Leveraging Vanua: Metaphysics, Nature, and Climate Change Adaptation in Fiji | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Leveraging Vanua: Metaphysics, Nature, and Climate Change Adaptation in Fiji

Faced with climate change challenges, communities around the world are seeking innovative and holistic approaches to adaptation. One such approach is explored by Francisco Gelves-Gómez and Shannon Brincat. Published in the book ‘Beyond Belief: Opportunities for Faith-Engaged Approaches to Climate-Change Adaptation in the Pacific Islands,’ the chapter looks at the metaphysical framework of Fijian culture and its potential role in promoting harmony between humans and nature within climate uncertainties. Deeply ingrained metaphysical ideas shape the Fijian perspective on the relationship between humans and nature and the chapter aims to uncover these metaphysical systems and their potential contribution to climate change adaptation strategies. The chapter considers the intricate ways in which these systems perceive and define the relationship between humans and nature. In doing so, it seeks to reveal the ancient wisdom embedded in Fijian metaphysics, offering insights into the interconnectedness and interdependence of these two realms.

Gelves-Gómez and Brincat argue that a more consistent and comprehensive appreciation of the metaphysical content can contribute to the development of socially relevant climate change adaptation strategies for Vanua iTaukei communities. By recognising this wisdom as a valuable resource, policies can be written that resonate more deeply with the cultural identity and spiritual foundations of Fijian communities.

As the world contends with pressing needs for adaptive strategies, this chapter offers a reminder that the wisdom of the past can guide us toward a more harmonious and resilient future. Through a consistent and respectful appreciation of Vanua, Fiji's metaphysical treasure, we may discover new pathways to navigate the challenges posed by climate change, blending tradition with innovation for a sustainable tomorrow.