Institute for Climate Indigenous Knowledge (ICIK)

On Monday this week, PTC launched its Institute for Climate Indigenous Knowledge (ICIK), a radical move to address the climate change crisis. According to the college Principal Rev Professor Dr. Upolu Luma Vaai, who introduced to a packed house attended by Excellencies, faith-based leaders, NGOs, Pacific regional institutions, and heads of educational institutions, the important role of faith-based organizations to assist with the climate issue. “Today, climate change policies and responses have largely been driven by climate science. While science is critical to addressing the crisis, the issue is that not only climate science and responses are sometimes controlled by rich nations and corporations, but the narrative has also become secularized to the extent of removing one of the foundational pillars of society: SPIRITUALITY. The Institute hopes to provide this missing link. We have succumbed to the shadows of a one-sided climate story driven by science alone with spirituality lost beneath a one-dimensional umbra.” He mentioned 3 rationales why the Institute was established: “First, is to ensure that our communities-based indigenous climate knowledge and resilient spiritualities are seriously considered in the policy-making space. This consideration begs for translating and codifying this knowledge to assist with climate policies. Second, is to ensure that this indigenous climate knowledge is accessible to many for educational purposes, subject to the consent of our communities. And third, is to support the mission of the Pasifika churches under its new custodianship vision of safeguarding and protecting our Pacific household of God, our lands, ocean, and peoples.” The Institute was launched by Mr. Mason Smith, the Regional Director of Oceania of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). ICIK aims to establish regional and international cooperation on addressing the climate crisis.