Valuing Indigenous Knowledge for Climate Change Adaptation Planning in Fiji and Vanuatu
Karen Elizabeth McNamara and Shirleen Shomila Prasad, July 2013

Pacific Island communities are heavily reliant on natural resources to sustain their livelihoods and as a consequence they have developed an intimate understanding of their local environment. Communities have been using their knowledge of the land and sea to monitor changes in their local surroundings, use and manage resources, and adapt to local environmental changes and extreme weather events. Increasingly this knowledge is being recognized as a crucial ingredient in community-based climate change adaptation planning. This article explores how three communities in Fiji and three communities in Vanuatu have adapted to local environmental change or events. Some of the strategies used by locals have included: re-vegetating coastal foreshores with native species; using innovative water storage practices during times of drought; and employing food preservation strategies during times of cyclones or drought. The article seeks to build on discussions concerning the value and importance of indigenous knowledge in planning for resilient communities in the future. Read the guest article …

The UNU-IAS Traditional Knowledge Initiative, under the Traditional Knowledge Bulletin, is running a series of guest articles on topical issues in traditional knowledge. If you would like your research to be considered for inclusion in this series, please contact us at: tkbulletin(a)