Climate Change and Conflict Policy Brief No.56 - October, 2019 • By Upolu Lumā Vaai
“We Are Therefore We Live”: Pacific Eco-Relational Spirituality and Changing the Climate Change Story
While there is overwhelming physical evidence and warning about climate change and conflict, it seems we have succumbed to the shadows of a one-sided story, a story that focuses entirely on the secular physical dimension with the spiritual lost beneath a one-dimensional umbra. Spirituality is critical to a new path for a new climate story. Pacific people have survived and responded to climate crises and other environmental changes for centuries within spiritual and cultural dimensions and still do today. While much of the international community is playing its part to meet climate challenges as informed by science, many local communities also recognise that cultural and spiritual beliefs and practices play an essential role, informed by their own indigenous and faith spirituality and knowledge. This article brings to light the “we are, therefore we live” focus of Eco-Relational Spirituality that has been the guiding principle for the climate responses of many Pacific people over many centuries.