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dc.contributor.advisorCampbell, John R.
dc.contributor.advisorGoldsmith, Michael
dc.contributor.authorFalefou, Tapugao
dc.date.accessioned2018-02-14T20:23:39Z
dc.date.available2018-02-14T20:23:39Z
dc.date.issued2017
dc.identifier.citationFalefou, T. (2017). TOKU TIA: Tuvalu and the impacts of climate change (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11651en
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/11651
dc.description.abstractClimate change is the greatest and most profound threat the world is facing today. Its impacts on the environment, species of all kinds, and humanity is intensifying at an unprecedented rate. Low-lying atoll states, such as Tuvalu, because of their geomorphologies, are exposed directly to climate change impacts. Scientific predictions of the rising sea levels and media representations of low-lying atolls becoming uninhabitable and sinking are increasingly causing grave concerns to people living in atoll states. This thesis endeavours to examine the perceptions of the people of Tuvalu about climate change and sea level rise. Situated within the human geography theoretical framework, this study specifically explores the cultural and emotional geographies of Tuvaluans in relation to these phenomena. Cultural and national identities are the two pillars that embrace the study. In examining Tuvaluans’ perceptions, the study noticed that most people display a profound uncertainty about the future of their cultural heritage and the country’s national sovereignty. The emotions and affects of the people about their future are overwhelmingly touching and heartbreaking. As people who highly value coconut in their traditional ways of life, Tuvaluans’ perceptions are analogous to what I metaphorically call “coconut roots and coconut fruits”. Tuvaluans’ conception of sense of place is one that has very strong connections and attachment to their fenua or island or land like the coconut roots to the soil. However, Tuvaluans, like other Pacific islanders, are also voyagers and great explorers who have traversed the Pacific oceans for centuries like the “coconut fruits” that can drift in the ocean for long periods and become established once washed ashore. Yet, the encroaching effect of climate change and sea level rise is greatly reshaping the rootedness and/or fluidity of Tuvaluans. Tuvaluans’ perceptions are greatly influenced by their religious beliefs. As citizens of a Christian atoll state, the majority of Tuvaluans firmly believe that the rainbow in Noah’s narrative is unequivocal. However, there is a new interpretation growing within the Tuvalu Christian Church leadership that casts doubt on this view and finds the rainbow starting to fade in their perception of climate change and sea level rise. Tuvaluans understand that they need to construct an ark – solution – to save the islands. Unless the world renders genuine support to the implementation of Tuvalu’s Climate Change Policy known as Te Kaniva, Tuvaluans will not be able to construct the ark and may well be displaced causing their identities to vanish in the passage of time.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherThe University of Waikato
dc.rightsAll items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectTuvalu
dc.subjectClimate change
dc.subjectSea level rise
dc.subjectSmall island state
dc.subjectTuvaluan culture
dc.subjectTuvaluan lives and livelihoods
dc.subjectImpacts of climate change and sea level rise
dc.subjectSocial and cultural geographies
dc.subjectNational identity
dc.subjectCoconut people
dc.subjectCoconut roots
dc.subjectCoconut fruits
dc.subjectFading rainbow
dc.subjectThe Ark
dc.titleTOKU TIA: Tuvalu and the impacts of climate change
dc.typeThesis
thesis.degree.grantorThe University of Waikato
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.updated2018-01-31T21:25:37Z
pubs.place-of-publicationHamilton, New Zealanden_NZ


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