iTaukei Ways of Knowing and Managing Mangroves for Ecosystem-Based Adaptation

  • Jasmine PearsonEmail author
  • Karen E. McNamara
  • Patrick D. Nunn
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Global concerns for Pacific Island Countries under a new climate regime and increasing development challenges has prompted many external agencies to intervene with climate change adaptation programs. Despite extensive funding and efforts, many external interventions tend to overlook the importance of Indigenous and local knowledge, and working in partnership with local people to co-produce sustainable and effective adaptation strategies. In many Pacific countries, mangroves deliver ecosystem goods and services that are essential to the livelihoods of local people and can enhance resilience to climate change. This paper explores how iTaukei (Indigenous Fijian) communities have sustainably managed mangrove ecosystems over time, and how this knowledge and experiences can enable future ecosystem-based adaptation options that are more sustainable and effective. Across six rural villages in western Vanua Levu, a series of semi-structured household interviews (n = 41) were undertaken, coupled with participant observation. The findings demonstrate the importance of understanding, respecting and utilising Indigenous knowledge for managing and protecting local ecosystems as part of communities’ response to climate change adaptation.


Climate change Fiji Mangroves Ecosystem-based adaptation Indigenous knowledge 



We would like to thank the local communities of Bua, Dalomo, Denimanu, Koroinasolo, Navunievu and Tiliva for warmly welcoming the researchers into their villages for the duration of data collection. We are eternally grateful to the participants who were kind enough to share their knowledge and experiences that form the basis of this article. A special thank you to the Ramasima family from Bua village for being wonderful hosts, and for Titilia and Metuisela Mocevakaca for their assistance with translation and facilitating data collection. I would also like to thank my PhD advisers for their ongoing research guidance, and contributions to this paper. We are also grateful to the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Queensland for funding this fieldwork research.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Science, School of Earth and Environmental SciencesThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Social SciencesUniversity of the Sunshine CoastSunshine CoastAustralia

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