The Pacific Ocean is the largest ecosystem in the world, covering almost half the globe’s sea surface. 22 Pacific Island countries and territories govern approximately one-third of the Pacific. Although the ocean is the major economic, social and cultural lifeline for 10 million Pacific islanders, this vast ecosystem is threatened by overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and severe threats from climate change and rising sea level. Yet, awareness alone is not enough to drive and sustain change, whether change is needed in public health, education, or conservation. For example, in Fiji, there is an increasing awareness of coastal fisheries decline and an increasing interest in fishery management, yet short-term needs for food and income continue to drive decision-making within communities, despite decades of attempted interventions.
What can be done?
Progress and behavior change will depend on powerful communications approaches to shift social norms and create broad support and momentum for change. When communities and leaders feel the personal relevance of society’s issues, when they are motivated by their own values and desire the solutions, when barriers to action are meaningfully addressed, then will they change their behavior in ways that will lead to the transformational outcomes needed.
How cChange is meeting the challenge:
With offices in Brisbane, Australia and Suva, Fiji, cChange uses sustained targeted messaging in its behavioral communication efforts that is designed to succeed within local contexts and available resources. Historically focused on sustainable natural resource management, including work on fisheries management, climate change, and sustainable land management, cChange now applies targeted change communications to a host of social and health issues. A key part of cChange’s work is making changing behavior as smart and compelling as possible, and this demands creativity and talent. cChange has assembled a highly capable team of writers, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, and animators to respond to make change fun, easy, and engaging.