Promoting Peace Through Climate Change Adaptation

Promoting Peace Through Climate Change Adaptation

Peni Hausia Havea (University of the South Pacific, Tonga)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3001-5.ch023


Climate change has affected people's peace in the form of impact on livelihoods, health, and/or well-being. Most of these peace impacts, however, are felt significantly by people who are living in the low-lying communities in the Pacific, who are within and/or close to the Ring of Fire. This chapter is based on a study of peace and climate change adaptation that was conducted in the Pacific island region in 2016. It took place in five communities in Suva, Fiji: Vatuwaqa, Raiwaqa, Raiwai, Samabula, and Toorak. It highlights the impact of climate change on peace, and then it indicated how peace can be promoted in the form of climate change adaptation for these communities. Based on the results of this research, the author recommends that peace should be incorporated into the Pacific islands national adaptation plan.
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Evidence suggests that climate change impacting factors such as sea level rise, temperature rise, heavy rainfall, seasonal variation, drought and other Extreme Weather Events (EWEs) have been affecting peoples’ and communities’ livelihoods, health and well-being (IPCC, 2001; 2007a; 2007b; 2013; 2014a; 2014b). Most of these impacting factors are already experienced by low-lying communities in the Pacific such as those in Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu (Bell, Johnson, Ganachaud, Gehrke, Hobday, Hoegh-Guldberg, . . . Waycott, 2011; Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) & Ministry of Agriculture Food Forests and Fisheries (MAFFF), 2014; Government of Tonga, 2009; Government of Tonga & UNDP, 2009; IPCC, 2001; 2007a; 2014b; McIver, 2016; Ministry of Environment Energy Climate Change Disaster Management Meteorology Information and Communications, 2014; Nunn, Mulgrew, Scott-Parker, Hine, Marks, Mahar, & Maebuta, 2016; Oli, 2013; Reardon & Oliver, 1983; Reddy, 1983; Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), 2013; UNEP-WCMC, 2015; Vatukela, 2013; WHO, 2015; Woodroffe, 1983). According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (IPCC, 2001; 2007a; 2007b; 2013; 2014a; 2014b; 2014c; 2014d) these negative impacting factors are expected to increase in the future if not addressed properly.

These negative features may include, but not limited to:

  • Loss of agriculture and vegetation;

  • Fishing and fishery impacts;

  • Impact on education;

  • Impact on churches and religious activities;

  • Damages and destructions to housing and building environment;

  • Coastal erosion and inundations;

  • Human-induced impactful activities (e.g. sand mining and deforestations).

The sum of all these impacts leads to a diminished well-being of the population (Brown & Murray, 2013; Havea, 2014; Havea, Jacot des Combes, Hemstock, Gee, Han, Khan, & Moore, 2017; Kuruppu, 2009; Kuruppu & Liverman, 2011; Luber & Hess, 2007; Maeke, 2013; Magee, Verdon-Kidd, Kiem, & Royle, 2016; McIver, Woodward, Davies, Tibwe, & Iddings, 2014; O'Brien, 2013; Oli, 2013; UN News Centre, 2009; UNEP-WCMC, 2015; Vatukela, 2013; WHO, 2015).

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