Micronesia Program, The Nature Conservancy
MAINTAINING IDENTITY IN THE MIDST OF GLOBALIZATION
Striving to conserve natural resources for the benefit of island people's way of life and economic security requires a high level of collaboration enabled by mobilizing and combining expertise, resources, and consensus across cultures and political divides. Leaders of large ocean countries are being inundated by heavy surges of environmental and financial risks. The relationship between island people and nature is changing rapidly and nature now has a price tag. Leaders of island nations struggle to fins the balance between conserving a developing; when islands are faced with a choice between poverty and natural resource conservation the choice between the two options are not so easily made. How then do we motivate and inspire people to invest in natural resource conservation that perceptually requires a huge invest with slow yields? How do we demonstrate the such and investment/commitment does have a solid future especially in light of climate change, food security, and poverty?
It is no secret that islands have a lot of issues that need to be addressed: capacity, financing, enforcement and others, yet despite these challenges, islands are finding their own solutions and determining how much it will cost; more importantly they are putting their own natural resources on the negotiating table as collateral. What islands are seeking from others is the different between what they can realistically achieve on their own and what is needed to achieve their vision. Islands are not asking for handouts, they are asking that they be captains of their own economic prosperity and that they sail their own routes to meet their global challenges.
The Micronesia Challenge is an innovative multi-island partnership that bridges the oceanic divide. It has allowed islands to maintain their identity and integrity in the pursuit of securing a sustainable future. Through the Micronesia Challenge island countries are able to engage collaboratively for a greater and common goal: natural resources are conserved and sustained for economic, cultural, and security of the Micronesian people. It has also demonstrated the critical role and importance of Political Leadership in advancing local, regional, and global priorities.
Institute of Marine Affairs, Trinidad and Tobago
SPEYSIDE MARINE AREA COMMUNITY-BASED MANAGEMENT PROJECT - A CASE STUDY FOR SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL RESILIENCE IN TOBAGO (SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN)
The windward reefs of Tobago represent the most robust and resilient systems on the island, considered to be of high cultural and conservation value. But to date these reefs remain unprotected from manageable anthropogenic impacts such as agricultural run-off, overfishing, and hillside run-off. While the area offers strong recreational and economic opportunity for sustainable development to the community, the site is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. A year-long community-based management project involving local and international non-governmental organisation coupled scientific assessments with capacity building opportunities, to sensitise community members and engage them in effective community-based management. Integrated into training programmes within the community and schools were the value of coral reef ecosystem service provision and coastal zone management. Threatening the process however were i) the perception of the lack of governmental support ii) difficulty identifying community champions and iii) the lack of economic incentives to sustain the project. Ultimately, champions for the project were identified, manifested by the eventual formation of a local community-based non-governmental organisation, the Speyside Eco-Marine Park RAngers, dedicated to community co-management of natural resources to support sustainable livelihoods for the Speyside community.
TOKAINIUA DEVATINE and Tamatoa Bambridge
Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l'Environnement (CRIOBE), Opunohu, Moorea, French Polynesia
INTEGRATED INDIGENOUS MANAGEMENT OF LAND AND MARINE PROTECTED AREAS IN TAIARAPU, TAHITI
This case study retraces the implementation and development of an integrated management (land and sea) in Taiarapu, based on an old Polynesian custom called rahui. Traditionally, rahui is a sacred decision to protect an area and.or a resource whether on land or lagoon. The Rahui has spiritual as well as economic and social dimensions. In 2008, the community of Teahupoo (a small district localized at the south of Tahiti iti), decided to build a management plan for their territory to increase the social and ecological resilience of their district. Land and lagoon toponyms had been recorded, ancient specialists (tahu'a) have been associated, scientists had been mobilized, in order to device the patterns and frontiers of the integrated coastal areas of protection. Moreover, the governance of this territory integrates decades of missionary and colonial influences. In order to strengthen the legal basis of the new rahui system created, the community decided to create a hybrid governance model. In this perspective, local norms based on rahui with the participation of the traditional experts and population, are in interaction with the state legal framework borrowed from the UICN MPA topologies. This situation has created a legal pluralism model of governance that already increases social resilience and foster the creation of an integrated MPA on land, lagoon, and coral reefs. Besides, thanks to this plural governance pattern, the economic and cultural activities now planned in or outside the MPA, are carefully chosen to enhance the ecological resilience as well.
