Ben Namakin was born in 1980 and grew up on islands in the Pacific, living first in Kiribati and then moving in 1996 with his family to Pohnpei (formerly known as Ponape), Federated States of Micronesia. He attended Ponape Agriculture & Trade School, the only vocational high school in Micronesia, and graduated with a Diploma in Agriculture and Marine Science in 2001. After graduating, he volunteered at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) - Pohnpei Field Office, and helped with conservation projects that were being done by the Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP), a local partner of TNC. With CSP staff, he helped to survey the upland watershed, monitor spawning and aggregation sites of three grouper fish species and give talks to students and communities about the importance of the environment.
In 2002, the CSP hired Namakin as an Environmental Educator to run a pilot program, The Green Road, a mobile environmental awareness program focusing on Upland Watershed, Mangroves, Coral Reef, and Waste and Pollution. Namakin has since added the issue of climate change to his work along with several initiatives such as the Youth-to-Youth in Environmental Education and Awareness Program, Community Outreach and Project Implementation Program, the Youth Environmental Club, and an array of other successful outreach initiatives. Namakin has also taught a 2005 summer course on the topic of climate change and its implications for island systems at the College of Micronesia - Federated States of Micronesia. Namakin has taken footage showing sea level rise, coastal erosion, and other changes on island systems which could be the impact of climate change. His footage of the split of Deketik Island from sea flooding was shown by Greenpeace International along with other images of impacts of climate change around the world in a presentation during the United Nations 2005 Climate Change Conference COP11/MOP1 in Montreal, Canada.
Namakin was selected as the only Pacific Islander to join the Beyond Kyoto/It's Us! International Youths at the Youth Summit and Youth Delegation to the the United Nations 2005 Climate Change Conference COP11/MOP1 [the first meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP) ran parallel to the 11th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP)]. At the Youth Summit, Namakin participated in making the International Youth Declaration entitled: "Our Climate, Our Challenge, Our Future." Namakin was also one of the five youth speakers who addressed the 10,000 delegates in the plenary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the final day of the COP11/MOP1 meeting. Namakin continues to collaborate with the Beyond Kyoto youths to share information on possible actions to stop climate change, research climate change impacts in the Pacific, and raise awareness of the issue.
"Though we Pacific Islanders contribute less than 1% of greenhouse emissions, we are amongst those who are at greatest risk from its negative impacts. If we all think that we have love for our children or the future generation who inherit this planet, then I kindly urge the world to work together to limit the impacts of climate change."
If you would like to plan a speaking event with Ben, send an email to: bnamakin [at] yahoo.com