Coastal communities in the Pacific Islands region are particularly susceptible to harsh environmental changes, especially under the impacts of climate change. For this reason, strategies need to be developed to ensure people living in vulnerable areas are able to adjust to these changes and maintain their livelihoods over time. In the past, intervening parties have often failed to implement successful adaptation projects in Pacific Island countries due to lack of consideration for local knowledge, attitudes and culture.

This research project seeks to enhance the current understanding of Pacific Islander knowledge and attitudes towards environmental changes and how this can contribute towards effective and sustainable adaptation in the future. This will be demonstrated through a case study undertaken in Fiji which focuses on major changes in mangrove ecosystems over the past 50 years, how and why local people have responded to these changes, and the implications this has for the sustainability of human-mangrove interactions.

The results of this research will provide valuable insights that can be utilised during the development of future adaptation measures that strive to conserve vital ecosystems without compromising the needs of Pacific Island communities.

Funding: APA (Australian Postgraduate Award)

Advisors: Dr Karen McNamara, Prof Patrick D. Nunn

Project members

Jasmine Pearson

Jasmine Pearson

PhD candidate