Queensland: Faith and Climate Change

faith-climateJoin the Griffith Climate Change Response Program for a seminar on Tuesday 21 August from 1:30 pm at the Griffith University Gold Coast campus with our special guest Professor Patrick Nunn, Associate Director, Sustainability Research Centre, University of Sunshine Coast explores: Improving the Effectiveness and Sustainability of Climate-Change Adaptation Outcomes in the Pacific Islands: A Role for Faith-Engaged Approaches?


Many islands are currently being visibly impacted by climate change to which they are disproportionately exposed, a situation requiring a shift away from reactive short-term responses to more sustainable transformational adaptation. For this to be effective, the singularity of island environments and societies should be acknowledged and optimal ways of management and engagement identified; there is considerable potential to learn from past intervention failures in island contexts.

The importance of aligning adaptation needs with interventions underpins such transformational change, which on islands primarily involves the relocation of vulnerable (coastal) communities and infrastructure to less-vulnerable (inland) places. Successful transformational adaptation also requires that all actors involved change their current attitudes and re-evaluate how they can contribute to adaptation that is effective and sustainable in island contexts.

Of especial concern is the role of faith/spirituality in contributing to the acceptance of adaptation by affected communities, especially those in rural parts of the Pacific Islands region where environmental governance (and decision-making more generally) is commonly filtered through religious beliefs.

Speaker biography

Patrick Nunn is a geographer and climate-change scientist who has been researching in the Pacific Islands region for more than thirty years. He has current projects in the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu that look at the reasons why most external interventions for climate-change adaptation fail to be either effective or sustained. With others having a long-term involvement with the IPCC, he shared the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize; he was Lead Author on the “Sea Level Change” chapter in AR5 and has been appointed Lead Author on the “Small Islands” chapter in AR6. In May 2018, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland. He has authored over 250 peer-reviewed publications including several books, such as “Climate, Environment and Society in the Pacific during the Last Millennium” (Elsevier, 2007) and the more popular “Vanished Islands and Hidden Continents of the Pacific” (University of Hawaii Press, 2009). A recent article in The Conversation summarises Patrick’s views on faith-informed adaptation interventions – see https://tinyurl.com/khzm6nl

Event Details

Program: Faith and Climate Change
Date: Tuesday, 21 August 2018
Time: 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Location: Griffith University, Gold Coast campus, Chancellery (Building G34), room 1.05/1.06
Cost: Free
Bookings: Online at Eventbrite




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