Spiritual Engagement in Post-Disaster Resettlement and Environmental Risk Governance

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 15:01
Location: Hörsaal 42 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Praveena RAJKOBAL, Deakin University, Australia, Australia
The Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka is a spirituality based grassroots movement, whose work since 1958 was mostly concentrated in the areas of rural development. Since the 2004 tsunami, the Movement made a significant stride into the field of post-disaster resettlement establishing Sarvodaya tsunami resettlement villages in the Western, Eastern, Southern and Northern provinces of Sri Lanka. Sarvodaya hence brought its spiritual dimension for rural development into the field of post-disaster reconstruction and environmental risk governance. This study examines how the Sarvodaya Movement implemented its philosophical basis which comprises of consciousness (spiritual development), economics (sustainable development), and power (good governance) into its Sarvodaya tsunami resettlement villages. With the data gathered from semi-structured interviews with villagers and Sarvodaya officials, this study provides an analysis of the spirituality-based Sarvodaya framework of ecologically sustainable development. It is expected that this analysis will provide important insights into the Sarvodaya post-disaster resettlement policies as well as policies aiming at environmental risk governance, which is a growing area of the Sarvodaya Movement’s spiritual involvement. Further, this analysis can also inform a new framework of spirituality based environmental risk governance and post-disaster reconstruction for wider application.