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Building resiliency to natural hazards in Pacific Island communities

Russell, Stephen and Limalevu, Leone and Singh, Gurmeet and Pathak, Raghuvar D. (2012) Building resiliency to natural hazards in Pacific Island communities. The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, 3 (3). pp. 11-30. ISSN 1835-7156

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Abstract

This paper reports on a program to investigate the main factors affecting livelihoods in rural villages around Fiji in order to determine the resilience of the various communities to major climate change sensitive disasters such as cyclones, storm surges, floods, and sea level rises. The study is funded through the Global Development Network (GDN) Global Development Awards program, and is designed to elicit from a variety of Pacific Island community members the traditional means for ensuring sustainable and resilient livelihoods in the presence of significant risks from natural hazards. While hydro meteorological events such as cyclones have been a feature of life in many Pacific Island communities for aeons, current research indicates that storms will increase in intensity. As the destructive power of storms is very sensitive to intensity, the implication is that the communities hit by future storms will need to be better prepared than ever before. This comes at a time when the resilience of communities is actually in decline – bio-diversity is decreasing, land use management practices are damaging coastal areas, and social networks are degrading – to name a few factors. Nine communities around Fiji have been surveyed to assess the various attributes that determine resilience in a household and in a community, and how they would cope in case of a severe storm. These data have been analysed to determine relative measures of resilience between the sample villages. This is at once a chance to record traditional methods of living and an assessment of how traditional knowledge may be shared to better prepare communities for dealing with hazard events, and potential disasters in the future. Keywords: Climate Change, Hydro Meteorological Hazards, Resilience, Pacific Island Communities, Fiji

Item Type: Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Climate Change, Hydro Meteorological Hazards, Resilience, Pacific Island Communities,Fiji
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Management and Public Administration
Depositing User: Gurmeet Singh
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2012 13:33
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2017 14:55
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/4972
UNSPECIFIED

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