Deconstructing vulnerability and adaptation in a coastal river basin ecosystem: a participatory analysis of flood risk in Nadi, Fiji Islands

Chandra, Alvin and Gaganis, Petros (2015) Deconstructing vulnerability and adaptation in a coastal river basin ecosystem: a participatory analysis of flood risk in Nadi, Fiji Islands. Climate and Development, 8 3: 256-269. doi:10.1080/17565529.2015.1016884


Author Chandra, Alvin
Gaganis, Petros
Title Deconstructing vulnerability and adaptation in a coastal river basin ecosystem: a participatory analysis of flood risk in Nadi, Fiji Islands
Journal name Climate and Development   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1756-5537
1756-5529
Publication date 2015-03-13
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/17565529.2015.1016884
Open Access Status
Volume 8
Issue 3
Start page 256
End page 269
Total pages 14
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Taylor and Francis Ltd
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Despite the growing discussion on vulnerability and adaptation in urban areas, there is limited research on how smaller towns and cities in Small Island Developing States are being affected by and responding to climate change impacts. This study uses fuzzy cognitive mapping (FCM), field visits and semi-structured interviews with 40 stakeholders across 6 different stakeholder groups in the Nadi River Basin, Fiji Islands to identify, analyse and deconstruct climate change vulnerability and adaptation options to manage increasing flood risks. The research evidence suggests that vulnerability to floods in the basin is on the rise due to a complex mesh of three intersecting factors. Firstly, non-climatic pressures such as development, drainage, social change, agriculture, tourism growth and deforestation combine, juxtapose and interact in a rather unique way with global climate variability (interdependent systems) to increase the stress on the river and coastal ecosystems. Secondly, the most vulnerable or at-risk populations like the farmers, squatter households and in particular women within the community have weak coping capacity due to a combination of demographic and social characteristics. Thirdly, vulnerability is on the rise due to climate factors as well as the flurry of unplanned development, redevelopment and degradation of catchment resources. The research findings have implications for adaptation policies. In particular, the basin stakeholders should integrate climate change within sectorial planning processes, actively engage the vulnerable groups, promote knowledge, awareness and social learning, and invest in adaptive management across all levels of decision-making. Structural policy changes to land-use planning and insurance financing schemes are also necessary to address growing risks. These have the potential to enhance local capacities of communities to adapt to climate-induced floods and improve ecosystem integrity for resilience building.
Keyword Adaptation
Ecosystems
Flood
Fuzzy cognitive mapping
Stakeholders
Vulnerability
Nadi river basin
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2016 Collection
 
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