Our Islands Our Home is a campaign led by Torres Strait Islanders to protect their island homes.
For Traditional Owners in the Torres Strait Islands, climate change is a real threat. Torres Strait Islanders are experiencing worsening impacts of the climate crisis as king tides threaten homes, food crops and wash away sacred burial sites. Urgent action on climate from our Government is needed so Torres Strait Islanders can remain on their islands.
Meet the Torres Strait 8
“We must look after our island, the way it has looked after us. The bosom of this land is our mother, and the water surrounding it is our father. We have to protect them, our islands our home” – Yessie Mosby, Zenadh Kes Masig man and claimant
Traditional Owners are rising with the tides and leading the way in the fight for climate justice. Now it’s time for all Australians to rise alongside Traditional Owners of the Torres Strait in the fight for a fairer and more resilient future for all!
Eight incredible Torres Strait claimants are leading a campaign called Our Islands Our Home to protect their homes from climate change. The claimants have brought a human rights complaint against the Australian Federal Government to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations over the Government’s inaction on the climate crisis. The case has just made international legal history as the Torres Strait 8 have won their landmark UN case!
The United Nations Human Rights Committee found that the Australian Government is violating its human rights obligations to Torres Strait Islanders by failing to act on climate change. But this decision is just the beginning. With this huge victory, Our Islands Our Home need your support to ensure the Australian Government takes the urgent action that is needed to protect Torres Strait islanders.
You can find out more about the Our Islands Our Home campaign here.
At Ben & Jerry’s, we’re lucky to work with incredible activists and artists to dream up ways to support the fight for climate justice. We were invited by 350.org Australia & Our Islands Our Home, to launch our newest flavour This Is Our Whirled in support of the Our Islands Our Home campaign. Taking the classic milk & cookie goodness to a whole 'nother level of greatness, the new dairy free flavour combines vanilla ice cream with a chocolate cookie swirl, chocolate chips & chocolate chip cookies. With sunbutter as its base, This is Our Whirled is a euphoric mix of cookies and activism.
And the best part? A portion of profits from This is Our Whirled support Traditional Owners from Our Islands Our Home to continue the fight for climate justice!
Dylan is a proud Yuwi, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander man from MacKay in North Queensland, working across painting, printmaking, digital illustration and drawing.
We collaborated with Dylan to create the striking pack art featured on the This is Our Whirled tub, which represents a powerful call for climate justice, while celebrating the multi-faceted culture and resilience of Torres Strait Islanders.
The Torres Strait Islands, known as Zenadh Kes to Torres Strait Islanders, are in the far North of Australia – between mainland Australia and Papua New Guinea. There are 133 islands, and 18 have communities living on them.
Traditional Owners of the Torres Strait (sometimes referred to as Torres Strait Islanders) are First Nations Australian citizens who have lived sustainably on their islands and practised their culture for thousands of years.
The new government has promised climate action; we need to keep them accountable and ensure they make policy commitments on the Our Islands Our Home campaign demands.The claimants of Our Islands Our Home have five demands of the Australian Government:
Fund adaptation programs that will allow Zenadth Kes communities to adapt to climate impacts
Commit to going 100% renewables in Australia in the next 10 years
Support Zenadth Kes communities to build community-owned renewable energy
Transition away from fossil fuels as rapidly as possible through a just transition for workers
Push the world to increase global ambition and keep warming to less than 1.5 degrees
Climate action isn’t enough to make sure we have a safer and resilient future for all Australians - to do this, we need climate justice!
Climate justice is combining climate action with social justice. It’s acknowledging that the people who are most impacted by climate change are the people who have had least to do with creating the problem. It’s unfair that the people who have done the least to create the problem will be on the frontline of climate impacts, so climate justice is about fairness for people who carry the burden of climate change.
If we are going to have a more just and sustainable future, we need to put the solutions to the climate crisis back into the hands of Traditional Owners who have been living sustainably on this land for over 80,000 years. This means prioritising Traditional Owners leadership and solutions to the climate crisis, as well ensuring enough resources are provided so that Traditional Owners can adapt to climate issues already at the doorstep.
Climate action is urgently needed - which means stopping all fossil fuel expansion in Australia. But climate action isn’t enough - if we are going to fight for a better future for all Australians, that means fighting for justice for communities directly on the frontline of the climate crisis.
Traditional Owners of the Torres Strait have driven an incredible campaign to fight for their Island Homes.Now, they have invited Ben & Jerry’s to join as allies to show solidarity with them and make sure a just outcome is reached for Torres Strait Islanders living on the frontline of the climate crisis.
“Our message to the Australian public is to please support us in solidarity in this fight to save our island homes, our people, and our culture for our children and future generations.” Yessie Mosby (Torres Strait 8 Claimant)
At Ben & Jerry’s, we understand that as a for-profit ice cream company, we’re part of the problem, which is why we’ve committed ourselves to be a catalyst for solutions, both within our business and at the economy-wide policy level. We’ve committed to reduce the full lifecycle emissions of our company, which includes our own emissions and our supply chain. You can read more about what we are doing at Ben & Jerry’s, including our science-based targets here.
We are really proud of everything we have been doing and we know there is still a way to go, but we will continue working on it. You can find out more of the nitty, gritty details about our environmental work (and social mission work too!) in our latest social & environmental impact report here.