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Climate Resilient Mobility: An Integrated Vulnerability Assessment of Koro Island, Lomaiviti Province.

Dumaru, Patrina and Dau, Iferemi and Koroiwaqa, Isoa and Caginitoba, Akanisi and Radway, Catherine and Mangubhai, Sangeeta (2020) Climate Resilient Mobility: An Integrated Vulnerability Assessment of Koro Island, Lomaiviti Province. [Professional and Technical Reports]

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In 2016, Category 5 Tropical Cyclone (TC) Winston passed through Fiji causing extensive damage and losses, particularly in remote islands and rural areas. Koro Island, in the Lomaiviti Province, was among the most severely impacted by TC Winston, and 13 of the 14 villages on the island were among the 63 coastal communities identified for inland relocation by the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO). In response, the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) undertook a study to provide data to inform discussions on the relocation of communities and assets away from coastal hazards on Koro Island. This report describes the process and outcomes of an integrated vulnerability assessment (IVA) conducted on the island from 8–17 June, 2016, and subsequent consultations with the communities’ Suva-based diaspora. The study included a review of secondary documents, individual surveys and focal group discussions with all 14 villages. The report comprises six key sections beginning with an introduction on the theoretical framing of coastal hazards and climate resilient mobility. This is followed by a description of the approach and methods of the study which features the integration of local and Indigenous knowledge with modern science in the analysis of climate and disaster risks linked to livelihoods, human security and social inclusivity. The report then provides the context of this study, the island of Koro, and the social and ecological factors that shape vulnerability processes there. The study findings explain how TC Winston affected each village’s livelihood assets (natural, human, infrastructure, finance and institutional) in a combination of ways that lead to impacts on human security (in terms of environment and human health and access to water, place, food, income and energy). Community perceptions of coastal hazards and relocation, from the perspective of men, women and youth were also examined in the assessment of vulnerability. A continuum of climate resilient mobility options are then proposed, based on the study findings and lessons. The report concludes with recommendations for informing climate and disaster resilient development and mobility planning, implementation and learning on Koro Island. The study highlights the significance of customary institutions and language in mediating climate-related mobility in Fiji, and the importance of holistically considering livelihoods and incorporating a participatory gender and socially inclusive approach to relocation decision-making. The importance of linking community level relocation decision-making processes to overarching sub-national, national and regional resilient sustainable development institutional frameworks for planning, monitoring and evaluation was also emphasised. The recommendations encourage a renewed focus on ecosystem-based adaptation and spatial planning, improved early warning systems and evacuation procedures, and the institutionalisation of climate change and disaster risk knowledge production processes that enable local communities to adapt to a changing environment in a participatory way. The work built upon efforts by WCS and the Lomaiviti Provincial Office between 2014–2015 to develop an ecosystem-based management plan for Koro Island, which included the establishment of a network of community tabus or marine protected areas (MPAs) within the inshore traditional fishing grounds (qoliqoli).

Item Type: Professional and Technical Reports
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > QC Physics > QC980-999 Climatology and weather
Divisions: Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD)
Depositing User: Fulori Nainoca - Waqairagata
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2021 05:35
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2021 02:41

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