| || || Tahu, Mary Margarita|
| || || Climate change, sea-level rise and coastal biodiversity of Ghizo Island (Western Solomon Islands)|
Author:Tahu, Mary Margarita
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Call No.: pac In Process
Copyright:20-40% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: Climate change is a global challenge of this century. It poses serious threats to natural ecosystems and biodiversity. The Pacific is the most vulnerable region because of their small land masses, location in the routes of natural disasters, extensive coastlines, and dependency on marine resources. Ghizo Island, which encompasses the study sites of this research, is located in the Western Solomons. It has a tropical climate and is rich in biodiversity. The economy, which revolves around services, tourism, and sales of local products, exacerbates the impacts of climate change. This research work is to test the general hypothesis that the protection and management of coastal areas and biodiversity offer the great potential for communities to adapt to climate change and sea–level rise as well as specific hypotheses of 1) that climate change and associated environmental changes are happening and have been experienced, and the most highly affected areas are coastal ecosystems and settlements; 2) that human activities and human–induced environmental change exacerbate the impacts of climate and environmental change; and 3) that protection and management of coastal areas and coastal biodiversity offer great potential for adapting to and mitigating (reducing impacts) climate and environmental change on Ghizo Island. For purposes of testing these hypotheses, research methods used were literature review, questionnaire survey, in-depth interview, field observation, photography and mapping. The research finding indicates that the combination of the impact of climate change and human activities has already resulted in the damage, decline, and depletion of coastal vegetation; this has paved way for salt-water intrusion and inland flooding affecting inshore marine species and habitats. Coastal ecosystems and biodiversity are important in addressing climate and environmental change because they protect coastlines from coastal erosion, salt-water intrusion, and maintain resilience of coastal ecosystems and communities. However, only adaptive measures such as replanting and rehabilitation of coastal and marine ecosystems and species are effective to certain extent in Ghizo Island. iv For future research, there should be more quantitative studies on coastal biodiversity, ecology, traditional knowledge, and adequate funds for long term monitoring and collecting of data and information.