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Fiji Research Project, January 2016


Following the pre-research consultation in September 2015, Dr. Tristan Pearce and his team conducted field research examining how traditional livelihoods in Fijian communities are vulnerable to the effects of climate change.  Tristan was joined by Renee Currenti who is working as a research assistant in the Sustainability Research Centre, geography students Hayley McCreath and Dannielle Rietberg, international business student Tukai Vunituraga and three students conducting a sustainability research project as part of a course run by the University of the Sunshine Coast (SUS310), Zoe Arch, Roger Kitson and Diana Olsen.   Four weeks were spent living in Vusama village (pictured below) employing ethnographic research methods to better understand how the community experiences and responds to environmental changes.  Diana and Tristan spent time in Nahoho village as another study area to learn of the experiences and responses of the community to terrestrial and marine environment changes.   It was fascinating to see the resilience of the Vusama and Nahoho communities as their environment has changed rapidly in recent years.  In light of climate change seasons are shifting, rains are becoming unpredictable, freshwater is scarce and local agricultural systems are struggling.  The research conducted in January will form the basis of an empirical case study as an example of how small Indigenous populations are facing the effects of climate change in the Pacific.

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