Dr. Nigel Crawhall is the Director of Secretariat for the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC) and a Buddhist of the Theravada Denomination from Cape Town, South Africa. His engagement in the climate crisis was turned up a notch in 2008 when he attended the UNFCCC COP14 and witnessed the lack of initiative among political leaders to address the growing crisis.
"I spent time meditating on the shock and grief, wherein I recognized that as a Buddhist it was my duty to apply my skills to help avert this disaster."
His conviction led him to involvement and development in programs such as We Have Faith-Act Now for Climate Justice, a multi-faith network in Africa, as well as the Inter-religious Climate and Ecology Network. He worked with International Union for the Conservation of Nature (UICN) to include faith-based organizations in their work on environmental justice issues. In 2016, he spoke at the Interfaith Oceans panel at the UN COP22 in Morocco, discussing among other topics, the consequences of global fisheries collapse.
"Our job as religious leaders is to understand the science, but also the enormous social consequences of what we’re looking at: No food, forced migration, complete restructuring of the economy, and young people looking for some economic way to survive."
Click here for a video of Dr. Nigel's reflections on COP17 during a panel discussion hosted by the Diocese of Cape Town Environmental Group and The Southern African Faith Communities' Environment Institute.
Below: Dr. Crawhall discusses the implications of commodification and over consumption of nature in this interview with the Gaia Foundation.