“We’re not Refugees, We’ll Stay Here Until We Die!”—Climate Change Adaptation and Migration Experiences Gathered from the Tulun and Nissan Atolls of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea

Type

Book section

Author(s)

Luetz, J.
Havea, P.H.

Title

“We’re not Refugees, We’ll Stay Here Until We Die!”—Climate Change Adaptation and Migration Experiences Gathered from the Tulun and Nissan Atolls of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea

Date

2018

Editor(s)

Leal Filho, Walter

Book Title

Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Strategies for Coastal Communities

Publisher

Springer International Publishing

Vol

Abstract

Atoll island communities are naturally vulnerable to flooding hazards such as king tides, storm surges and overtopping, among others. Climate change can be expected to catalyse the susceptibility to flooding through extreme weather events, sea level rise (SLR) and other climate related pressures. Further, population growth in coastal proximity can exacerbate vulnerabilities by degrading ecosystems such as mangroves and coral reefs that island communities tend to rely on for protection. The net effect: More and more people are congregating in a high-risk zone for floods and storms, but are less and less protected from them. Conventional adaptation wisdom suggests three responses: (1) plan a managed retreat (e.g., move inland); (2) accommodate the changes (e.g., build stilt houses); (3) resist the intrusion (e.g., build sea walls). On the Carteret Islands of Bougainville/Papua New Guinea (PNG), also known as the Tulun or Kilinailau Atoll, none of these adaptation measures have so far enabled the islanders to adapt in situ to mounting people and sea level pressures, resulting in both ad hoc and planned out-migration responses. Drawing on pilot research conducted on the Tulun and Nissan Atolls of Bougainville/PNG, this paper examines the linkages between climate change and human movement. It extends previous research by expressly inviting the grassroots perspectives of atoll communities of origin and mainland communities of destination in Tinputz and Buka. The research develops recommendations in areas of education, livelihood security, government planning and countering misinformation. Experiences and lessons gathered in this paper will be useful for both policy and practice serving the cause of climate change adaptation in Pacific island communities. Working towards a better understanding of climate change related vulnerabilities in coastal areas will also enable better adaptation responses.

Citation

Luetz, J. and P. H. Havea (2018). “We’re not Refugees, We’ll Stay Here Until We Die!”—Climate Change Adaptation and Migration Experiences Gathered from the Tulun and Nissan Atolls of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Strategies for Coastal Communities. W. Leal Filho. Cham, Springer International Publishing: 3-29.
URL : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-70703-7_1