Itaukei (Indigenous Fijian) oral narratives on climate change building adaptability and mitigation - a case study on University of the South Pacific students from the province of Nadroga, Viti Levu
Pacific Island societies, although highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate and other environmental changes, have managed to adapt and survive for thousands of years. Embedded in the cultures of Pacific communities is indigenous knowledge, including oral narratives, that provide alternative adaptation strategies for natural disasters and environmental changes. This thesis examines oral narratives in relation to climate change adaptation and mitigation in rural coastal communities. Data was derived from University of the South Pacific students from coastal areas of the province of Nadroga from Viti Levu – the main island in the Fiji group. The research aims to show that while oral narratives provide a traditional mode in disseminating information regarding environmental changes and adaptation strategies, they are threatened by changing lifestyles and social structures. The thesis surveys perspectives from individuals and communal perception of climate change in this context. The language, mode of transmission and context in which information is disseminated in rural communities and between generations as in the case of the university students is contextualized within the above parameters.