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The Role of Traditional Knowledge to Frame Understanding of Migration as Adaptation to the "Slow Disaster" of Sea Level Rise in the South Pacific

Morrison, Keith (2016) The Role of Traditional Knowledge to Frame Understanding of Migration as Adaptation to the "Slow Disaster" of Sea Level Rise in the South Pacific. In: Identifying Emerging Issues in Disaster Risk Reduction, Migration, Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Shaping Debates and Policies. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, pp. 249-266. ISBN 978-3-319-33878-1

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    Abstract

    Political rhetoric from small islands in the South Pacific is loudly proclaiming a disaster in the making through sea-level rise. Appealing as the rhetoric may be, it masks very complex processes, such as poor governance leading to unsustainable land use and environmental degradation. It thus interferes with more long term planning strategies which aim to avoid the creation of disasters from sea-level rise. There are nevertheless very good reasons for this rhetoric, including a lack of understanding of underlying complex processes and a lack of proactive governance. More deeply, this lack of understanding can be linked to underlining presumptions driving modernization and globalization, including views about risk, identity, and land tenure. This chapter attempts to frame and unpack the complex issue of climate change, disasters, and “environmental migration” to create greater awareness in order to address these multiple problems and enable strategic planning. Based on empirical work from communities at-risk from slow-onset sea-level rise hazards in Kiribati and Tuvalu, a synthesis of scientific and traditional perspectives is combined to develop a conceptual model, which indicates how cultural traditions can contribute to enabling migrants to successfully adapt to their new social-ecological environment. A case study of successful adaptations by migrant communities in Fiji is used to illustrate the principles.

    Item Type: Book Chapter
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
    G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
    Divisions: Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD)
    Depositing User: Fulori Nainoca
    Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2016 16:03
    Last Modified: 05 Oct 2016 16:03
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/9357
    UNSPECIFIED

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