SCOTT V. EDWARDS
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge MA USA
EVOLUTIONARY PROCESSES FOSTERING RESILIENCE ON ISLANDS
Islands are famous as crucibles of adaptive radiation and other processes of diversification, but they are also naturally conducive to small populations whose loss of genetic diversity can impede adaptation. In this talk I will review basic processes of population genetics and evolutionary divergence that influence the prospects of resilience on islands. We have excellent examples from both theory and empirical studies of the ability of small populations of island colonists to rebound and persist on small islands, especially when empty niches are available. Soon after colonization, small populations can harbor a surprisingly high fraction of the genetic diversity present in source populations, bit the processes of mutation and population growth are essential for maintaining that diversity. Experimental studies on islands show that both adaptation and random drift are important for the divergence of phenotypes on islands. While allopatric speciation is probably the most important driver of diversification on islands, sufficiently strong ecological gradients can promote sympatric speciation. Reconstruction of population histories using DNA markers can help distinguish recent divergence of island and continental populations from ongoing gene flow between them. New genomics approaches increasingly allow scientists to pinpoint the genomic locations responsible for phenotypic divergence between populations, and help distinguish neutral genetic variation from genetic variation that has been molded by natural selection. Managers and policy makers should develop strategies that maximize the influx of new genetic variation, either by fostering genetic diversity in large populations, or by promoting the exchange of genetic diversity between populations through gene flow.
MEGHAN GOMBOS1 and Scott Atkinson2
1Sea Change Consulting, LLC, Rhode Island, USA 2Conservation International, Hawaii, USA
COMMUNITY-BASED ADAPTATION IN THE PACIFIC ISLANDS
Centre for Action Research on Environment Science and Society, Chennai, India
ECOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL RESILIENCE IN ISLAND SYSTEMS: CASE STUDY OF LAKSHADWEEP
This paper draws on field observations and various studies carried out in Lakshadweep between 1989 and 2012. It describes the social and ecological setting of the islands. Synthesizes the data to quantify and qualify trends in human dependence on coral reefs and the interlinkages between the social and ecological system. Data was collected using a combination of participatory appraisal methods, participant observation, interviews, and surveys in three islands. The Islanders are extremely dependent on coral reefs and associated resources for their livelihoods. 90% of the households report that reef gleaning and recreational and subsistence fishing provides a source of income of food. The data reveals that outside influences, including those from tourism, commercialism of the fishing sector, and globalization are leading to significant changes in cultural norms of the Islanders. Refrigeration and fishing gear such as longlines have been introduced and the focus is on "Fishing deeper and further." The divide between the rich and poor is growing. Despite a literacy rate of 92% for Lakshadweep, 94% of Agatti Islanders have not completed high school, resulting in low resilience to diversify their livelihoods. These trends create challenges and reiterate the need to understand the resilience factors through continuous community-based socioeconomic, ecological and catch monitoring. There is a strong need to implement environmental policies for management of fisheries, tourism, sanitation, and waste disposal. Given the low level of support for MPAs among Islanders, support will need to be generated to ensure the long-term viability of the reefs and Islanders.
