An aerial shot of Yasawa Island in Fiji
The Missionary Society of St. Columban has been accompanying the people of Fiji since 1951. We see every day how climate change and rising seas are turning our neighbors into climate migrants. We see every day how the unsustainable use of oceans and biodiversity hurts those living in poverty the most.
This is not the Fijian way of life. At the heart of the Fijian way of life is "Bula Veiwekani." Tevita Naikasowalu, the Columban Coordinator for Justice, Peace, and Ecology and an indigenous Fijian, puts it this way:
Bula means Life and Veiwekani means Relationships. Our Life and Wellbeing is dependent on all other Living things and my identity, Past, Present and Future is also theirs. This is to us - called the “Vanua.” The Ocean, Sky, Land, People and the Sea are all connected and are One. This is what Bio diversity means to us. For there can be no Bio Diversity if there is no relationship. There can be no trees without the land no fish without the ocean because there has to be a relationship that connects this Web of Life. We cannot be without the other and what is good for them is also good for us and if harm is done to them, it is also done to us.
You can learn more of Tevita's message about biodiversity in the video below.