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Pacific Islanders’ understanding of climate change: Where do they source information and to what extent do they trust it?

Scott-Parker, Bridie and Nunn, Patrick D. and Mulgrew, Kate and Hine, Don and Marks, Anthony and Mahar, Doug and Tiko, Lavinia (2016) Pacific Islanders’ understanding of climate change: Where do they source information and to what extent do they trust it? Regional Environmental Change, NA . NA. ISSN 1436-3798

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    Abstract

    The experience of environmental stress and attitudes towards climate change was explored for 1226 students at the University of the South Pacific, the foremost tertiary institution serving the independent nations of the Pacific. Students sourced information regarding climate change from media including television, radio, and newspapers; the community (typically via their village, church, and extended family); the University and their friends; and in addition to regional agencies such as the Pacific Community. Most students concluded that they could not believe all of the informations provided by these sources. The findings demonstrate that most students—the future elite of the region—rank global environmental change as the highest future risk. Although nearly all respondents believed that climate change was happening, more than half of respondents believed that the risk was exaggerated and only one-third believed that science would find an answer, suggesting a lack of trust in scientific sources of information. Results also showed that these attitudes varied across demographic factors such as age, region, and gender. The understanding of contemporary attitudes towards global environmental change among a cohort that is likely to include future national leaders in the Pacific Islands region presents unique opportunities for long-range planning of intervention and support strategies. Of particular note for effective intervention and support is the breadth and trustworthiness of various information sources including Pacific Island leaders.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
    H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
    Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Education
    Depositing User: Fulori Nainoca
    Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2016 12:40
    Last Modified: 07 Jul 2016 12:40
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/9043
    UNSPECIFIED

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