Describe Three Major Environmental Challenges Facing Oceania

Describe Three Major Environmental Challenges Facing Oceania.


Considering how vulnerable Pacific Island countries (PIC) are to the conflict-prone effects of climatic change, it is surprising that and so little attention has been focused on the region. To address the disharmonize potential of the furnishings of climate modify, also as of accommodation and mitigation policies and technologies, policymakers must draw upon research related to the climate change-disharmonize nexus that thus far have been widely ignored or underestimated. These include cultural and spiritual aspects, indigenous knowledge, and indigenous ways of adapting to climate change. To fill gaps in cognition, more granular ethnographic research should explore the complication of local contexts in Oceania. Non-Western, non-anthropocentric concepts warrant particular attention.

The sinking islands of Oceania have become a symbol for the severe and unprecedented consequences of man-made global warming. As I notation in the Toda Peace Institute policy brief this post is based on, many of the islands confront extreme exposure and rather limited options for accommodation. Notable examples include some outer islands of Malaita, a province of the independent country of the Solomon Islands. People have started to relocate to mainland Malaita equally islands become uninhabitable due to body of water-level rise and its furnishings. Low-lying atoll countries, such as Tuvalu, Kiribati, or the Marshall Islands, are specially vulnerable to vanishing.

Sea-level rise, the increased frequency and severity of extreme weather condition events, increasing air and bounding main surface temperatures, floods and protracted droughts, coastal erosion, salt water intrusion, and salinization are threatening island economies and habitats. Rising temperatures too increase the risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. A broad spectrum of newly arising economic, social, and cultural problems attributed to the effects of climatic change are generating ripe conditions for conflict.

Because the region is a climate modify hotspot, violent disharmonize linked to the effects of climate change is a major concern for people living in Picture show communities. Diverse forms of violent conflict,  from intergroup violence to domestic violence, can exist linked to the social effects of climate change, and, in detail, to climate migration.  Whether there volition be an escalation of climatic change-induced violent conflicts in PIC communities throughout Oceania, or not, depends on expert climate change governance. A mix of political orders and governance arrangements must be considered.  This ways it is vital to recognize not only the important role of ceremonious society organizations in the Western understanding of the term, merely as well that of traditional regime and institutions from the local customary sphere of society.

Climate-induced migration and its connection to conflict varies. In Papua New Republic of guinea, for example, ongoing planned climate alter-induced relocation from the islands of the Carterets atoll to the main isle of Bougainville has been a relatively successful exercise. Still, disputes over land accept led to the re-relocation of some Carterets islanders back to their islands. And people from another Carterets relocation site on the isle of Buka written report disharmonize with the host customs over state utilize and fishing rights. Migrants’ homes and food gardens take been destroyed. And immature migrants have been attacked and women raped.

This is not an isolated instance in the region. Localized violent conflicts occur not simply in urban settlements, which are often the destination of unplanned climate change-induced migration, simply also on the abode islands themselves. Conflicts over scarce natural resources, especially country, emerge, for instance, between people moving from the coast to higher ground and the people already living there. In Republic of kiribati, water scarcity has led to conflicts between neighboring communities forced to encroach on each other’s land.

In overcrowded squatter settlements in the few urban centers in the Pacific Islands, domestic violence is increasing. These settlements are also ofttimes the sites of tearing, sometimes deadly, conflicts between communities from unlike islands, many of whose members left their home islands because of the effects of climate change.

In frail post-conflict environments, such equally in Bougainville or Solomon Islands, climate change is a “threat multiplier,” and climate-induced migration, as well every bit other effects of climate change, tin can lead to disharmonize escalation, particularly in resettlement areas. When reflecting on pathways to conflict escalation, nevertheless, nosotros must note all the factors at play, in particular the importance of institutions and quality of governance.

The potential of climate change-induced conflicts to go violent may depend primarily on four variables:

  1. The gravity and urgency of the climate alter-induced environmental degradation;
  2. The vulnerability and adaptive capacity of affected communities (what are the options to adapt, to modify lifestyles, or to relocate?);
  3. The capacity and willingness to utilise violence as a means to engage in conflict and to “solve” problems; and
  4. The fragility or stability of the societal and political context.

Whereas the get-go point lies beyond the reach of political intervention (at least in the local context), the other points tin be addressed through disharmonize-preventive and conflict-sensitive policies. This means that good climatic change governance takes into account issues of weakness and fragility or forcefulness and stability facing the state.

In countries like the PICs, good climate change governance and adaptation planning must likewise take into business relationship the importance of traditional indigenous actors and institutions. Traditional authorities—chiefs and elders, tribal leaders, religious authorities, healers, large men, and wise women—manage community governance, natural resources, and the surround. They regulate resources use and resolve disputes according to local custom. For example, they may apply traditional forms of reconciliation or traditional “taboo” to regulate and restrict resource use with “no-accept” zones. Hence communities’ adaptive capacity to a large extent rests with such customary actors and institutions.

In Pacific Island countries, the churches can act as bridging organizations connecting local customary life-worlds and the exterior earth of land and international climatic change policies. The vast majority of Pacific Islanders are devout Christians. While country institutions might non reach far beyond the urban centers, the churches are everywhere on the footing. It therefore is of utmost importance to include them in climate change adaptation and governance.

To be successful in the PIC context, climate modify governance and adaptation planning should as well take into account ethnic cosmologies and world views. In Oceania, human beings are seen not every bit isolated individuals, but as members of communities, defined through their relationships with other homo beings likewise equally with actors beyond the human being sphere, in nature and the spirit world. Any customs in Melanesia is understood in a holistic catholic fashion to include people, land, ocean, ancestors, spirits, trees, villages, animals, linguistic communication, mountains, and God. Consequently, the environment or the climate cannot exist understood as divide from people, guild, and the sacred—but as cosmologically connected. This worldview has far-reaching consequences for the study of climate change adaptation and governance, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding, in the context of Picture.

Collaboration to overcome the connections between climate change and conflict through processes of mutually supportive accommodation and peacebuilding is cardinal to good climatic change governance. In the best case scenario, peacebuilding will back up climate change adaptation, and climate alter adaptation volition support peacebuilding.

Volker Boege, Toda Peace Constitute’southward Senior Research Young man for Climate Change and Conflict, has worked extensively in the areas of peacebuilding and resilience in the Pacific region.

Sources: adelphi, Berghof Inquiry Center for Constructive Conflict Management, Deutsche Welle, Ocean & Coastal Management, Pacific Women, Parliament of Commonwealth of australia, Resilience, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Modify, “The Palgrave Handbook of Disciplinary and Regional Approaches to Peace” edited by Oliver P. Richmond, Sandra Pogodda, and Jasmin Ramovic, Toda Peace Plant, Academy of Hamburg: Research Group Climate Change and Security, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate change

Photo Credit: People along the Maramasike Passage in Malaita, Solomon Islands. Photo by Wade Fairley, 2012. Courtesy of WorldFish.

Describe Three Major Environmental Challenges Facing Oceania