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The Return of Fenua Imi: Understanding Climate Change in the Pacific 
Niki Alsford (University of Central Lancashire)
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Tuesday 26 October, 15:00-16:30

Short Abstract:

The vastness of the Pacific means that no two experiences of climate change are the same. The aim is to document climate change through local voice. Its results will foster an ethnographic understanding of climate change and conservation via cross-sectional research.

Long Abstract

Climate change represents humanity's greatest threat. The vastness of the Pacific means that no two experiences are the same. The main objective of this panel is to identify research that highlights the local impact of climate change on Pacific Island reefs and local fisher communities, This will be achieved through three interdisciplinary strands:

(1) Scientific

(2) Ethnographic

(3) Deep History

The scientific is literal: it addresses how the impacts of climate have manifested in the composition of highly diverse and endemic reef communities in the Pacific. Reef diversity is linked to increased long-term resilience. Due to their importance in terms of ecosystem services and as local sources of food and income, understanding the species and changes in species in these diverse communities is crucial in conservation efforts. Effectively identifying community composition and monitoring future changes will be essential to mitigating habitat degradation.

The ethnographic follows the cultural insights into climate change. Oceanic spaces for the peoples of the Pacific are not barriers, they are highways. Changes in these highways have been expressed in a range of historical, cultural, and political contexts.

Finally, this research will consider the Deep History; a long durée of Austronesian migration and a representation of traditional maritime knowledge and practice and international boundaries within the Pacific prevent the free movement of people.

The panel is driven toward evidence-based research that utilises indigenous knowledge in order to generate evidence that exists in a local context by taking into consideration specific cultural norms, values, and classifications.

Accepted papers:

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