Samoan environmental champion Brianna Fruean has been announced as a recipient of the Global Citizen Prize, the Citizen Award. Ms Fruean is a Samoan Pacific climate warrior.
She has lead grassroots community projects for climate justice, and is committed to bringing small island representation and young Pacific voices to the forefront of global climate conversations.
The Global Citizen Prize recognises activists across the world whose efforts focus on ending extreme poverty and achieving the United Nations’ Global Goals.
It aims to identify change makers in local communities who have been championing and uplifting the most vulnerable people.
Brianna has been a climate champion in the Pacific since the age of 11, when she became a founding member of charity organisation 350.org Samoa, and 350.org’s youngest ever country coordinator.
Through her work as the youth representative on the Pacific Climate Warriors Council of Elders, Brianna has consistently fought for the future of vulnerable Pacific island states in the face of the climate crisis.
At 16, she also became the youngest winner of the Commonwealth Youth Award.
Last November, Brianna addressed world leaders at the UN Climate talks in Glasgow COP26, taking the Youth4Pacific Declaration to COP26.
“Remember that your meeting rooms and drafting documents are not just black and white objects; to remember that, in your words, you wield the weapons that can save us or sell us out for profit and power,” she told leaders at COP26.
350.org Pacific managing director Joseph Sikulu said Pacific Climate Warriors the world over will be rejoicing in this news.
“We know there’s no one more deserving of this recognition and celebration. We are so proud to be a part of the journey of this incredible human, who constantly shows us that eldership isn’t tied to age but instead to the wisdom, story and vision you carry,” he said.
Pacific Climate Warriors Council Elder, Inangaro Vakaafi, said Brianna was a shining example of Pasifika leadership through service.
“Serving with her on the Pacific Climate Warriors Council of Elders has been an absolute privilege. She brings such a youthful spirit and wisdom beyond her years as she continues to inspire others,” she said.
“Brianna has dedicated much of her life and voice to advocate for the Pacific and, much like our ocean, touches so many people’s lives.
Congratulations and a well deserved acknowledgement we can all be proud of.”
350.org chief of public engagement, Namrata Chowdhary, said Brianna was an inspiration.
“She is an eloquent, authentic voice for her people and her generation. It is wonderful to see her work with the Pacific Climate Warriors being acknowledged via the Global Citizen Award.”