Pacific Small Island Developing States and Climate Change Migration


Devyn Holliday


Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Pacific are highly vulnerable to environmental changes. Climate change constricts the number of livelihoods possible there, causing the influx of people from rural islands to more ‘urban’ islands with municipal centres. This paper examines the three largest contemporary cases of climate change resettlement in the Pacific region: Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Carterets (Papua New Guinea). It shows that climate change migration in the region is particularly pressing and unique because it involves indigenous people moving to places in which they may not have access to resources. It examines the cultural, political, economic, and environmental aspects of each migration. Lastly, it argues that successful relocation in the Pacific involves measures that allow people agency or the ability to maintain a livelihood, as well as freedom of cultural expression.



4 April 2020

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