Farming Adaptations to the Impacts of Climate Change and Extreme Events in Pacific Island Countries: Case Study of Bellona Atoll, Solomon Islands

Farming Adaptations to the Impacts of Climate Change and Extreme Events in Pacific Island Countries: Case Study of Bellona Atoll, Solomon Islands

Viliamu Iese (Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji), Joseph Maeke (Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji), Elisabeth Holland (Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji), Morgan Wairiu (Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji) and Sumeet Naidu (Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6501-9.ch006
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Abstract

Farmers in Pacific Islands' communities are considered to be most vulnerable to the impacts of increased temperature, sea-level rise, droughts, cyclones, and heavy rainfall. Farmers living on a raised atoll in the Solomon Islands (Bellona) were interviewed to understand their perceptions and experiences on the impacts of climate change and extreme events on their crops. Some examples of damage and impacts according to the farmers included rotting of roots, damage to leaves and branches, and destruction of fruits and valuable yields. Interviews also revealed that the ability of farmers to recover after disasters was dependent on their pre-disaster conditions, number and varieties of crops they had planted, type of cropping system in use, and consistent use of simple, traditional, and innovative adaptive techniques. Such techniques included crop rotation, change of planting and harvesting dates, and the planting of new resilient varieties.
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Background

Geographic Location

Bellona Island is located to the South of Solomon Islands, lying at approximately latitude 11o 11’ South and longitude 159o 15’ East (Christensen, 1975, Hansell & Wall, 1976). The island is situated at about 170km from the country’s capital, Honiara (Figure 1). Bellona Island is a small uplifted atoll which is elliptical in shape (Christensen, 1975, Breuning-Madsen et al. 2010, Borggaard et al. 2012) or resembles the shape of a canoe (SIG, 2001). Bellona is about 10km long and 2km wide and has a land area of approximately 20km2.

Figure 1.

Geographic location of Bellona Raised Atoll in Solomon Islands

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