STEVEN JOHNSON, Jeffrey Maynard, Steve McKagan
Division of Environmental Quality, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands
CORAL REEF RESILIENCE TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN SAIPAN, CNMI; FIELD-BASED ASSESSMENTS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR VULNERABILITY AND FUTURE MANAGEMENT
Identifying sites with high resilience potential can inform a range of management decisions to support and maintain coral reefs. Presently, a framework has been published that suggests 11 variables be evaluated to compare the resilience potential of coral reef sites. These are: coral diversity, bleaching resistance, recruitment, herbivore biomass, macroalgae cover, temperature variability, nutrient input, sedimentation, fishing access, coral disease, and anthropogenic physical impacts (McClanahan et al. 2012). This talk will present the results of the first field-based implementation of the McClanahan et al. (2012) framework from 35 sites around Saipan. The resilience scores calculated are the average of the scores for 9 variables included in the analysis (the variables above minus coral disease and anthropogenic physical impacts, which were not observed). The relative categories high, medium, and low were used to describe the scores for all independent variables and the resultant resilience scores. This talk will describe the only implementation thus far of the methods presented in McClanahan et al. 2012 on prioritizing resilience indicators.
KENDRA KARR1,2 and Rod Fujita1
1Environmental Defense Fund, San Francisco, CA 2University of California at Santa Cruz, CA
AN INEGRATED FRAMEWORK FOR ASSESSING AND MANAGING DATA-LIMITED FISH STOCKS
Coral reefs provide numerous ecosystem goods and services that are critical to social and economic welfare for island nations. With increased pressure on coral reef fisheries, widespread overfishing has lead to alternative states of ecosystem health, decreasing ecosystem resilience and the ability of coral reefs to support future economic and social needs. A major challenge has been assessing and managing for ecosystems that are in less desirable states and the fisheries they support - specifically in island nations in which data is limited to assess fish stocks and ecosystem status. Here we propose a framework that can integrate several data-limited methods to produce rapid, precautionary, and adaptive management guidance for a broad range of fisheries varying widely in data richness. The proposed framework includes six steps: 1) assess the status of the ecosystem, 2) determine the vulnerability of the stocks, 3) assess stock depletion, 4) prioritize action for full assessment and precautionary management, 5) set management measures, and 6) collect more data to measure progress and inform management adjustments. We discuss appropriate methods to carry out each step, and illustrate the application of the framework to provide management guidance for a data-limited fishery prosecuted in a coral reef ecosystem. This data-limited framework can be used in many other kinds of fisheries and ecosystems to maximize management guidance and reduce monitoring and assessment costs in order to make the social side of the system more resilient.
SANGEETA MANGUBHAI1, Joanne Wilson2, Jeff Maynard3, Stuart Campbell4, Naneng Setiasih5, Jensi Sartin6, Rod Salm7, Rizya Ardiwijaya1, Efin Muttagin4
1The Nature Conservancy, Indonesia Marine Program, Bali, Indonesia 2Sea Solutions, Pottsville, Australia 3Australian Centre of Excellence for Risk Analysis, University of Melbourne, Australia 4Wildlife Conservation Society, Indonesia Marine Program, Bogor, Indonesia 5Coral Reef Alliance regional office, Bali, Indonesia 6Reef Check Indonesia Foundation, Bali, Indonesia 7The Nature Conservancy, Asia Pacific Marine Program, Hawaii, USA
MAKING IT EASIER TO MANAGE REEFS FOR RESILIENCE - A FRAMEWORK FOR INTERPRETATION OF RESILIENCE ASSESSMENT SCORES
Managing reefs for resilience to climate change is critical as the frequency and severity of bleaching events is predicted to increase. A resilience assessment protocol developed by IUCN and involve measuring or estimating ~61 factors thought to confer resilience to coral reefs to produce a single resilience score. However, little guidance is available on how to interpret and use resilience scores to inform management decisions. In 2009 resilience assessments were done at 123 sites across four locations in Indonesia (Aceh, Karimunjawa, Bali and Kofiau). We developed a framework to improve the interpretation of resilience scores and their usefulness to inform management decisions. After excluding 17 factors we judged were only indirectly related to resilience, we categorized remaining factors as relating to 'bleaching resistance,' 'recovery,' or 'anthropogenic stresses' which were then combined to produce an overall 'resilience' score. Within each location, sites were ranked as high, medium, or low for each category based on the range of scores for the location. a presentation format was developed that facilitates interpretation, making it easier to identify potential management actions that would increase resilience. These may include identification if high resilience sites for inclusion in MPA planning, identifying key anthropogenic stressors that are reducing resilience or identifying actions that would improve resilience across the greatest number of sites. Our research advances increase the capacity of managers to explicitly include climate change and resilience in MPA design and therefore have implications for the establishment of new and revision of existing MPAs throughout the world's tropics.
