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Indigenous Pacific Approaches to Climate Change

Pacific Island Countries

  • Book
  • © 2018


  • Is a timely overview of the applications of indigenous knowledge to climate challenge in the Pacific Islands
  • Provides existing and historical examples of adaptation strategies throughout the Pacific region
  • Explores how local knowledge, practice, and beliefs can be mobilized to respond to climate change and disasters

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Disaster Anthropology (PSDA)

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About this book

This book explores how Pacific Island communities are responding to the challenges wrought by climate change—most notably fresh water accessibility, the growing threat of disease, and crop failure. The Pacific Island nations are not alone in facing these challenges, but their responses are unique in that they arise from traditional and community-based understandings of climate and disaster. Knowledge sharing, community education, and widespread participation in decision-making have promoted social resilience to such challenges across the Pacific. In this exploration of the Pacific Island countries, Bryant-Tokalau demonstrates that by understanding the inter-relatedness of local expertise, customary resource management, traditional knowledge and practice, as well as the roles of leaders and institutions, local “knowledge-practice-belief systems” can be used to inform adaptation to disasters wherever they occur.

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Table of contents (6 chapters)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Te Tumu, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

    Jenny Bryant-Tokalau

About the author

Jenny Bryant-Tokalau is Associate Professor in the School of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies at the University of Otago, New Zealand. She has also worked throughout the Pacific as an academic and UN/GEF staffer.

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