Most analysis of the Pacific depict a region that is highly dependent, deeply vulnerable and lacks resilience and agency.
Most analysis of the Pacific depict a region that is highly dependent, deeply vulnerable and lacks resilience and agency. Because of these frames, it is considered a geopolitically contested space, to mitigate global insecurities and canvassing development aid. The socio-economic and political indices – health (physical, mental and suicide), poverty, inequality, violence (political and gender-based), and extractive mining (on land and sea) – suggests that quite apart from these perceptions, the region’s development path is equally a matter of national policy choice as it is about mitigating the insecurities of the global powers.
To strengthen the region’s resilience, sustainability and agency, much more than agreements are needed. Current efforts aimed at addressing these problems must include developing more innovative strategies and programmes that are more culturally responsive than in the past.
A critical component is to better understand the concepts of wellness and wellbeing that have deep roots in Fiji and Pacific island traditions. The project is about this.