The proud nation of Kiribati (pronounced kirr-i-bas), whose flag is set to fly on Greenheart’s very first vessel, is home to some of the most remote island dwelling communities on Earth.
Getting to and away from even the largest of the nation’s islands requires a great deal of patience, time, and money. As might be expected, transportation challenges constitute one of the main obstacles to the nation’s development.
Of course, this is one of the reasons that we at Greenheart believe our ships will suit Kiribati’s needs so well. This is in turn just one of the reasons why we are so proud to have the chance to fly the nation’s distinctive flag.
Kiribati is also among the countries most vulnerable to sea level rise, and is one of the most vocal in calling for concerted and universal action to mitigate the ensuing crisis.
As Greenheart gets closer to building its first vessel, we are also drawing closer to communities like those in Kiribati and striving to learn how best to work together towards common goals.
Speaking of getting closer, director Pat was in Fiji for the recent sustainable shipping Talanoa, a relatively tiny 1200 miles from Kiribati’s territorial waters! Having never been to that part of the Pacific before, he found both Fiji and its neighborhood to be most welcoming.
While at the Talanoa, the chance to meet and hear from Captain Evi and two of his crew from the Kwai which has been plying the Hawaii – Kiribati – Cook Islands trade for years, was of tremendous value. Their insights provided some practical insights into the conditions that both constrain and support sailing vessels working those waters.
At the Kiribati High Commission in Fiji time was spent in conversation with Her Excellency Sera Butukoro and her Secretary Benny Teuea over coffee and some remarkably sumptuous fruit. Discussions led to valuable first-hand information being gained about the economic and social conditions that will determine how our first Greenheart vessel and the various Kiribati agencies and departments of government will be able to cooperate to maximize the benefits of our collaboration.
Greenheart sought Kiribati as a flag state not for convenience but rather for the closeness we feel to their plight, and how closely their situation aligns with our mission.
As such we are delighted that they welcomed us into this unique partnership, and are looking forward to the day that we can fly that bright flag and land our ship on their sandy shores.