Gaïa obtained a master’s degree in Applied International Law and Politics from the University of Sherbrooke in Québec in 2020. Through the French Red Cross' Indian Ocean Regional Intervention Platform (PIROI), she became familiar with disaster law in the southwestern Indian Ocean countries and island territories that are most affected by the consequences of climate change, and yet the least responsible. She initially joined The Climate Reality Project Canada through The Climate Dialogues, an initiative which aims to support cross-sectoral exchanges between civil society actors to raise climate ambition and develop synergies in parallel to COP26. She is convinced that networking, education, and the popularization of knowledge are catalysts of change that have the potential to build new and fairer realities.
Why did you join the climate movement/what pushed you to become interested in climate change issues?
Initially, I was involved in human rights protection movements in France. I was particularly marked by the migrant crisis. Having worked with isolated minors in the jungle of Calais particularly marked me, just like my work with “Les enfants du voyage” did, and my research in the southwest of the Indian Ocean, where thousands of people live the effects of climate change daily. I finally became aware of the intersection between social and environmental injustices, intersections that feed each other. I worked on the just transition during COP25, during which I had the chance to meet exceptional people who shared their knowledge, their struggles, and their hopes with me. Today, in the climate context in which we find ourselves, I am convinced that we can and must imagine and build a more just future. For future generations, for all the Isaos, Léa-Marias, and Solveigs.
What is one achievement you are proud of?
I don't think I can think of one big accomplishment, it's been more like a succession of small victories. So I would say that I am particularly proud of having been a grain of sand in several initiatives for which I gave my best.
What are some climate change initiatives you are currently taking part in?
Today, I am involved in a few local groups in my city that work on advocacy for the implementation of a carbon tax (Citizens’ Climate Lobby) as well as access to healthy food (No Mas Lágrimas/No More Tears). I also teach a course on disaster law at the University of Reunion Island.
What do you think is the most effective way for people to take climate action?
Education seems to me to be an important catalyst for mobilization, coalition building, and climate action. Personally, I have often turned to popular education, which goes beyond the traditional frameworks and initiates more collective approaches.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
My friends and family all seem to agree that I am unable to sing in tune.