Pacific activists across a broad range of sectors have worked hard to capture the attention of a global audience on the risks and challenges that climate change presents to the Pacific Islands region. These voices have been effective in calling for greater climate action from major carbon emitting economies, and innovative in their demands for recognition of the loss and damages incurred as a result of climate change. While this global story of the Pacific Islands region is well known, less visible is the domestic politics related to climate change.
This session will explore the political and social implications of climate change within Pacific states and societies. As climate change impacts on environmental and biophysical systems accelerate, we can expect existing political, economic and social systems to come under increasing pressure. How communities manage these challenges raises very significant questions about processes of political and social change in the region. How do understandings of climate change shape community expectations of national adaptation responses? Will climate change pressures lead to new forms of leadership and community action? What does the resilience agenda mean for communities? Will adaptation occur in inclusive or exclusive ways? And are the groups likely to experience the most devastating impacts able to amplify their voice to shape climate responses at not only local but national levels? The three speakers on this panel will share first hand experiences with these questions and challenges.