Globalization, Pacific Islands, and the paradox of resilience

Lauer, Matthew, Albert, Simon, Aswani, Shankar, Halpern, Benjamin S., Campanella, Luke and La Rose, Douglas (2013) Globalization, Pacific Islands, and the paradox of resilience. Global Environmental Change, 23 1: 40-50. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.10.011

Author Lauer, Matthew
Albert, Simon
Aswani, Shankar
Halpern, Benjamin S.
Campanella, Luke
La Rose, Douglas
Title Globalization, Pacific Islands, and the paradox of resilience
Journal name Global Environmental Change   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0959-3780
Publication date 2013-02
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.10.011
Volume 23
Issue 1
Start page 40
End page 50
Total pages 11
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract On April 2nd, 2007 a 12 m tsunami struck Simbo, a relatively remote island in Western Province, Solomon Islands. Although Simbo's population continues to depend on their own food production and small-scale governance regimes regulate access to resources, the island's way of life over the last century has increasingly been affected by processes associated with globalization. In this context of a rapidly globalizing world, this article examines the island's resilience and vulnerability to the tsunami and the adaptive capacities that enabled the response and recovery. The tsunami completely destroyed two villages and damaged fringing coral reefs, but casualties were low and social–ecological rebound relatively brisk. By combining social science methods (household surveys, focus group and ethnographic interviews) and underwater reef surveys we identify a number of countervailing challenges and opportunities presented by globalization that both nurture and suppress the island's resilience to high amplitude, low-frequency disturbances like tsunamis. Analysis suggests that certain adaptive capacities that sustain general system resilience come at the cost of more vulnerability to low-probability hazards. We discuss how communities undergoing increasingly complex processes of change must negotiate these kinds of trade-offs as they manage resilience at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Understanding the shifting dynamics of resilience may be critical for Pacific Island communities who seek to leverage globalization in their favor as they adapt to current social–ecological change and prepare for future large-scale ecological disturbances.
Keyword Tsunami
Adaptive capacity
Resilience trade-offs
Coral reef
Solomon Islands
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 10 November 2012

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
Official 2013 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 18 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 21 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 13 Mar 2013, 09:34:15 EST by Mr Simon Albert on behalf of School of Civil Engineering