Triple win of religions in dealing with climate changes
Suranji Dahanayake (University of York)
Janaka Jayawickrama (University of York)
Paper short abstract:
Climate change not only hinders development but also creates disasters such as floods, droughts, tsunamis and landslides as well as health risks. This paper argues that involving religions as a key stakeholder, it will promote community coherence, environmental protection and public health.
Paper long abstract:
Climate change not only hinders development but also creates disasters such as floods, droughts, tsunamis and landslides as well as health risks. These disasters change the ecological conditions of pathogens, which affect public health and put strains on the public health system as well as overall development processes in the global south. Sustainable Development Goal 13 calls for 'Climate Action' and target 13.1 to 'Strengthen Resilience and Adaptive Capacity to Climate Hazards' and 13.3 to 'Build knowledge and capacity to meet climate change'. By examining the Sri Lankan case study, this paper argues that involving religious institutions as a key stakeholder in climate action will bring a triple win. 1. Religions bring people together and establish community cohesion; 2. Promote community actions for environmental protection; and, 3. Through community cohesion and environmental protection, religious institutions play a key role in improving public health. The authors will examine the impact of the main religions in Sri Lanka (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity) and their effects on the environment and health. Various examples from Malaria and flood patterns will elaborate the above 3 points further. As a conclusion, the authors argue that involving religious institutions at community-level will improve resilience and build capacities to meet the challenges of climate change.
- Acting on Climate change and the environment