Speakers to Inspire You

Anote Tong - Former President of the Republic of Kiribati


Anote served as President and Kiribati’s foreign minister from 2003-2016. Anote’s key international legacy from his time in office was highlighting the plight of his nation, other Pacific Island nations and low-lying lands worldwide affected by rising sea levels caused by climate change. Anote has campaigned tirelessly and championed the issue at numerous international conferences and forums - most notably at the United Nations General Assembly and United Nations Climate Change Conferences.

In 2010, Anote convened the Tawara Climate Change Conference where members from vulnerable states stressed their concerns to larger polluting states in face-to-face meetings. The outcome of this Conference was the signing of the ‘Ambo Declaration’ by several larger polluting states (including New Zealand), with it being agreed that more needed to be done globally to combat climate change.  

As well as being a vocal campaigner for global climate change action, Anote has been involved in exploring alternative options for the long-term future of Kiribati - including purchasing land from Pacific neighbours for I-Kiribati to relocate to; and creating a floating nation. Anote is a strong advocate of engineering solutions to mitigate and adapt to the negative effects of climate change.

Barry Coates - Promoting Sustainability at the University of Auckland


Barry has dedicated his career to social causes involving development in the Pacific, conservation, fair trade, climate action and sustainability. His peers describe him as a climate change leader and sustainable development champion and his wealth of knowledge and experience sees him held in the highest regard.

Throughout his career he has volunteered in the Pacific; held important and influential roles with WWF, Oxfam and Fairtrade (in New Zealand and internationally); worked with the Samoan and British Governments; and campaigned globally for climate action.

Most recently, Barry has been developing a sustainability programme for the Faculty of Business and Economics at University of Auckland. Barry is coordinator of It's Our Future, the campaign against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). He stood for the Green Party in the 2014 election and is the next on the list to go into Parliament.

Koreti Tiumalu - Climate Activist and Pacific Region Coordinator for 350.org


Koreti is the Pacific Region Coordinator of 350.org and a passionate climate activist. Her work involves developing innovative strategies to increase awareness of the climate change reality in the Pacific, and galvanising local communities affected by rising sea levels.  

She is a leader amongst the Pacific Climate Warriors - a network of grassroots climate organisers from 15 Pacific Island nations who highlight the vulnerable state of the Pacific whilst empowering young, local people to take action for the global climate change movement.    

Koreti joined other Pacific Warriors in Paris last year for the 2015 United Nations Climate Conference and journeyed to the Vatican City to call on the Vatican to divest from fossil fuels.



More speakers and the full programme will be announced closer to the conference.