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Koe feliuliuaki ‘o e ‘ea: Ko ha palopalema nai eni? Understanding climate change in Tonga

Tonga is highly vulnerable to the deleterious impacts of climate change reflecting its geographical, geological and socio-economic characteristics. These impacts have the potential to be a calamity for the environment and the people of Tonga and their livelihoods. Tonga is the first country in the Pacific Islands region to have established a Joint National Action Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management. The primary goal of this plan is to ensure that the communities establish adaptation and mitigation measures to address the impact of climate change. A considerable burden is placed upon the people of Tonga, their knowledge and their understanding of this issue. Literature indicates that the knowledge about climate change should be distributed equally at all levels to enhance effective and successful coping mechanisms for its impacts. This research was conducted on Tongatapu Island, one of the islands in Tonga that is extremely susceptible to the impacts of climate change. The participants were selected from different locations including coastal villages that are prone to the impacts of climate change as well as less hazard prone areas. The aim of this research is to unearth the existing knowledge of the people about the issue, their views on the impacts of climate change, and adaptation options they plan to implement in order to reduce the effects of climate change. Understanding of climate change issues varies for a number of reasons. Those who design national policies on climate change may view climate change from a scientific perspective that would be different from how rural villagers might consider the issue. This research uses the social constructionism approach to identify how this knowledge is constructed and what strategies might be implemented to address the knowledge deficit of the locals.
Type of thesis
Havea, E. H. (2014). Koe feliuliuaki ‘o e ‘ea: Ko ha palopalema nai eni? Understanding climate change in Tonga (Thesis, Master of Arts (MA)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/9075
University of Waikato
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