PAUL MARSHALL1 and NADINE MARSHALL2
1The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville, Australia 2Commonwealth Scientific Industrial and Research Organization (CSIRO)
NAVIGATING AN ERA OF UNPRECEDENTED CHANGE: THE RISE AND RESILIENCE AND ITS IMPORTANCE TO ISLANDS
Humanity and the earth systems that support it are facing a crisis. Population growth, accelerating consumption and unprecedented development are placing immense pressure on nature, while simultaneously demanding more and more goods and services from ecosystems. While many of these problems can be absorbed or masked in continental geographies, islands are crucibles where weaknesses quickly propagate and all-too-often manifest as serious environmental and social issues. Yet, the dynamic nature of island systems can also be one of their greatest virtues, representing opportunity for responsiveness, novel innovation and anticipatory adaptation.
The concept of resilience offers a holistic approach for understanding and managing complex systems such as islands and wicked problems such as climate change. For example as a global process climate change is not amenable to local solutions. Yet, there is much that can be done at the local level to reduce its impacts if the concept (of resilience) is considered. By reducing local stresses - many of which exacerbate climate change risks - natural resource managers and stakeholders can build the resilience of systems and help them cope with external pressures and inevitable unexpected shocks.
However, resilience has often been criticized as difficult to implement in practical terms. WE show how the concept of resilience can be applied to real world settings through examining its functional opposite; vulnerability. Vulnerable systems are typically exposed to events such as climate change, are sensitive, and/or have low levels of adaptive capacity. Nowhere are there characteristics more acute than islands.
Through recognizing the intrinsic link between ecological and social vulnerability we present insights into the needs, aspirations and dependencies of people and demonstrate how they can be integrated into the decisions we make about natural resource management and climate adaptation planning. We highlight the importance of islands as laboratories for developing and demonstrating resilience-based approaches to navigating the risks and opportunities in an era of unprecedented change.
Center for African and Asian Studies, El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
NOTES FROM A FLOATING ISLAND: LONG TERM EXPERIENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE PACIFIC
A widespread idea in relation to small islands and climate change is that sea level rise represents an existential threat to most low-lying coastal communities. This marginalizes context, both physical and cultural, and posits islanders as helpless victims. This paper describes the Torres Islands, a small Austronesian community of the Western Pacific that has a long experience of violent environmental transformation, some of which is sudden and can be devastating. The Torres are subject to dramatic shifts in coastal sea level as a result of continuous seismic displacements. The resilience developed by this society is informed by a worldview in which persons and landscapes are in mutually constitutive processes of "becoming," wherein change is not an existential threat but part of a dynamic, anthropogenic cosmos. Environmental uncertainty is deeply embedded in cultural values and engagements: some Torres people believe that their islands float, unmoored, upon an unstable world ocean, while key cycles of food production (marine tenure and agroforestry) are patterned on a seasonal distribution of risk. In regard to policy design, the paper stresses that knowledge and resilience are not packaged as a coherent corpus of timeless environmental wisdom, readily available for descriptive translation in scientific terms. Rather, knowledge is partial, contested, and grounded in historically changing strategies which have allowed Torres people to survive and thrive for millennia. Incorporating these practices into effective planning requires abandoning seemingly obvious ideas about small islands and taking seriously the multifarious cultural values that determine local forms of resilience.
