The role of culture in adaptive responses to climate and environmental change in a Fijian village

Shelton , Clare (2017) The role of culture in adaptive responses to climate and environmental change in a Fijian village. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Adapting to the new challenges climate change will bring is vital. Pacific Islands are often cited as being at the forefront of climate change, and despite a growing body of regional research there has been limited climate change adaptation research in regional deltas. The capacity of households and communities to respond to climate change in the face of multiple stressors is influenced by a variety of factors and elements shaped by the underlying social and cultural context. Recent work has highlighted a gap in empirically-based understandings of the relationship between adaptation and sociocultural contexts, and this thesis addresses this by examining the relationships between culture, risk perceptions, social capital and indigenous worldviews in a case study of Tikina Toga in Fiji's Rewa River delta.
Although well-recognised that adaptation to climate and environmental change is context specific, this case study contributes to our knowledge base around the role of and relationship between culture and potential adaptation actions. I use the Vanua, an indigenous concept and worldview, as a lens to examine potential adaptation and social capital at the household and community scale. The Vanua provides an explanatory depth to potential adaptation actions, especially around understandings of resource access, risk perceptions, perceived self- and collective-efficacy and the role of social capital in adaptation. With an increasing number of climate change initiatives in Pacific Island Countries, this thesis highlights the importance of integrating local-level understandings and processes that influence household and community potential adaptation actions in strategic planning for future climate change responses and development initiatives.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 18 May 2018 12:31
Last Modified: 18 May 2018 12:31

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