| || || Janif, Shaiza Zaria|
| || || Assessing the value of oral narratives to build resilience to climate change : case study of Southwestern coast of Viti Levu and the island of Vatulele, Fiji|
Author:Janif, Shaiza Zaria
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.Sc. Climate Change
Subject: Climatic changes -- Fiji -- Viti Levu, Climatic changes -- Fiji -- Vatulele Island
Call No.: Pac QC 903 .2 .F5 J36 2014
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: Pacific Island societies, although highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate and other environmental changes, have managed to adapt and survive for thousands of years. Embedded in the cultures of Pacific communities is indigenous knowledge which is a collective of past experiences and life lessons including adaptation strategies for natural disasters and environmental changes. Oral narratives act as storage and as a means of dissemination of indigenous knowledge and are important for the livelihoods and security of Pacific peoples. They are therefore a key element for climate change adaptation and resilience. In an effort to better inform adaptation strategies and build communal resilience to climate change, this thesis examines the contents of oral narratives regarding personal experiences and perceptions in rural coastal communities in the south-western coast (Coral Coast) of Viti Levu and the island of Vatulele in the Fiji group. The results from the research show that while oral narratives are key in disseminating information regarding environmental changes and adaptation strategies, they are fast disappearing due to changing lifestyles and social structures. Access to individual and communal perception of climate change provides an understanding of the mechanisms which govern community adaptation and resilience. While the communities reported concerns regarding coastal erosion and sea-level rise, barriers to planning and implementation of adaptation strategies are attributed to misinformation and misperceptions of what climate change is and what it entails. The results suggest that the language, mode of transmission and context in which information is disseminated in rural communities are important in ensuring that information is received, well understood and utilised.