Simon Kofe is Tuvalu’s Minister for Justice, Communications and Foreign Affairs. In this conversation with Kevin Clements and Volker Boege, he discusses Tuvalu’s Future Now project, the outcome of COP26 and the challenges faced by Tuvalu due to climate change. He outlines how Tuvalu is leading the way with an exploration of digital sovereignty and advocating for precedent-setting changes to international customary law.
In this conversation, Reverend Dr. Upolu Luma Vaai, Principal and Professor of Theology and Ethics at Pacific Theological College in Suva Fiji, talks with Kevin Clements and Volker Boege. He outlines the core principles of Pacific ecorelationality and their implications for climate change policies in the Pacific region, advocating for a ‘holistic gaze’ that overcomes anthropocentric understandings of climate change and climate policy. Grounded on this ‘whole of life’ vision, Dr Vaai presents the ideas behind the establishment of the Pasifika Communities University, and the approach it will take to the challenges of climate change, grounded in the traditional knowledge and spiritualities of the grassroot communities in Pacific Island Countries, and he explains the Reweaving the Ecological Mat project, an initiative which is a self-determination strategy aimed at weaving a Pasifika story of hope about genuinely Pasifika approaches to climate change, development, ecology and peace.
Ralph Regenvanu, Leader of the Opposition in Vanuatu and former Minister of Lands and National Natural Resources, outlines his campaign to unite Pacific Island nations against deep sea mining. In conversation with Kevin Clements and Volker Boege, he backgrounds the issue of deep sea mining in the Pacific and describes efforts to utilise the strength of Pacific regionalism via the newly formed Pacific Parliamentarians Alliance on Deep Sea Mining. Through their founding statement, Our Ocean Call, the alliance articulates a common responsibility and moral obligation for the protection of the ocean for future generations.
Rev. James Bhagwan, General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches, has played an active role in a range of official and civil society discussions in relation to both mitigating and adapting to the negative effects of climate change. He contributed to a joint statement from climate scientists and faith leaders published in 2021. In this conversation with Kevin Clements and Volker Boege, he discusses the role that Pacific churches have been playing in raising awareness of the impact of climate change in the region. The spiritual worldview of Pacific people is deeply influenced by the indigenous culture, and a sense of connection with land, the environment, the ocean and their Christian faith. Rev. Bhagwan explains the importance of ‘reweaving the ecological mat’ as a Pacific articulation of the reweaving of the sacred thread that binds ecology, economics, and relationships with one another and the natural world.