Inhabitants of Pacific small island states are facing multiple socio-ecological pressures, with climate change being one of the most prominent. Nevertheless, the agency of local stakeholders in decisions on how to adapt to climate-related environmental change has been largely underappreciated in the climate change sciences as well as in policy decisions. We, therefore, conducted a survey study in Tuvalu, Samoa, and Tonga, asking specifically how residents perceive their situation regarding climate-related challenges, what adaptation strategies they have devised and implemented, and what they expect of governmental and nongovernmental organisations in these efforts. In contrast to the common perception that Pacific small island states are primarily threatened by rising sea levels, residents’ perceptions indicate that drought, cyclones and other flood-related problems pose a far more imminent danger. Our results suggest that further research on those perceived environmental changes is advisable to provide reliable data for scientific models and policy decisions.
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Beyerl, K., Mieg, H. A., & Weber, E. (2018). Comparing perceived effects of climate-related environmental change and adaptation strategies for the Pacific small island states of Tuvalu, Samoa, and Tonga. Island studies journal: ISJ, 13(1), 25-44. doi:10.24043/isj.53.
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