Dr. Manoranjan Mohanty
Development Studies Program The University of the South Pacific.
Abstract: Human societies are at crossroads today in the face of global environmental (climate) change. Human dimensions are seen as the critical determinants causing climate change and minimizing its impact. As more scientific discoveries explore the criticality of human and cultural dimensions in climate change, the humanistic fields of inquiry quest for their potential role in helping ocieties in minimizing the impact of climate change. There exists however a gap in understanding the man-environment relationships, ethical values, and the cultural and human dimensions of environmental changes. Creative expression has a great potential in bridging this gap. The artists, writers, painters, and poets manifest society’s values and relationships with environment through their visual arts, plays and writings. They have indeed crucial role inculcating the environmental ethical values through their expressions and raising awareness about the impacts and adaptation to climate change. Art, song, dance, drama, painting, street play and stories can clearly express the environmental relationships and values. Oceania has a great tradition of creative expression and has potential in changing people’s attitude and environmental behavior.
The questions arise: What are the human/ cutural dimensions in environmental/ climate change? What values the creativity carry in the face of climate change? What environmental ethical values need to be reflected through creativity? How creative expression can help the Pacific societies that are facing the challenges of climate change?
The paper examines the human and cultural dimensions in environmental/ climate change, explores the forms and role of creativity especially in the Pacific in creating awareness and lessening the impact of climate change and also indentifies the challenges to creativity in the Pacific.
Manoranjan Mohanty is a Senior Lecturer at Development Studies Program, School of Government, Development and International Affairs, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. He has been teaching at USP since 1999. He is a human and development geographer with current interests towards social development, urbanisation, environment, climate change, migration, NGOs and island studies. He is an Indian national with a Ph. D degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India. He has participated in many international conferences and workshops. He has many publication including books and research papers to his credit.