| || || Lata, Shalini.|
| || || Perceptions of future climate change in a vulnerable community and its implications for future adaptation : a case study of the Rewa Delta, Fiji |
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Call No.: pac In Process
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: Pacific Island Countries are a particularly vulnerable region of the developing world owing to their comparative smallness, remoteness, fragility of ecosystems, limited resources, and heavy dependence on marine and coastal resources. In most parts of the Pacific, coastal ecosystems and communities are already experiencing changes in the natural environment as sea-level rise erodes coastlines and king tides inundate agricultural and freshwater lands. As part of a wider interest in the effects on island river deltas of current and future climate change, this paper examines the contemporary and future nature of sea-level rise stresses on the Rewa River delta in the south west Pacific. The Rewa Delta in Fiji Islands is the largest fluvial system in the South Pacific and sustains a population of almost 70, 000. Sea-level rise will cause significant landward movement of the shoreline threatening the livelihoods and traditional homes of the delta’s inhabitants. The results achieved show that climate change is not perceived as an issue of high concern by the people and local decision-makers of the Rewa Delta. Although most of the respondents have heard of the term, most commonly from the media, most are not aware of the nature of changes and the risks associated with climate change. Even though changes are evident in the natural environment in the form of increased erosion, king tides and inundation, people commonly see these as something normal and natural -something they cannot do much about. Most feel that changes are happening because god is punishing them. The communities do not plan to re-locate even if threats intensify due to their strong cultural links with traditional land. The perception was found to be more concentrated on short- term climate variability and thus is a barrier for longer-term climate-change adaptation in the Rewa Delta. The results imply that risk perception of climate change essential at all levels of society for successful implementation of adaptation policies and strategies.