Kia Orana koutou katoatoa,

Aitutaki is beautiful, the people are friendly and the land is plentiful. I would go as far to call it Paradise on Earth. Seeing the effects of climate change and knowing there's a possibility that the land could possibly be ruined someday is devastating.

Checking out the coal bleachingThis morning the school children I met yesterday came down to the wharf and gifted us with fresh bananas, lemons, paw-paw and coconut for the ship's voyage on to Samoa. You know you're loved in The Cooks when you're constantly fed! One of the young boys tried to teach me how to climb a coconut tree; unfortunately I was useless at it but he got right to the top, kicked down the coconuts, slid down the tree like it was a fire pole and husked the coconut. It was beautiful; there is something very special about eating straight from the land.

Richard Story, the spokesman for the Ministry of Marine Resources took us out on his boat to see bleached coral in the lagoon. Bleached coral is a huge impact of climate change, here in Aitutaki especially. The coral heads in the lagoon act as a food source and shelter for fish; when the coral heads die due to bleaching because of rising sea temperatures, algae grows, which then causes what's known as Ciguatera Poisoning. Unfortunately the fish still feed off the dead coral heads and in turn get poisoned. Then when THEY'RE caught, they pass the poison onto those who consume the fish. Richard has had a colleague's wife pass away from Ciguatera Poisoning and has been poisoned himself more than two dozen times. It affects the nervous system permanently.

It was actually kind of sad out there in the reef, because what we were looking at was degradation…largely due to climate change.

The Pacific Island Forum in Cairns in August is a fabulous opportunity for John Key and global leaders of developed countries to agree to do their bit for those in the Pacific. All we've got to do is agree to at least a 40% greenhouse emissions reduction by 2020. Yes, this is difficult but it's not impossible. And the time to do it is now, otherwise we truly risk losing these beautiful places and resources.

Overall today has been a huge day of reflection for me. I love the people here, they are friendly, warm-hearted and more than welcoming; they feed you, offer you rides and are always willing to fill up your itinerary. The people here are not victims, they live harmoniously with the land. They are, however, aware of the effects around them and would like to see change for the better. We are here to offer a mega-phone for their voices to be heard and I believe we have achieved that here in The Cooks.

Final day in The Cooks tomorrow! Check in for a final (and probably quite emotional) last blog.

Love & light -
Keisha x