Detail

Talk at the „15th Small Islands of the World Conference” (2-7 July 2017)

02.07.2017 - 07.07.2017

The 15th Small Islands of the World Conference brought together researchers, academics, community members and delegates from across the globe to raise a unified voice on the importance of “island-ness”. The conference took place on Kangaroo Island, Australia. On 6 July, Beate Ratter, Jan Petzold, Kamardine Sinane (CliSAP guest scientist 10-11/2014) hold a talk titled: “Politricks and umpteen allegations: climate change adaptation in a cross cultural comparison of the Bahamas, the Maldives and the Comoros”.

The current discussion on anticipated climate change impacts and future sea level rise is particularly relevant to small islands. Sea level rise leads to an increase in natural hazards (floods and stormwaves) and is likely to have a devastating impact on small island coastlines, exacerbating coastal erosion and severely affecting the ability to achieve sustainable development goals. Before attributing specific impacts to climate change, current human activities need to be analyzed, focusing not only on geomorphological and climatological aspects but also on political and cultural frameworks as enablers of coastal change. Historical experiences, institutional settings and political interests also influence how small island communities are prepared to deal with environmental pressures manifesting as present and future coastal change. Based on empirical studies on The Bahamas, Maldives and Comoros, the paper discusses the variety of meanings attributed to the coast such as a resource, a construction and investment site, a tourist attraction, a playground or spiritual place. The objective is to scrutinize environmental responsibility at different political levels and in different societal settings, and to demonstrate the importance of social - political - ecological systems analysis for adaptation and thus for future sustainable development.

How do the competing meanings ascribed to the coast influence society’s capacity to adapt? Who holds what responsibilities? And how can we learn from the different examples presented?

More information:

kangarooisland2017.com

Conference Abstracts

Conference Program