Did you know?


  • Climate change, global warming and language death are happening at alarming rates in the Pacific. Those islands with biodiversity loss also are the most threatened with language death.
  • Every 14 days a language dies. By 2100, more than half of the more than 7,000 languages spoken on Earth--many of them not yet recorded--may disappear, taking with them a wealth of knowledge about history, culture, the natural environment, and the human brain.http://www2.nau.edu/jar/TIL.html Yes the Pacific is one of the HOT spots.
  • The Pacific is drowning. The crisis in the Pacific http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBCpXAQNf1g&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
  • At least 3,000 tongues are endangered, seriously endangered or dying in many parts of the world. http://www.unesco.org/education/imld_2002/
  • That is 40% of the world's languages are considered endangered compared to 8 % of plants and 18 % of mammals. http://www.livingtongues.org/projects.html
  • The languages of the Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue will be dead in one generation? http://bilingualaotearoa.wikispaces.com/speakers
  • The language of Samoa and Tonga will be dead in two generations? Yes even back home in these islands where we think they will never die.


  • That New Zealand has the worst record of preservation of endemic birds and plants in the world? Goes hand in hand with the dying language. The World Conservation Union (IUCN=International Uniton for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Committee) lists New Zealand among the five worst countries with threatened birds as a percentage of total number of native bird species exceeding 15%. http://www.seafriends.org.nz/enviro/reddata.htm
  • The Pacific Ocean is dying? Goes hand in hand with the dying languages of the Pacific. http://www.pacificvoyagers.org/get-involved/what-to-do/
  • That mining for lignite will exterminate over 1000 of New Zealand's native species. Again as language dies so does the environment. Find out about Dr. James Hansen, the scientist behind the number 350 http://www.350.org.nz/our-projects/james-hansen-visit Find out more about our current CO2 levels and we need to bring it below 350. http://co2now.org/

Professor Tove Skutnabb-Kangas writes about the link between the language, indigenous knowledge and the environment.

What can you do to help?
Inspire others, use our language, make a conscious effort when with speakers of the same language.
Use the power of the internet. When tweeting, blogging, facebooking or even using your email signature- use our language.
http://indigenoustweets.com/ Find other speakers of our language and follow them. Support them.
Create your own online place and start recording our language. Get our young people involved. They are the ones with the internet skills.
Draw peoples attention to what is happening.
Get informed and contact your government, your mayor or other local politicians, make them think about the worsening state of the languages in the Pacific. Speak about your concerns and raise awareness. Talk to your children, your neighbours, and co-workers about the state of the Pacific Languages and how easy it is to do some small steps by yourself.

Use our languages.
Remind our key language leaders of their contribution to the death of our languages every time they use Palagi where our Pacific languages should be used.
Support the radio stations that use our language and celebrate and acknowledge them every time they contribute to the preservation of our language.
Support the newspapers that use our language and celebrate and acknowledge them every time they contribute to the preservation of our language.
Support the pastors who use our language and celebrate and acknowledge them every time they contribute to the preservation of our language.
Support our A'oga ECE that use our language and celebrate and acknowledge them every time they contribute to the preservation of our language.
Support our community leaders who use our language and celebrate and acknowledge them every time they contribute to the preservation of our language.
Support environmental campaigns. Language and the environment are closely linked.