JENNIFER MYTON1, Giacomo Palavicini2, Ian Drysdale3, Jason Vasquez1
1Coral Reef Alliance, West End, Roatan, Honduras 2Roatan Marine PArk, West End, Roatan, Honduras 3Healthy Reefs Alliance, West End, Roatan, Honduras
SUPPORTING RESILIENT SYSTEMS IN THE BAY ISLANDS, HONDURAS
Caribbean reefs today are a shadow of what they once were; decades of human and natural pressures have taken a toll. With reduced coral cover, altered trophic structures and increased diseases, among many other changes, Caribbean reefs are less resilient to perturbations and environmental change. Yet oases exist. Despite multiple threats including overfishing, nutrient pollution, and increasing ocean temperatures, Cordelia Banks in Honduras boasts large stands of Acropora cervicornis with 69% live coral coverage. Notably, Cordelia is not unique in Honduras; Smith and Capiro Banks are among others that boast high live coral cover. These amazing reefs exist alongside unusual resource management governance. The honduran government does not finance MPA management - instead it allows co-managing NGOs to work with national and international donors to raise funds to support national resource management objectives. The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), Roatan Marine Park (RMP), Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI), and other local organizations have come together in this socio-political environment to cooperatively manage these reefs to support their resilience. Together, these groups are working with the Honduran Government to strengthen a network fo marine protected ares in the Bay Islands. Interagency MOUs to patrol and monitor the regional MPA network, combined with efforts to build local management capacity together protect regional reef resilience. Looking to the future with innovative financing structures like "voluntary" user fees and conservation funds, enduring conservation outcomes are built upon and tied to a social fabric that can ensure these oases persist.
Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Environmental Scholar in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University and The ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, University of Queensland, Australia
PRIORITIZING CONSERVATION ACTIONS FOR ISLAND MARINE ECOSYSTEMS
Broadly speaking there are two crucial actions to help conserve marine ecosystems around islands - managing fishing and managing runoff from the land. This presentation will show some recent examples of methods to decide where to take conservation action in the land or sea, in particular focusing on the potential conflict between equity and prioritization. How much does equity between communities or industries constrain the most effective conservation outcome?
CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION: LOCAL SOLUTIONS FOR A GLOBAL PROBLEM IN POPULAR TOURISM DESTINATIONS
Reef Check Indonesia with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) conducted reef resilience assessment and coral bleaching monitoring were conducted in 26 sites in Bali and Lombok regional, Indonesia, as these islands experienced bleaching in 2010, following a severe thermal anomaly. Based on assessment and data analysis, the highest resilience is in Amed, eastern Bali (Maynard 2012). All of these sites inside Amed are popular tourism destinations due to their high biodiversity and accessibility from the major tourism center of Denpasar. Following stakeholder meetings, we have developed a management plan to identify priorities of threats and the actions needed. Efforts have focused on reducing local threats, unregulated tourism, anchoring and destructive fishing practice, as well as littering and solid waste.
The Nature Conservancy, Coral Triangle/Indonesia
DESIGNING ZONING AND MANAGEMENT PLAN IN RAJA AMPAT MPAS NETWORK
The government and local communities established five Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in 2009 to protect the region's unique marine biodiversity and ensure sustainable fisheries in Raja AMpat, West Papua, Indonesia. Increase of human population resulting in overfishing and the use of destructive fishing practices are the main threats and challenges the region faces. Biophysical, socioeconomic, and climate change criteria and factors were developed for zoning the MPA network. Resilience principles such as replication, habitat representation, protection of critical habitat and connectivity were applied to the final zoning design.
In addition, data were collected on sasi areas throughout the MPAs. Sasi is a traditional resources management practice used by local people in Raja Ampat to open and close areas of ban the collecting of certain fisheries species. Once the resource replenishes local communities then can harvest the species and obtain food or financial benefits. There are currently XX numbers of sasi comprising YY ha areas spread across five MPAs in Raja Ampat. Raja Ampat MPAs network is managed as a multi-objective zoning system. The current zoning system explicitly recognizes community sasi within Traditional Use Zones, which are often adjacent or close to No-Take Zones. With the inclusion of sasi areas into the Raja Ampat MPA network, which can act as large temporary no-take zones, fisheries resources can recover over time through the active engagement and support of the local community.
