Climate change loss and grief in the Marshall Islands

As climate change impacts intensify, we need to identify how people are experiencing and working through the ensuing loss. The flow on effect of such loss and grief, if not processed or healed, could affect the fragility of entire communities and ultimately weaken resilience as well as stability. Currently, there is a lack of available literature that documents the non-economic aspects of loss as a result of climate change. By documenting the experiences of communities in Pacific Island Countries on the frontline of climate change, the intangible forms of loss can be better understood. The outcomes will inform international and national policy and practice, helping people plan and work through climate change loss, minimise its harm and have greater hope and agency over their futures.

This PhD project will form part of a broader body of work under the ARC Future Fellowship, 'Working through loss from climate change in the Pacific Islands' (2020-2024). The overarching aim of this broader project is to explore how climate change loss is experienced in three Pacific Island Countries (Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, and Vanuatu). 

Within the scope of this broader project, this PhD will focus on the Marshall Islands as a case study. The aim of this PhD is to explore how people are experiencing and working through loss and grief from climate change in the Marshall Islands. As global efforts to respond to climate change fail to protect the most vulnerable, its impacts will continue to cause grief and suffering through loss of life, health and wellbeing, Indigenous knowledge, place and culture. The project intends to address this gap and build a praxis to work through loss to support healing and hope. 

Advisory Team: Associate Professor Karen McNamara, Professor Emily Boyd


Project members

Clarice de WIT

PhD Candidate