Adapting to climate change in Pacific Island countries: the problem of uncertainty
Source TitleWorld Development
University of Melbourne Author/sBarnett, Jonathon
AffiliationArts: Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
Land and Food Resources: Resource Management
Science: School of Earth Sciences
Document TypeJournal (Paginated)
CitationsBarnett, J. (2001). Adapting to climate change in Pacific Island countries: the problem of uncertainty. World Development, 29(6), 977-993.
Access StatusOpen Access
This is a post-print version published in World Development. © 2001 Elsevier. http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/386/description#description
This paper investigates the problem of scientific uncertainty and the way it impedes planning for climate change and accelerated sea-level rise (CC & ASLR) in Pacific Island Countries. The paper begins by discussing the problems CC & ASLR poses for Pacific Island Countries, and it explores the limitations of the dominant approach to vulnerability and adaptation. Next, the paper considers the way scientific uncertainty problematises policies aimed at adaptation to CC & ASLR. It argues that the prevailing approach, which requires anticipation of impacts, is unsuccessful, and the paper proposes a complementary strategy aimed to enhance the resilience of whole island social-ecological systems. Recent developments in the theory and practice of resilience are discussed and then applied to formulate goals for adaptation policy in Pacific Island Countries.
Keywordsadaptation; climate change; Pacific Islands; policy; resilience; uncertainty; vulnerability
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