TEINA RONGO and Robert van Woesik
Climate Change - Cook Islands Division, Office of the Prime Minister
THE EFFECTS OF NATURAL DISTURBANCES, REEF STATE, AND HERBIVOROUS FISH DENSITIES ON CIGUATERA POISONING IN RAROTONGA, SOUTHERN COOK ISLANDS
Ciguatera poisoning is a critical public-health issue among Pacific island nations. Accurately predicting ciguatera outbreaks has become a priority, particularly in Rarotonga in the southern Cook Islands, which has reported the highest incidence of ciguatera poisoning globally.Since 2006, however, cases of ciguatera poisoning have declined, and in 2011 ciguatera cases were the lowest in nearly 20 years. Here we examined the relationships between cases of ciguatera poisoning, from 1994 to 2011, and: (i) coral cover, used as a proxy of reef state, (ii) the densities of herbivorous fishes, and (iii) reef disturbances. We found that coral cover was not a good predictor of cases of ciguatera poisoning, but high densities of the herbivorous fish Ctenochaetus striatus and reef disturbances were both strong predictors of ciguatera poisoning. Yet these two predictors were correlated, because the densities of C. striatus increased only after major cyclones had disturbed the reefs. Since 2006, the number of cyclones has decreased considerably in Rarotonga, because of the climatic shift toward the negative phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. We suggest that fewer cyclones have led to decreases in both the densities of C. striatus and the number of reported cases of ciguatera poisoning in Rarotonga.
NANENG SETIASIH1 and Jason Vasquez2
1Coral Reef Alliance, Bali, Indonesia 2Coral Reef Alliance, San Francisco, USA
BUILDING REEF RESILIENCE CAPACITY AT A LOCAL SCALE
Coral reefs globally are declining, while climate change impacts on reefs are intensifying. A growing interest to promote resiliency is being seen as a way forward to manage reefs. Recognizing the need to improve local capacity in the management, in 2011 the Coral Reef Alliance led reef resilience trainings in Bali and Mexico.
The trainings were initially aimed at reef managers such as scientists and NGO practitioners. This was the case for previous trainings conducted by other partners, and for Bali Training. However, the Mexico training was specifically designed for marine recreation providers. In all, 21 reef managers from 18 countries were trained to measure resilient reefs and recognize management interventions. Participants replicated these trainings. So far 18 trainings have been replicated reaching 1,330 people.
Division of Aquatic Resources, State of Hawaii
MANAGING FOR RESILIENCE USING DIRECTED MONITORING EFFORTS AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AT THE KAHEKILI HERBIVORE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT AREA (KHFMA)
Recently in Hawaii, fisheries management efforts have been implemented with the specific purpose to increase the resilience of a reef area experiencing a precipitous decline. In the mid-2000s when evaluating coral reef monitoring data from the early 1990s, the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) identified some alarming long-term trends in reef degradation along the west coast of Maui, Hawaii. At the time, the reefs in the area of north Ka'anapali had declined by nearly 50% in live coral cover, and there were regular algae blooms that were further stressing the living corals. Additional data indicated that herbivore fish stocks were overfished, and the primary invasive algal species were preferred edibles for fish. This evidence spurred an education and outreach campaign that ultimately lead to the designation of the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHMFA) in July 2009. A collaborative partnership between DAR and the Coral Reef Alliance further developed this public awareness and concern through the establishment of the Ka'anapali Makai Watch Program. Furthermore, the long-tern coral reef monitoring data coupled with the innovative herbivore management efforts taking place within the KHFMA have resulted in national recognition and the designation of West Maui's Watersheds as the priority Pacific Watershed by the US Coral Reef Task Force. This designation has begun to direct research and coordinated management on the watersheds in the area. Watershed projects in West Maui are now being directly designed to reduce land based stressors on the reefs of this area. These efforts should result in further increases in the resiliency of these reef ecosystems. This case study provides an ideal example of how careful marine monitoring programs can help direct management activities centered on improving the natural resiliency of the coral reef ecosystem. It is also an excellent example of how social change can occur when people are actively involved in the resource management process.
