the app to partners and all Pacific children in the region.
Don Mann, Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation reinforced the power of cooperation in driving positive change, “we have multiple organisations from four different countries coming together under the common purpose of protecting the future for generations to come. PCF has been instrumental in enabling this collaborative effort.”
The U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, Samoa, the Cook Islands, and Niue Scott Brown says “The Moana Pasifika App provides excellent opportunities to explore our shared commitment to sustainability. And it does it in some super fun ways. Together we need to take care of our planet and we are completely thrilled to be part of this initiative.”
To support Moana Pasifika’s distribution in the United States, a partnership has been formed with Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium through their “Mission Conservation” program. “Mission Conservation is a groundbreaking gaming platform that is changing the way kids learn about conservation,” said Misty Mitchell, Director of Conservation Education for the Johnny Morris Foundation. “By partnering with Agents of Discovery, Moana Pasifika and countless other conservation organizations, we’re shaping the future of our planet by inspiring kids to get outdoors and get involved in managing their natural resources. We are proud to connect with likeminded organizations from around the world as we continue in fulfilling our mission.”
Wolfgramm says ‘Although important to educate our Pasifika kids, so much of the Pacific Ocean’s future is related to the impact created by foreign countries such as the USA. Wonders of Wildlife and Moana Pasifika both believe that people need to experience the outdoors and the ocean to connect and care for the environment. The Indigenous People of the Pacific Ocean were the first culture to sail out of sight of land, the first to celestially navigate the seas and the first hunters and gatherers to populate the world’s largest ocean. They understood that they were part of a greater ecosystem and therefore attributed value (mana) to the oceans and Islands they inhabited. This value or these values of conservation and sustainability are the key outcomes the Moana Pasifika e-learning platform wishes to re-ignite in the audiences it engages with across the world’.
Mission Conservation – Moana Pasifika will launch on Monday, June 8th, 2020 – ‘World Oceans Day’ and be available via Wonders of Wildlife’s Campaign called ‘Mission Conservation’ on the Agents of Discovery platform. This will provide parents and educators with access to Image Recognition (IR) Missions that young learners can play and share with their community. Our educational mobile gaming platform uses augmented reality to engage youth through active learning. Moana Pasifika will turn your home and backyard into a fun and safe educational environment.
Iconic oceanographer Jacques Yves Cousteau famously said ‘People protect what they love’. The people of the Pacific’s equivalent is ‘I am the Ocean, the Ocean is me’. Together they say – ‘To love the ocean is to love you’. Stan Wolfgramm Moana Pasifika.
*Drum Productions – Strategic Comms/ Social Economic Development Pasifika.