How does faith influence pro-environmental practice in schools? Examples from the Pacific Islands

Thelma A. Raman*, Johannes M. Luetz

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Many environmental problems can be attributed to human behaviour, and education is seen as a means of shaping human behaviour that is pro-environmental. The role of the formal education system in supporting pro-environmental behaviour is considered pivotal and duly highlighted in key documents/plans on sustainable development. This chapter is based on empirical research conducted in Fiji, an island group situated in the South Pacific. The research investigated factors or circumstances that enable individuals to sustain or continue adopting pro-environmental behaviours after they have left the formal school environment. It explored how Environmental Education is provided in schools through the curriculum and pro-environmental practices. Twenty-seven schools participated in the research including faith-based schools (Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Sikh). The research highlighted the significance of religion in shaping how care for the environment is viewed within the schools. The research found differences and similarities between faith-based schools, both within Christian denominations and between religious schools (i.e., Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Sikh). The importance of religion in seeding and guiding their pro-environmental behaviour was also acknowledged by student research participants. This is unsurprising given the presence of various religions in Fiji and the calendar observance of key religious events. This chapter discusses the research findings and highlights the contribution that religion makes to pro-environmental behaviours and why it therefore deserves to be considered in discussions/forums about behaviour change.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBeyond belief
    Subtitle of host publicationopportunities for faith-engaged approaches to climate-change adaptation in the Pacific Islands
    EditorsJohannes M. Luetz, Patrick D. Nunn
    Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
    PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Electronic)9783030676025
    ISBN (Print)9783030676018
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Publication series

    NameClimate Change Management
    ISSN (Print)1610-2002
    ISSN (Electronic)1610-2010


    • Behaviour change
    • Climate change
    • Pacific islands
    • Pro-Environmental practices
    • Religion
    • Schools


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