TINA STEGE and Mark Stege
MarTina Corporation, Marshall Islands
COMMUNITY-BASED PLANNING AND MOBILIZATION IN URBANIZED ATOLLS: THE RITA REIMAANLOK CASE STUDY
In recent years, Marshallese climate vulnerability researchers have devised climate change communication strategies that present their findings and some creative adaptation options in a way that avoids the unhelpful alarmism and assumption of inevitable resettlement that characterize Western representations of 'disappearing island nations.' This presentation discusses one such initiative in which the presenters have been personally involved along with over 7,000 residents of the community of Rita living in an area approximately 1.5 km2 on the urbanized capital island of Majuro. Calling themselves Rita Reimaanlok, the residents of Rita have enacted an ambitions climate change resilience program that addresses the challenges of dwindling water resources and coastal erosion that now challenge their country's habitability in the medium- to long-term. Their story and the creative adaptation options they are now pursuing are representative of islander attempts to harness climate change as a positive opportunity to demonstrate the necessity and feasibility of culturally sensitive, community-based approaches to meeting the environmental challenges of the 21st century. The presentation will delve into three early successes of the Rita Reimaanlok experience including the initial community vulnerability assessment and two ongoing community-based adaptation responses. In each of these instances, the community is empowering its individual members to conduct their own research and propose solutions to the challenges presented by climate change. From a self-help household water quality testing program to a multifaceted underwater cleanup/artificial reef/youth swimming program, these community-based programs in Rita are allowing individuals, families, and the community as a whole to make sense of the atoll environment in a way that integrated scientific modes of thinking into an established social and cultural context.
PAUL STURM1 and Louis Meyer-Comas2
1Ridge to Reefs, Eldersburg, MD, USA 2Protectores de Cuencas, Guanica, PR
FOSTERING RESILIENCE IN CORAL REEF AND AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS IN GUANICA, PR
Coral reefs in SW Puerto Rico and worldwide are experiencing increased threats due to climate change and ocean acidification. Meanwhile increasing human populations and efforts to maximize agricultural production are generation additional land based sources of pollution compromising the integrity and resilience of coral reefs in SW Puerto Rico. Efforts to restore ecological systems and services include efforts to restore a historic lagoon/freshwater wetland that acted as a filter for the Guanica watershed and the restoration of degraded sun coffee farms by integrating a shade planting regime. In order to ensure the shade coffee efforts are sustainable economically for the farmers, we have initiated a shade coffee roundtable consisting of farmers, academicians, beneficiados, agencies, and NGOs and recently established draft shade coffee conservation standards for Puerto Rico to be followed by work on collective marketing. Thus far, several square miles of farms are being converted back to shade coffee and the efforts are helping to connect large tracts of protected forest, reducing sediment transport and improving downstream water quality. The efforts in Guanica are a test case in helping create a sustainable local economy and promoting restoration and resilience in coral reefs.
Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies and Pacific Studies/Anthropology/Gender and Cultural Studies, School of Culture History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University
ENVIRONMENTAL DISPLACEMENT AND CULTURAL RESILIENCE: THE BANABANS OF OCEAN ISLAND AND RABI
This presentation will discuss the experience of the Banabans who were displaced en mass fro their home island in Kiribati to Rabi in Fiji as a result of extensive colonial phosphate mining. While the Islanders eventually developed creative strategies for living in a new environmental, cultural and sociopolitical context, they also continue to face significant challenges. Their experiences provide critical lessons for what is now viewed as impending climate change induced displacement from other islands in Kiribati and Tuvalu in the not too distant future.