Future Impacts of Climate Change on the Lives and Livelihoods of Indo-Fijians

Martin, Kate (2022) Future Impacts of Climate Change on the Lives and Livelihoods of Indo-Fijians. In: Pacific Voices and Climate Change. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 191-213. ISBN 978-3-030-98460-1

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-98460-1_9


Never before have global forces had such an impact upon the Fijian Islands. As climate change, induced by the global north and the developed world continues to increase in intensity, nations such as Fiji are having to find new ways of coping with the frequent flooding, typhoons, salinization, and erosion which are becoming a part of everyday life. Such disasters and crises present a plethora of challenges to communities which each possess their own methods of resilience and adaptation. From an outside perspective Fiji may appear to be a fairly homogenous society; however, if you scratch the surface you will find a large community of Indo-Fijians who retain many of the cultural markers of their Indian homeland. With a complex and occasionally tumultuous history, Indo-Fijians have been migrating away from the Fijian islands for decades to escape bouts of political instability and ethnic nationalism. This chapter discusses the possibility that Indo-Fijians will once again utilize migration as a method of resilience to climate change, as the shifting sands may leave them unable to access land and fishing as well as possibly leaving them once again at risk from the violence and destruction experienced in previous crises. As climate change puts pressure on Fiji's fragile systems, decisions must be made to unite the two ethnic groups and work together to form a new framework for climate resilience in Fiji ensuring that nobody is forced to migrate from a country they call home.

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